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11/29/2011
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RIM Set To Manage Android And iOS Devices

For mostly-BlackBerry organizations, RIM's new product offers broad support with a familiar administrative look and feel.

RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Teardown
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Teardownr
Research In Motion on Tuesday announced its multiplatform BlackBerry Fusion Mobile, a single system for managing Android and Apple iOS based devices, including both smartphones and tablets. Originally discussed by the company back in May, the multiplatform product is a result of RIM's acquisition of Ubitexx, a multiplatform mobile device management vendor based in Germany.

According to RIM's announcement, BlackBerry Fusion Mobile will encompass BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0.3, which specifically provides services for BlackBerry phones. As such, the Fusion Mobile system will provide to all devices under management many, but not all, of the of the management capabilities found in Enterprise Server 5.0.3. Common to all phones are abilities such as asset and configuration management, security and policy definitions, remove lock and wipe, user and group-based administration, and application management.

Some features of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server will not be available to non-BlackBerry devices, included in this list are such things as BlackBerry Balance, which allows users one device for both personal and work use, and over-the-air app and software installation and management.

[ Is RIM losing its grip on enterprise IT departments? Learn more about the competition by reading Android Vs. iOS Vs. Windows Phone 7: Enterprise Shootout. ]

The primary advantage for existing RIM customers is that all RIM, Apple, and Android devices can now be managed from the same console, through an interface that is already familiar to enterprise RIM administrators.

RIM says the product is entering its early beta testing stage, and that the company is taking nominations for participation in a closed beta program that will start in January. The company expects general availability in late March.

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jrapoza
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jrapoza,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/30/2011 | 8:59:37 PM
re: RIM Set To Manage Android And iOS Devices
Yeah, this is pretty much a necessity for them. They do have a lot of skill here and could be one of the better MDM providers eventually.

Jim Rapoza is an InformationWeek Contributing Editor
ThePrisoner6
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ThePrisoner6,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/29/2011 | 8:00:56 PM
re: RIM Set To Manage Android And iOS Devices
This is a good move for RIM to make, albeit a bit overdue. I realize they were invested in their own hardware and have been reluctant to support other platforms amid concern that sales of the blackberry and/or playbook might suffer as a result. Now that this concern has been all but realized, dare I say that we are seeing a glimmer of humility, or simply a last-ditch effort on the part of RIM to hold on to what little remaining enterprise business it has left? Perhaps it is too soon to tell. For my part, I have a tendency to root for the underdog, so I hope they succeed in carving out a niche for themselves. Competition is always a healthy thing to see - in any industry.
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