Struggling phone maker RIM have announced Mobile Fusion for iPhone and Android a security management package that would enable IT Departments to set and monitor rules for passwords, apps and software. BlackBerry devices have been the platform of choice for enterprises due to the security features but many companies are deploying iPhones, Android phones and iPads with RIMs market share falling.
While it seems a good idea I can’t see it helping sell BlackBerry phones and there are already 3rd party smartphone security apps so I am not sure how helpful it will be for RIM. No price details yet but RIM say it will be “competitive” and the product will be released sometime in 2012
They also say RIM would consider adding support for Windows Phone if there was enough demand.
“What our enterprise customers are looking for, and the opportunity for us, is to become the de facto platform,” RIM’s vice-president for enterprise product management, Alan Panezic, told Reuters in an interview ahead of the announcement.
“We will take full advantage of whatever security capabilities are provided by the core operating system. We’re not going to hold that back in any way, shape or form.”
RIM Announces BlackBerry Mobile Fusion – The Next Generation Enterprise Mobility Solution for BlackBerry, Android and iOS Smartphones and Tablets
Simplifies Management of Smartphones and Tablets for Business and Government
Waterloo, ON – Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today introduced BlackBerry® Mobile Fusion – the Company’s next-generation enterprise mobility solution and RIM’s entry into the multi-platform Mobile Device Management (MDM) marketplace. Building on years of leading enterprise mobility management solutions from RIM, BlackBerry Mobile Fusion will simplify the management of smartphones and tablets running BlackBerry®, Google® Android® and Apple® iOS® operating systems.
“We are pleased to introduce BlackBerry Mobile Fusion – RIM’s next generation enterprise mobility solution – to make it easier for our business and government customers to manage the diversity of devices in their operations today,” said Alan Panezic, Vice President, Enterprise Product Management and Marketing at Research In Motion. “BlackBerry Mobile Fusion brings together our industry-leading BlackBerry Enterprise Server technology for BlackBerry devices with mobile device management capabilities for iOS and Android devices, all managed from one web-based console. It provides the necessary management capabilities to allow IT departments to confidently oversee the use of both company-owned and employee-owned mobile devices within their organizations.”
RIM is the leading provider of enterprise mobility solutions with over 90 percent of the Fortune 500 provisioning BlackBerry devices today. The enterprise market for smartphones and tablets continues to grow in both the company-provisioned and employee-owned (Bring Your Own Device or BYOD) categories. BYOD in particular has led to an increase in the diversity of mobile devices in use in the enterprise and new challenges for CIOs and IT departments as they struggle to manage and control wireless access to confidential company information on the corporate network. This has resulted in increased demand for mobile device management solutions.
BlackBerry Mobile Fusion brings together the market-leading BlackBerry® Enterprise Server (version 5.0.3) for BlackBerry smartphones; new management capabilities for BlackBerry PlayBook tablets built on BlackBerry Enterprise Server technology; and mobile device management for smartphones and tablets running Android and iOS operating systems.
BlackBerry Mobile Fusion will provide the following mobile device management capabilities for all supported mobile devices*:
• Asset management
• Configuration management
• Security and policy definition and management
• Secure and protect lost or stolen devices (remote lock, wipe)
• User- and group-based administration
• Multiple device per user capable
• Application and software management
• Connectivity management (Wi-Fi®, VPN, certificate)
• Centralized console
• High scalability
BlackBerry smartphones will continue to benefit from the many advantages of the end-to-end BlackBerry solution including the same advanced IT management, security and control available with BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0.3, which is part of BlackBerry Mobile Fusion. These advanced features include BlackBerry® Balance™ technology supporting the use of a single device for both work and personal purposes without compromising the organization’s need to secure, manage and control confidential information; over 500 IT policies; over-the-air app and software installation and management; high availability; and much more. BlackBerry Mobile Fusion will also introduce new self-service functionality for employees to secure lost or stolen BlackBerry smartphones and BlackBerry PlayBook tablets.
BlackBerry Mobile Fusion is currently in early beta testing with select enterprise customers. RIM is now accepting customer nominations for the closed beta program which will start in January, and general availability is expected in late March.
For more information, visit www.blackberry.com/mobilefusion.
Ian Dixon is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional), founder of TheDigitalLifestyle.com tech site and producer of the weekly The Digital Lifestyle Show podcast. Ian has been writing and talking about Windows for over 10 years and has over 20 years in IT as an IT Manager. Ian thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook and over 4 million views on his YouTube channel.