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Blackberry IOS Android Businesses Communications IT

RIM To Offer Multiplatform Device Management 55

Aryden sends this quote from an IDG News report: "Research In Motion is taking on mobile device management for Android and Apple iOS devices as well as its own products, introducing the BlackBerry Mobile Fusion product, on Tuesday. BlackBerry Mobile Fusion is designed to simplify the management of phones and tablets that run RIM's current BlackBerry OS and the emerging BBX platform, which is based on the QNX software that currently powers RIM's PlayBook tablet. But Mobile Fusion will also manage devices using the two biggest mobile OSs, Android and iOS."
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RIM To Offer Multiplatform Device Management

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  • So they're creating an alternative way of working with the iPhone? Oh man, apple lawsuit incoming.
    • Re:Oh Dear (Score:5, Informative)

      by CohibaVancouver ( 864662 ) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @05:11PM (#38206924)

      So they're creating an alternative way of working with the iPhone? Oh man, apple lawsuit incoming.

      As of iOS 4.3, Apple has an extensible set of APIs that allow third-party applications to manage iDevice endpoints in the Enterprise (iPads / iPhones, even iPods). Apple refers to this as "MDM" (Mobile Device Management). There are already numerous players in this space.

      More here:

      http://www.apple.com/iphone/business/integration/mdm/ [apple.com]

      So no, no lawsuit coming, particularly as Apple doesn't actually make these tools themselves.

      • Apple do have a MDM solution in Lion Server called Profile Manager. Its web based (server-side is Python with a Postgres DB).

        Its a little flakey, but not too bad once you get over some of the undocumented "features" (like don't put certificates to be pushed out in the Everyone profile, or you'll get exceptions in Server.app)

  • Late march? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lev13than ( 581686 ) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @04:57PM (#38206774) Homepage

    RIM also announced that Mobile Fusion is in early beta testing and will be released in "late March [latimes.com]". Not trying to flame here, but does anyone seriously believe RIM's ship date projections any more? Have any of their devices or software packages shipped on schedule in the last two years? Here's hoping that they've learned how to calculate an appropriate Scotty Factor.

    • I have heard too many bad things from the developer tools to software for managing the things to trust them with much of anything. It seems to me the best thing that they can do is improve their developer tools to a level similar to Visual Studio or XCode, and not release things earlier then needed.
  • Use Mobile Fusion instead of the available solutions for ISO and Android? Does RIM have some upper-hand on management software? Just curious.
    • by bananaquackmoo ( 1204116 ) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @05:08PM (#38206880)
      Because you can manage multiple platforms from one place knowing one set of rules? I thought that would be obvious...
    • by AdamJS ( 2466928 ) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @05:08PM (#38206882)

      It's transitional (or rather, I assume, coexistent) software for businesses that are already using RIM's offerings. A gamble to keep them sort of under their same umbrella under the guise of "it's part of our overall cohesive ecosystem so it'll work better than option X."

      • I see the value in that, but I'm not sure I understand the business case for making it easier for your customers to migrate off your system and onto your competitors. At some point, someone in an MDM-using company is likely to notice that all their users have transitioned to iPhones and Droids and will wonder why they're paying for both Exchange and the RIM software which does mostly just the same thing.

        • by schnell ( 163007 ) <(ten.llenhcs) (ta) (em)> on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @07:40PM (#38208722) Homepage

          At some point, someone in an MDM-using company is likely to notice that all their users have transitioned to iPhones and Droids and will wonder why they're paying for both Exchange and the RIM software which does mostly just the same thing.

          Exchange and MDM systems like BlackBerry BES, Good For Enterprise etc. only "do the same thing" if all you care about is basics like push e-mail and passwords/locking. Any company that takes mobile device management seriously (e.g. device application restrictions, e-mail/URL filtering, etc.) will always need more than the basic Exchange functionality. So they are always going to have Exchange PLUS *some* MDM system, but what they won't want to have is Exchange + BES + some other MDM for all the other devices. Since today BES only works with BlackBerries and those other MDM systems work with all the other devices, companies are forced to either support two or choose between them. This is a smart move for RIM, given that those companies might end up ditching BlackBerries so they don't have to pay for two MDM systems and now they can have one MDM system that will work for all devices.

        • by AdamJS ( 2466928 )

          I think it's around for the same reason that Adobe's official Flash-to-iOS and Flash-to-HTML5 conversion tools and tutorials are.

          They want to reposition themselves in the ecosystem such that they'll still have a slice of the pie if/when their primary investment (the actual BlackBerry) fades into obscurity or irrelevance.
          Even if this means accelerating that slide.

    • Just a guess, and perhaps an incorrect one, but it'll probably play nicely with existing BES setups. Our large (>35k people) company is still probably 90% BB, and upper management has been very reluctant to move away. We do currently use the McAfee EMM product (shoot me, I know) to sync iPhones with our Exchange servers, but there seems to be an extremely strong anti-Android movement upstairs so no love for us yet. Even though this is a RIM product, I'm all for adopting it here if it will streamline t
    • Yes, they do.

