Five Major New Multi-OS EMM Features in BES12 V12.3

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BES12 squareAs you well know, today’s IT departments have to deal with multiple mobile operating systems, all of which are regularly evolving new capabilities – and all of which need quick access to corporate resources, a reality which significantly drives up complexity. Addressing this requires a comprehensive, multi-OS EMM solution, one which adapts quickly to software and hardware changes – and that’s where BlackBerry comes in. As part of our ongoing commitment to providing users with the highest levels of security and simplicity, we’ve recently released version 12.3 of BES12, our industry-leading EMM platform.

In the latest release of our on-premise software, we are delivering a wider range of features for mobile and IT administrators, making an already-formidable solution even better.

1)     Support for Windows 10 Devices

It’s only been a few months since the operating system officially released on desktops, and it’s still in beta on mobile, yet we’ve already extended our platform to support all Windows 10 devices. Administrators can now make use of BES12’s intuitive, single-screen interface to secure and control Windows 10 desktops, smartphones, and tablets alike.

In addition to the baseline management features, BES12 v12.3 also supports new IT policies and actions enabled by Windows 10 including: configuration of work VPN, Wi-Fi, proxy server, and SCEP profiles, the ability to locate Windows 10 Mobile devices from the admin or self-service console, and the solution leverages Windows Push Notification Services for device management.

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2)     Enhanced Management of iOS Devices

BES12 already provides comprehensive iOS support, including compatibility with both the Apple Device Enrollment Program (DEP) and Volume Purchase Program (VPP). And when iOS9 released in September, we included a day one MDM support on our platform, including new restrictions and policies, and support for new MDM payloads. Now, with BES12 v 12.3, we’ve further improved iOS management with the following new features:

  • The ability to convert installed personal apps into work apps
  • Control of network usage and access for work apps
  • The ability to remotely set the wallpaper on iOS devices
  • Support for calDAV, a calendar syncing protocol that allows users to access and sync with remote scheduling data, and CardDAV, an open contact syncing protocol similar in function to Microsoft Exchange.
  • New device and printer access setting
  • Customization of the Work Apps icon
  • Improvements to the Apple Device Enrollment Program setup process, including the ability to skip certain screens during setup and prevent users from prematurely closing the Setup Assistant.

3)     More Flexible Deployment Options for Android

Version 12.3 makes Android management even more comprehensive, equipping administrators with the ability to easily address a wide spectrum of ownership models and use cases. Internal, proprietary applications can now be managed through BES12 on Android for Work devices, giving organizations greater freedom of choice where mobile software’s concerned. KNOX Workspace, meanwhile, now allows admins to manage deployments in User Privacy mode, keeping user data private and separate from employee workspaces. This is in addition to BES12’s unique capabilities for KNOX Workspace to combine Work Space Only and Work and Personal modes with BlackBerry Secure Connect Plus for end-end security (see below):

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Additional features include:

  • The ability to configure an Android for Work devices to have only one profile, managed entirely by IT.
  • Proxy server support for both VPNs and BlackBerry Secure Connect Plus on Samsung KNOX Workspace-enabled devices
  • On Android-powered BlackBerry devices, admins can choose between the following two productivity-centric application suites:
    • BlackBerry’s Productivity Suite: BlackBerry Hub (Mail, Social, BBM), Unified Contacts, Unified Calendars;
    • Google’s Divide Productivity Apps: Mail, Calendar, Tasks, Contacts. Available through Android for Work;

4)     Enhanced Remote Wipe Settings for BlackBerry 10

For BlackBerry 10 devices, v12.3 adds a new feature that allows administrators to specify whether or not users are able to deactivate their devices. If this feature is disabled, users will not be able to use BlackBerry Balance to delete or wipe their workspace. This is especially important in industries that deal with highly-sensitive data, as it prevents employees from accidentally (or intentionally) wiping important information from their phones.

5)     BES12 Management Console Improvements

Last but certainly not least, v12.3 makes communication with and management of employees significantly easier thanks to several enhancements to the core BES12 management console. These include:

  • Better control over emails: Change the language of automated emails, customize your activation email templates, and send emails directly to users through the console.
  • Enhanced customization and visibility: Employ better controls over how users are displayed in the console through advanced filters, and view which Secure Work Space apps are assigned to each user
  • Custom Organization Notices: Send custom organizational notices to BES12-managed devices with ease. These can be displayed during activation to ensure a user understands and agrees to an organization’s security requirements.
  • Support for WorkLife Integration: Configure separate work and personal numbers on BlackBerry 10, iOS, and Android devices through the BES12 Management Console. Note: requires your company’s carrier to offer WorkLife by BlackBerry as a service.

Closing Thoughts

Mobile is evolving rapidly – and with it, enterprise. With BlackBerry BES12, you’ll have an EMM platform that keeps you ever-prepared for tomorrow, no matter what it may bring. BES12 v12.3 is just further evidence of that.

By making it a priority to address the needs of our customers in every industry around the globe, BlackBerry is helping to shape the future – both yours and ours.

If you’d like to learn more about what’s included in BES12 v12.3, you can read the what’s new guide. To learn more about BlackBerry’s Enterprise Product Portfolio, click here.

About Nicholas C. Greene

Nicholas C. Greene is a technology writer based in Calgary, Canada. An English graduate of the University of Calgary, he's written for publications and organizations such as VPN Haus, Streetwise, Northcutt, and The Coolist.

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