Do you still think of BlackBerry as one-platform company? Think again. We are completely cross-platform, and have been so for several years. Android apps started running on BlackBerry phones in 2013. Last year our BBM mobile messaging shipped on all major platforms. And on the enterprise (BES) side, we embraced management of platforms such as iOS and Android in 2013, and Windows Phone last year.
Another case in point: the Secure Work Space feature that we introduced with the BES10 version of our Enterprise Mobile Management platform a year and a half ago. Secure Work Space is our version of a popular MDM feature called containerization, enabling work data and apps to be run separately from their personal counterparts.
Such neat partitioning ensures air-tight security for work apps, and privacy for personal apps and data. No wonder it’s such a popular feature for any IT manager managing devices using BYOD or COPE policies. (Note: for BlackBerry 10 devices, we separate work and play content via a technology called BlackBerry Balance.)
For IT manager and end user alike, the number and the quality of apps that can be securely managed in the work container is a key, and possibly the most important, factor. Well, Secure Work Space is the Top Dog, managing more than 70 iOS and Android apps. That’s more than every other MDM provider offering containerization out there, including Good Technology.
The apps managed by BlackBerry’s Secure Work Space include bold-faced names such as Box, Oracle, Jabber, WebEx, Harmon.ie, iAnnotate and Accellion. Most of these popular enterprise apps are available through their respective app stores, with a minority available direct from the app maker.
See the full listing of Secure Work Space apps.
DOING EVEN MORE
Today, we also announced that BES12 will support Google’s Android for Work containerization solution. This gives enterprises another way to secure their employees’ business data running on Android devices.
Less famous but just as useful: iPhone and iPad users can run an app from our partner, MindLink, inside Secure Work Space that gives them protected access to the popular instant messaging app, Microsoft Lync. That’s a key collaboration tool for many modern enterprise workers.
Industry analyst Maribel Lopez, Founder of Lopez Research states “One big challenge I’m seeing for enterprises that run a BYOD environment is keeping personal information private while ensuring that corporate data stays protected. A secure work container, which protects enterprise apps and leaves personal apps untouched, allows end-users to have access to business critical applications while providing the corporate data security IT administrators need . It’s important that MDM providers offer a wide variety of applications for iOS and Android to be implemented in the work perimeter. ”
Not included in the above totals of apps secured by Secure Work Space are core apps such as e-mail, calendar and contacts, an enterprise-level browser, Documents2Go (for document editing) and Work Security ID (to connect with RSA Soft Token security). Every app is wrapped, while data travels securely (AES-256-bit encryption) between the device and the behind-the-firewall server using BlackBerry’s vaunted secure network. And using BES10 or BES 12, no separate VPN is needed.
Below is a diagram showing how Secure Work Space works:
Developers and others interested in how you enable apps to run within our Secure Work Space Container can learn more by checking out this page. But the process, managed by a BlackBerry partner, OpenPeak, is fairly painless, with no custom development needed.
“GigaTrust extends Microsoft Windows’ Rights Management Services, Office, Office 365, Exchange and Exchange online. We give end-users a solution to secure messages and view protected attachments. Customers rely on our application and the expectation is that it be secure across multiple device platform,” said Brad Gandee, VP Global Sales from GigaTrust. “Our decision to make GigaTrust available for BlackBerry Secure Work Space was driven by the fact that our customers demand security and expect the applications they rely on for work to be fully protected. The process to have our application containerized was extremely simple and we make it available directly to our customers, ensuring that it stays secure and encrypted. Having this cross platform, secure solution available is an added bonus for us when speaking with our customers.”
Learn more about Secure Work Space by visiting BlackBerry.com. Or watch this video introducing Secure Work Space:
If you’re a developer wanting to see just how easy it is to make your apps compatible with Secure Work Space, read this blog and check out this in-depth Webcast tomorrow, Thursday February 26th at 2 pm EST.
Follow us on @BlackBerry for all the latest news and announcements from Mobile World Conference 2015 (#MWC15).