We recently announced that BlackBerry® Business Cloud Services for Microsoft® Office 365 has officially gone into open beta in more than 30 countries around the world, and we’d like to extend an official invitation to our customers to participate. Given all the interest in cloud services across the industry, I thought I’d dig into this offering a bit more to provide some additional background.
This product has been in the works for some time. Earlier this year, we announced an agreement with Microsoft to develop a cloud-based service to deliver Microsoft Office 365 content to BlackBerry smartphones. Following up on that, we shared our overall cloud strategy with customers throughout BlackBerry World™ 2011. And over the past several months, we’ve been fortunate to work with a number of customers who participated in an early access program to help us develop our BlackBerry Business Cloud Services for Microsoft Office 365 product – a major milestone in delivering cloud benefits for our customers!
BlackBerry Business Cloud Services is designed to deliver a simple and affordable way for companies to manage BlackBerry smartphones with Microsoft Office 365. Available at no additional charge to Microsoft Office 365 subscribers, this secure service, hosted by Research In Motion® (RIM®), is designed to directly link Microsoft® Exchange Online with BlackBerry smartphones to offer reliable, mobile access to synchronized email, calendar, contacts, tasks and memo pads.
While end users will see this as a great mobile solution for accessing their business information when on the go, from an IT perspective, there’s a lot more going on under the covers. As part of an overall BlackBerry solution, IT organizations can benefit from enterprise-oriented elements including:
- Separation of individual/corporate data: BlackBerry® Balance™ technology is designed to present a unified view of work and personal content on BlackBerry smartphones connected to an organization’s BlackBerry® Enterprise Server or BlackBerry® Enterprise Server Express while keeping content separate and secure behind the scenes – minimizing both corporate security and personal privacy issues.
- Easy management: IT administrators have access to a web-based console to provision, manage and secure BlackBerry smartphones from almost anywhere. The intuitive, web-based interface is designed to provide the tools administrators need to perform common tasks like password reset or to find/lock/wipe lost devices, and so on.
- End user self-service: Individuals have access to online tools for basic self-service functions. Using an integrated single sign-on between Microsoft Office 365 and BlackBerry Business Cloud Services, end users have online self-service options that help make managing devices more efficient, including the ability to reset a device password or remotely lock/wipe a device in the event of loss or theft.
- Evergreen™ software: Since BlackBerry Business Cloud Services are hosted by RIM, they are always up to date. We ensure that you benefit from the latest version of BlackBerry software, eliminating the need for IT to manually execute upgrades. This helps to reduce organizational labor and hardware costs.
Are you on the cloud? Have you accessed any beta products from RIM for your organization? Now’s your chance!