Originally announced in May, the integration enables Google Apps Premier users to access their Google e-mail, contacts, and calendars on BlackBerry handsets as if they were built-in functions of the device. Additionally, IT departments will still be able to monitor and manage access to corporate networks with familiar tools.
The integration means corporate Gmail users can have e-mails pushed to their handsets within a minute, as well as synchronization of deleted e-mails, labels, and folders. Mobile workers can also have their Gmail contacts synched with their BlackBerry smartphones over the air.
At the moment, there's only one-way synchronization between Google Calendar and the smartphones. The search giant said it is working on two-way calendar synching for scheduling, accepting, and declining meetings. The Google Apps Connector for BES can be downloaded free on Google's Web site.
This is just the latest move by the search giant to woo enterprise users away from Microsoft, as it is in the midst of a large marketing campaign to get companies to switch to its corporate apps. Getting BlackBerry support is a key factor in reaching this audience, as RIM has a dominant grip on the enterprise mobility market.
Google is also expected to go head-on with RIM for mobile professionals in the near-future, as the company will bake in enterprise-friendly features in its Android operating system in future updates. The company may have a hard time besting the BlackBerry maker though, as a report from J. Gold Associates estimates RIM will capture nearly 60% of the enterprise field in 2011, while Android will nab 4.8% in three years.
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