BlackBerry Beefs Up Enterprise Focus With BES 12, Myriad Other Wares
"Our Enterprise Portfolio, with BES12 at its foundation, does so much more than just manage cross-platform devices," John Sims, BlackBerry's president of global enterprise services, said in a statement. "Among many other capabilities, the portfolio provides easy and safe access to corporate data, manages an array of employee IDs, and offers new ways to securely and conveniently collaborate with colleagues. Today's announcements demonstrate that BlackBerry is delivering on our promise to design and develop enterprise solutions that drive secure communications and collaboration for our customers." BES12 provides businesses with a single command and control center for managing the availability and usage of devices, apps, activities and mission-critical data, according to BlackBerry. Samsung Partnership for Android Also unveiled was a strategic partnership with Samsung Electronics that will provide highly secure mobility services for Android devices, according to BlackBerry. The services, which will be available in early 2015, will give enterprise users a tightly integrated, end-to-end service that brings together BES 12 with Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets as well as with Samsung's KNOX security offerings.Other new products were also introduced, including Enterprise Identity by BlackBerry and VPN Authentication by BlackBerry, which will allow enterprises to better ensure employee identity and access management for increased security. The VPN Authentication by BlackBerry product will allow businesses to securely connect mobile employees to their organization's network when and where it is needed, without the need for passwords or PINs, while using any iOS, Android or BlackBerry smartphone, according to BlackBerry. The VPN authentication application helps enterprises move away from traditional hardware tokens, while saving money on support and related costs, the company said. A new BlackBerry Meetings (BBM) mobile app was also unveiled, featuring voice and video conferencing between users of multiple types of operating systems, according to BlackBerry. Using BBM, users on Android or BlackBerry 10 smartphones will be able to conference with users on Windows PCs or Macs, improving collaboration with mobile workers. The service will work for up to 25 participants at a time. Also unveiled was WorkLife By BlackBerry, which allow enterprises to add a separate corporate phone numbers to personal devices brought in by their employees or for an employee to add a separate personal phone number to a device provided by a company. Using WorkLife, companies can split the expenses efficiently so that employees can be reimbursed for work-related use of a personal device or vice versa. Earlier in September, BlackBerry acquired Movirtu, a U.K. startup whose specialized software enables a smartphone to have more than one phone number. In October, Chen said he has high hopes for the upcoming BlackBerry Classic smartphone, according to a recent eWEEK report. At the enterprise mobility event, Chen announced that the new Classic phone will debut on Dec. 17 in New York City, Frankfurt and Singapore.
Bloomberg will be using the new Android services, Chris Behringer, Bloomberg's head of enterprise mobility, said at the event. "BlackBerry and Samsung's creation of an integrated enterprise solution for Android makes sense," Behringer said in a statement. "Security is a top priority for us, and this combined offering provides a new versatile option to the marketplace."