MWC: BlackBerry brings cloud-based enterprise mobility management to the masses

BlackBerry is aiming to expand its enterprise mobile management (EMM) business into the small and medium size business realm by launching a cloud version of its BES12 technology.

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the Waterloo-based phone maker announced today a new cloud-based EMM solution designed to manage iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Samsung Knox, Android for Work and BlackBerry 10 smart phones and tablets.

The solution will be released later this month.

In a bid to boost sales that has dwindled to less than one per cent, BlackBerry released BlackBerry Enterprise Server 12 in November last year as a solution that could work over various mobile operating platforms.

Globally, iOS device account for more than 64 per cent of mobile devices in the workplace as of 2014, according to the Citrix Mobile Analytics Report for the first half of 2015. By comparison, Android powered devices hold just 27 per cent of the market share and Windows mobile devices account for a mere nine per cent.

The on-prem BES12 allows administrators to manage employee’s iPhones, Android and BlackBerry devices over cover networks.

BES12 Cloud is geared towards enterprises looking to manage mobile devices, protect their corporate data and enable employee productivity. The company also said that the cloud version contains the core functionality of the on-premise version but provides greater ease and simplicity and management and is geared towards SMBs that have limited resources but want to obtain and enterprise-grade EMM, according to the company. The new platform offers 100 per cent registration and purchase process and low monthly subscription.

New enhancements to BES12 on-premise are also now available. They include:

  • Government and Security Enhancements for BlackBerry 10: Enhancements build upon the end-to-end security enabled by vertical integration of BES12 EMM, BlackBerry Global Network Infrastructure and the BlackBerry 10 platform. New administrator capabilities include the ability to restrict and control access to specific BlackBerry 10 OS versions, configure message classification rules for work email, and perform wired activation of BlackBerry 10 devices with BES12 within tightly controlled, centralized deployments
  • Enhanced Android Management: BES12 version 12.1 adds support for Samsung KNOX Standard, the first phase of the BlackBerry and Samsung partnership which offers enhanced Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile Application Management (MAM) controls for Samsung Android devices. Support for the KNOX Workspace is planned for an upcoming release of BES12 which will also feature BlackBerry Secure Connectivity
  • Enhanced Administrator Experience: Enhancements to the streamlined BES12 administrator experience include seamless administrator sign-on into the BES12 console without requiring login credentials and dynamic support for new BES12 IT policy controls as new OS updates are introduced

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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