IBM and Research In Motion Ltd. have teamed up on a development partnership that gives RIM customers access to corporate applications not previously accessible from RIM BlackBerry devices.
IT managers now can connect the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) to IBMs WebSphere Everyplace Access (WEA) mobile middleware. This will let BlackBerry devices get to enterprise applications such as sales force automation software that are available through WEA.
Devices that run the Pocket PC and Palm operating systems can connect directly to WEA without another server. Previously RIM has competed with IBM in the mobile access space.
IBM officials said there are no plans to replace the RIMs server with WEA.
"The BES remains in the picture," said Jonathan Prial, a vice president of business development at IBM in Somers, N.Y. "They have a tight tie between the device and the server. For us, this rounds out the ability to make sure all devices are supported [by the WEA]."
The partnership should make it easier to develop customer applications for the BlackBerry as well, Prial said.
The BES/WEA bridge solution is available now.
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