Today Research In Motion® (RIM®) has launched the next-generation in enterprise mobile device management (MDM) – BlackBerry® Mobile Fusion. This tool acts as a central platform giving IT managers the ability to effectively and efficiently manage the following:
- BlackBerry® 7 (and previous) smartphones
- BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablets (and BlackBerry® 10 smartphones in the future)
- As of today, tablets and smartphones running Android® and iOS®
I recently spoke with some enterprise customers during the BlackBerry® Innovation Forum in both Toronto and Atlanta about their thoughts on BlackBerry Mobile Fusion – clearly customers are excited. Beyond Mobile Fusion Studio and BlackBerry® Device Service – both of which we’ve discussed previously – many seem eager to deploy the Universal Device Service. Check out a video overview of BlackBerry Mobile Fusion below:
RIM has now officially released the entire BlackBerry Mobile Fusion solution, including the Universal Device Service. Similar to how BlackBerry Device Service provides a set of security and management features for BlackBerry PlayBook tablets, the Universal Device Service provides Mobile Device Management for iOS and Android based devices.
Now let’s be clear: this does not turn a random phone into a BlackBerry smartphone! BlackBerry® Enterprise Server (conveniently accessible through Mobile Fusion’s unified, web-console, Mobile Fusion Studio) pushes out 500+ IT policies to BlackBerry smartphones. This is the champagne of enterprise mobility solutions, giving organizations back-end integration and end-to-end security that only BlackBerry offers; accessed through feature rich BlackBerry smartphones in a multitude of form factors that end-users desire.
As more devices come to market, however, IT managers need to accommodate individually purchased units that come into the enterprise, whether by a sales rep deciding to expense the latest handset, a doctor bringing in their personal phone for hospital work, or a field worker getting whatever’s available on special as a replacement unit. Universal Device Service offers you – if not a champagne solution – perhaps a Cava or Prosecco. And, given how individual-liable devices are typically used, this is often quite sufficient. BlackBerry Mobile Fusion finally gives you a solution, managed from a single web-console, to deal with the influx of personal-liable devices in the enterprise and ensures that a range of suitable security mechanisms are in place.
Once the server software is installed and the device side client is loaded (conveniently accessed by the end user through their OS-specific app store), you’re good to go. Each component (BlackBerry Device Service, Universal Device Service, and BlackBerry Enterprise Server) runs on a single server, keeping things straightforward and simple to maintain. To get you going, in addition to the BlackBerry Mobile Fusion server software always being a free download, currently several Client Access Licenses are included in a FREE 60 day trial, so you can deploy a pilot immediately before budgeting for a full enterprise roll out.
So what exactly does BlackBerry Mobile Fusion let you do in terms of managing non-BlackBerry devices? I could write a year’s worth of blog posts on each of the different functions (and probably will!). Obviously the specific capability will vary for each OS based on the APIs that are available, but here are some of the highlights of what BlackBerry Mobile Fusion is designed to do:
- Activate and configure devices and profiles over the air
- Enable access to enterprise Mail, Calendar and PIM
- Administer users and groups, natively and directory based
- Establish corporate IT Policies and Security
- Manage lost devices – Password Reset, Device Lock, Device Wipe
- Set Wi-Fi® and VPN settings
- Deploy internally-developed apps
- Define (and enforce) public applications as mandatory or optional
- Provides Notifications to the Device User
- Provides Rooting & Jailbreak Detection
- Help manage Roaming to control your data costs
- Prevent apps from accessing corporate mail accounts
So with the ability finally to control the chaos that seems to be the state of mobility in many organizations…when will you be deploying BlackBerry Mobile Fusion?
How do you manage non-BlackBerry devices today? Does your organization have a policy for personal versus corporate devices? How do you control the chaos? We’d love to hear what you’re doing now, and how you plan to leverage this new technology.