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RIM's BlackBerry Fusion Adds Management For iOS, Android

RIM, known for strong device security and management, has come out with new console software that manages iOS and Android devices as well as its own BlackBerry and PlayBook.

Research in Motion (RIM) Tuesday launched BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, its mobile device management (MDM) product for enterprise users. With BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, RIM has added an MDM solution for iOS and Android users as well.

If there is one major advantage that the BlackBerry platform has over rival smartphone operating systems, it is its reputation for providing reliable devices designed for enterprise and government deployment. However, with the rising popularity of Google's and Apple's mobile operating systems, RIM chose to offer a Web-based console that could manage the three major mobile operating systems.

MDM tools allow IT administrators to deploy and manage an array of mobile devices securely and efficiently. "For businesses and government, managing a mix of mobile devices on any scale is chaotic. Organizations face pressure to allow employees to bring their own devices into the workplace," said Alan Panezic, VP of enterprise product management and marketing for RIM, in a press release. "BlackBerry Mobile Fusion allows organizations to manage a mixed environment of devices in the most secure, simple and cost efficient manner possible." Panezic said that the solution is designed for security, as "businesses and government do not have to move to the lowest common denominator on security for all the devices they need to manage."

BlackBerry Fusion provides companies managing iOS and Android devices with the following:
-- Support for multiple devices per user.
-- Application and software management.
-- Connectivity (Wi-Fi, VPN, certificates) management.
-- A centralized, easy-to-use, unified Web-based console.
-- Security and policy definition and management.
-- Asset management.
-- Configuration management.
-- Security and protection for lost or stolen devices (remote lock, wipe).
-- User- and group-based administration.
-- High scalability.

Mobile Fusion does not enable separating work applications from personal applications the way Blackberry devices can be managed, David Helt, senior director of product strategy, told BYTE. "BlackBerry Mobile Fusion for iOS and Android is currently focused on MDM capabilities and sandboxing is not part of this," he said. However, the Enterprise App Catalog, a feature that lets IT departments create a catalog of recommended apps that can be installed optionally by users, has been extended to iOS and Android devices, he said.

Blackberry Mobile Fusion is available as a free trial download. Licenses start at $99 per user, or $4 per user per month billed annually.

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