BlackBerry Extends Respected Security Platform to iOS, Android
Even better for IT managers is the fact that BES 10.1 is a free upgrade. The cost per client device is the same as it's been, so there's no change for companies with currently installed BlackBerry devices. The cost for new devices is $99 per year per device, but that can be offset by reducing the requirement for a separate VPN. What BlackBerry brings to the table with BlackBerry Secure Work Space is a unified security environment that's able to provide a useful range of services to mobile users while also giving them the ability to continue using their existing consumer apps. The BES connection gives IT managers the ability to wipe the corporate part of the device while not touching the personal side. If all of this sounds a lot like BlackBerry Balance, that's because it is similar. But according to Totzke, it's not the same thing. "It's not the same user experience," he said. With BlackBerry Balance, the device has two partitions, one personal and one corporate that are walled off from each other. With Secure Work Space the business apps exist along with the consumer apps, but have a designation (such as a lock on the icon) to show that it's secure. Even though the apps appear on the same screen, the Secure Work Space apps still have a wall between them and the consumer apps. You cannot, for example, cut and paste between them.Considering that the once invincible iPhone is being eaten alive by Android these days, that's probably a good idea. If at some point Windows Phone starts taking off, as many analysts have predicted, then BlackBerry will make a version of Secure Work Space for that device, as Totzke said the company will make sure there are versions for whatever the next hot mobile device may be. Meanwhile, BlackBerry is offering the whole kit and caboodle as a free download for 90 days. The iOS and Android apps are available for download from their respective app stores.
In effect what BlackBerry has done in addition to delivering a mobile security platform to IT managers is to give them a way to keep buying services from BlackBerry regardless of whether they buy the company's devices. This helps ensure a continued revenue stream that's separate from the ups and downs of the device market.