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11/20/2012
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RIM MDM Review: Beyond BES, Not There Yet

It's not an easy option unless you're a heavy-duty BlackBerry shop.

BlackBerry in its heyday took our email mobile. And BlackBerry Enterprise Server was one of the most complete, secure and feature-rich mobile device management products around. Early this year, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion added the ability to manage Android and iPhone devices.

The pitch was great: Keep using those BlackBerrys, but for employees who insist on using another kind of phone, say yes and still manage those with RIM tools. Unfortunately, the system disappointed in our test.

Managing BlackBerrys is the same process, but RIM PlayBooks and non-BlackBerry devices require more work. The biggest problem was complex configuration and the lack of integration among platforms. BES manages BlackBerry phones, a platform called Mobile Fusion Studio handles PlayBooks, and Universal Device is for Android and iOS phones. Each has slightly different processes for activation and enrollment.

RIM is working to fix the multiple-console problem; halfway through the review it released a new version that provides better integration and features, so the platform will get better.

RIM's product includes standard MDM features for iOS and Android, including app whitelists and blacklists. But it doesn't include file vault or integrated corporate Web browsing, reporting is weak and enrollment isn't easy. Unless you're a heavy-duty BlackBerry shop, we advise skipping this option.

For a longer review, see our MDM Report

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