RIM is offering free Enterprise Server Express software for extending IBM Lotus Notes to BlackBerry smartphones. The software offers tools for both end users and IT staff.
Research In Motion is now offering free BlackBerry Enterprise Server
Express software for extending IBM Lotus Domino to employees'
BlackBerry handsets. Among other features, the software securely and
wirelessly synchronizes e-mail, calendar, contacts, notes and tasks
between the smartphones and IBM's Lotus Domino.
"BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express is a free download that is
designed for businesses of all sizes," Jeff McDowell, senior vice
president of Enterprise and Platform Marketing at RIM, said in a Nov. 5
statement. "It provides an easy way for businesses to get started using
BlackBerry smartphones with IBM Lotus Domino, and it's also an ideal
no-cost software solution for businesses that want to allow their
employees to connect their personal BlackBerry smartphones to their
The software is now available for download on the RIM site
The blurring line between personal and work devices has long been a
frustration for enterprise IT staffs, but it's also worked to the
advantage of companies such as RIM, which has looked to market its
handsets to consumers as well as enterprise workers. During an earnings call in June
RIM Co-CEO Jim Balsillie announced that non-enterprise customers "now
represent over half of the total BlackBerry subscriber account base."
Enterprise are nonetheless still a major focus for the company,
known for its top-notch security and push email, and the free software
is one more way to court companies, particularly small businesses, in a
The RIM offer additionally arrives as Dell, a newcomer to the
smartphone world, has announced a plan to replace its employees'
BlackBerry smartphones with Microsoft Windows Phone 7-running Dell
smartphones - and to set up a service to help other businesses do the
same. Dell told the Wall Street Journal
that the switchover will enable it to save 25 percent, though other businesses will see somewhat reduced savings.
Mark Guibert, RIM senior vice president of corporate marketing, told
eWEEK he's doubtful of such savings. Guibert noted RIM's offer of the
free software, and said that "BlackBerry smartphones are far more
efficient with respect to data usage, which means that their monthly
service charges will also likely increase."
In addition to secure wireless syncing, the BlackBerry Enterprise
Server Express software enables BlackBerry owners to manage email
folders and search email on the mail server; to book meetings,
accept meetings, check availability and forward calendar attachments;
to send out-of-office replies; access files stored on the company
network; and to access business systems store behind a corporate
To IT administrators, the software offers tools to allow employees
to secure lost or stolen devices; more than 75 controls and security
policies, such as the ability to remotely wipe a lost device; and a
Web-based interface for deploying applications over the air and
The free Express software can also be run in parallel with the
premium version of the RIM's BlackBerry Enterprise Server software.
"There's tremendous growth in work force mobility, from small
businesses through to major corporations, and there is clear evidence
that shows how smartphones can increase organizational responsiveness,
improve productivity and help employees make the most of their time,"
Ed Brill, IBM's director of messaging and collaboration, said in a
statement. "BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express is a great opportunity
for businesses to cost-effectively extend Lotus Domino to more
employees on BlackBerry smartphones."