      It's called an "Installed Base" and it includes pre-existing configuration, know-how and reputation (trying to speak from a BES admin perspective (which I'm not anymore)).

    • by jbolden ( 176878 )

      Yes they do. For example BES allows you to tie devices into a corporate PBX so that you can have a dial by name directory that works for cells. So for example you call Ken Black on your BlackBerry the blackberry does a lookup and sees that Ken is using an office phone in Seattle and dials you directly to that. The next day you call the same name and it sees he's in his car. That's not forwarding BTW those are direct connection sending signals back to the PSTN.

      Apple and Google don't have anything remotely

  • by Anonymous Coward

    A thousand times I do not want!!!

  • I like this play. They've realized they have to open up in order to stay relevant at all. Managing other platforms is a great step one.

    Step two, though, is to phase out BleakBerry OS and go to a modified Android for their handsets. They could bring a lot of good, missing functionality (and focus) to Android, and have a killer product. Perhaps they could provide some of the apps to all android users (for a small fee, of course).

    Naturally the thing to do is to not announce this path, though. It will just make

    • I like the idea in principle...but I don't see how they move past...and this just baffles me...the whole idea of me sending my emails through someone else's servers when...ugh...it makes my skin crawl.

      Okay, my blood's up. Blackberry...it's on.

      I don't even know where to start so I'll start with the Curve. I do believe that this product died a very swift death but that it made it out the door in the first place is beyond me. You had to *press down* on the screen to get it to register an input. WHATWHATWHA

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Your post sounds almost entirely wrong.

        "You had to *press down* on the screen to get it to register an input. WHATWHATWHAT? Who greenlighted that?"

        It's called a resistive touch screen, rather than capacitive. Resistive has it's advantages in that it works even with gloves on (try your capacitive touch screen with that) or with a stylus. It's also more accurate and with a stylus or similar can handle per-pixel detection. Resistive touch screens also work in a much wider range of climates, they work better in

      • One might call RIM brilliant in one way...getting shedloads of people to have their email forcibly routed to a third party before delivery. None of this is encrypted...so you're giving RIM access to your email account. I don't care what their "license agreement" says or doesn't say, I'll bet there's at least one douchebag at RIM that gets his jollies off by reading CEOs emails. Certainly, email is unsecure to begin with, but to just give them...nay, have them taken by a third party before deliver

        Just to be clear, corporate customers running BES have end-to-end encryption. The encryption key is generated by the BES, and not even RIM has access to it. Why do you think all those middle eastern countries were up in arms about wanting to read BB messages? RIM doesn't want to give up this feature, and neither do their corporate customers.

    • by narcc ( 412956 )

      Step two, though, is to phase out BleakBerry OS and go to a modified Android for their handsets.

      I've heard this before. It's, quite possibly, the worst idea ever. Not only would RIM then become "just another android phone vendor", they'd be giving up QNX. As you already know, QNX is the most advanced,capable, stable, and secure mobile OS around.

      Besides, with BBX comes the ability to run Android apps. While it won't convert all apps, the limitations are not nearly as vast as the barely-informed on Slashdot would have you believe. Essentially, if it's a "normal" app (like a game, calculator, whatev

  • Ok, so two things play into this here:

    1) RIM is behind the curve in mobile devices by one or two generations when it comes to mobile web, app development and app distribution. ... In terms of development it's more like 3+ generations behind. What they *do* have going for them is some of their core software products, namely the calendar and the contacts on RIM devices. I have yet to find one of those that is notably better on devices 4 years or more younger that come from the android of apple camp.
    If they'd

    • Just FYI but my iPhone syncs personal email, contacts, calendars, bookmarks, apps, music, photos and OS updates over the air. It also syncs (push) my work email, contacts, address book, calendar and notes over the air from Exchange.

      It's done all of the standard syncing for over two years now and the rest since iOS 5 came out.

      Other than setting up standard account info it's all 100% transparent to me. Stuff just shows up on the phone.

  • Too late (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pudding7 ( 584715 ) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @08:17PM (#38209116)
    20 minutes ago I powered down our BES for the last time. Got all my Blackberry users over to iPhones and Android two months ago. It felt so good knowing that my last annual support payment was the final one. It really wasn't even me driving the migration away from Blackberry, it was my users basically demanding iPhones and Incredibles. Nobody here has cared about a RIM launch in ages.
    • Yep, same here. Whatever criticisms people might have of the iOS platform, syncing works great. My wife and I publish our calendars and address books to each other and that all stays in sync over 2 phones, 2 MacBooks and an iPad. I find it highly amusing how many of my friends don't sync their devices at all, or when they do it's an couple of hours with the phone plugged into a laptop via USB.
  • You core strength is ( was? ) good hardware/software integration along with the server side stuff. That is what got enterprises ( and later on , end-users ) hooked on to the BlackBerry. You have always made good hardware. It's the software part that you seriously suck at. This is not because you have bad engineers. This is because you have lost focus.

    This "multiplatform device management" BS is just another one of your mistakes. You are using publicly available API's for managing iOS and Android devices.

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.