BlackBerry Work/Personal Spaces Come to iOS, Android
Recognizing that so many of its customers use iPhones and iPads and Android devices, BlackBerry will add support for the separate and secure work and personal spaces that comprise BlackBerry Balance on the new BB10 operating system. BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) administrators can manage the Apple and Android devices as well as BlackBerries.
Secure Work Space for iOS and Android is a feature originally exclusive to the BlackBerry platform and central to the BlackBerry Balance features of the new BlackBerry 10 OS. It gives IT administrators the ability to create a work environment on employee smartphones, separate and secure from personal apps and data. The addition of Secure Work Space for iOS and Android seems to be part of a move toward the growing BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend that's becoming increasingly popular in corporate environments as more employees adopt smartphones, many of which are not BlackBerry devices.
A majority of these employees prefer to have one handset, and keep it for both personal and work use. Sandboxing, or separating personal use apps from workplace apps, is a concern for businesses they want a way to keep those profiles apart, and they want to do it securely.
Applications like Divide for iOS and Android already offer the ability to separate the work apps from those for personal use. The advantage to BlackBerry's solution is that it's administered through BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), which many companies already have in place, making it easier to integrate iPhone and Android devices. Furthermore, BlackBerry still has a strong reputation for its security in the corporate world.
Workspace isn't a typical app download. Rather, it's a solution integrated into BES 10. IT admins can choose which applications and services are available to the device, be it tablet or smartphone, from the back end.
BlackBerry may not be the superpower business- and government-class smartphone company it once was, but as long as it knows where its strengths are, it can maintain a strong presence in the corporate world. That seems to be the goal.
BlackBerry issued this statement to BYTE:
We recently announced that we will be offering Secure Work Space for iOS and Android to our enterprise customers. Secure Work Space will separate corporate data from personal data on iOS and Android devices in order to protect corporations, and to ensure personal privacy of employees. Secure Work Space will be managed through BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 and will secure data at rest and in transit. We plan to offer a Beta program to our enterprise customers in the very near future. We will share details on availability soon.