The company reveals deals with Hewlett-Packard and Cisco, and a new application programming interface for developers.
Research In Motion announced a plethora of BlackBerry-related products at its eighth annual Wireless Enterprise Symposium on Monday, including deals with Hewlett-Packard and Cisco, a new application programming interface for developers, and the next generation of BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
The BlackBerry maker said it would collaborate with HP to bring enterprise software to its handsets. This deal will enable mobile users to wirelessly print documents using a BlackBerry handset and HP's CloudPrint service. HP also will bring its Operations Manager software to RIM's smartphones, providing an end-to-end view of enterprise apps running on the BlackBerry platform. The companies did not say when the software would be available.
"As businesses look for new ways to increase service levels, reduce operational costs, and improve productivity, they can meet these challenges by transforming how they manage the infrastructure that powers their mobile workforces," Ann Livermore, HP's executive VP of technology solutions, said in a statement. "Emerging models of communications and collaboration have created an opportunity for RIM and HP to provide service-based mobile solutions that deliver value to customers."
RIM also updated its BlackBerry Mobile Voice System Server in order to optimize it for Cisco's latest Unified Communications Manager. This enables users to make calls from the smartphone using either the corporate line or the BlackBerry phone number, as well as let the IT department route calls through the Unified Communications Manager to reduce long-distance calling charges. The updated server is available now through business channels or through RIM's Web site.
Developers also got some good news, as RIM said it would open up its push architecture for applications. This means content creators can make programs that deliver real-time information without having to constantly ping a server. RIM said this can lead to improved battery life, as well as innovative apps for news, weather, banking, and other categories.
The company also officially launched BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0. Like its predecessors, the BES 5.0 sits behind the corporate firewall and enables secure syncing between smartphones and the enterprise's messaging and collaboration software. The updated server improves administrative controls, enhances e-mail capabilities, and offers 450 security policies.
Mobile applications can boost a workforce's productivity but can bring up multiple questions about security. InformationWeek analyzed how to get a handle on locking down data when it's on the move, and the report can be downloaded here (registration required).
Building A Mobile Business MindsetAmong 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps – and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
. We've got a management crisis right now, and we've also got an engagement crisis. Could the two be linked? Tune in for the next installment of IT Life Radio, Wednesday May 20th at 3PM ET to find out.