This question has come up quite a bit lately, particularly in the BlackBerry for Business discussion group on LinkedIn. With the announcement of BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 we hear there are concerns about RIM support for small businesses. Well, I’m here today to help clear all of that up. Let’s look at where many small businesses are today with BlackBerry solutions, and how there is a clear path forward.
We haven’t forgotten about small businesses – we love the passion and drive that small business owners and employees have for taking on challenges and working towards their goals. We have a rich history with SMB’s. In fact, we recently launched the Better Business Hub in the United Kingdom designed exclusively for small businesses looking to improve their mobility and use of social media.
BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express was a revolutionary product that helped businesses get up and running with corporate email and manage BlackBerry smartphones – all for free.
For those businesses using BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express to manage BlackBerry smartphones, we’ll be continuing to support you and to support BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express with updates through to 2015; that’s a promise. But, the mobile landscape is changing – and we’ve heard that straight from our customers.
The Need for Multi-platform Management
Particularly if a Bring Your Own Device model is being adopted, as is the case in many small businesses, you’re likely beginning to see multiple devices being brought into the workplace. Tablets, BlackBerry, iOS and Android devices, and all manner of personally preferred mobile ware are making appearances that pose challenges to centralized management and connectivity to corporate email services.
The Addition of ActiveSync Functionality for BlackBerry 10 Devices
We’ve worked to help keep you prepared to tackle this changing mobile landscape in two particular ways. First, we’ve adopted Microsoft® ActiveSync protocols to allow connectivity of BlackBerry 10 smartphones and BlackBerry PlayBook tablets straight into your mail servers at no cost. No extra servers or software required. And, you get to manage the devices using the built-in ActiveSync policies. From my perspective, this actually makes things much easier.
Is ActiveSync with BlackBerry 10 secure? We’ve answered that question in a recent blog post from our Senior Director of Enterprise Product Management.
Say Goodbye to Server Licensing Costs
For those looking to step up their mobility management game and take on multi-platform smartphones and tablets, BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, launched this week, is the evolution of our enterprise mobility management innovation. Our portfolio of management products has been streamlined, and efforts poured into providing free and direct connectivity with ActiveSync, and the enterprise server option for staying on top of a diverse mobile landscape. To make it easier for our customers to adopt BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, we have removed the server component of the licensing and moved to a device license only model. BES 10 device licenses are very cost effective – only $99 USD per device with bulk discounts.
At the end of the day…
You have options. Your end users can connect their BlackBerry 10 devices either directly (for free) using ActiveSync or using BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 for enhanced management capabilities and behind the firewall application access without expensive VPN infrastructure. Try out BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 today at: http://www.blackberry.com/bes10
We’ve streamlined and consolidated our various management products into a solution set that has the capability to meet the needs of small and large businesses alike, with a strong focus on the changing mobile landscape and helping you to address future challenges. Both RIM and our customers are adapting, innovating, and moving forward.
Communication is crucial. We welcome your questions on these topics, as we know that they’re a concern for you. Share your thoughts in the comments below.