Devenyi said that the only restriction regarding the use of Mobile Fusion with BES is that it has to be version 5.0.3, which is the latest version of BlackBerry Enterprise Server. He said that it can be used in organizations of any size, and in conjunction with BES Express, which is intended for smaller enterprises. He also said that in addition to working with BlackBerry and PlayBook devices, it will work with BlackBerry 10 when that ships later in 2012.
A primary feature of BlackBerry Mobile Fusion is security. BlackBerry Mobile Fusion leverages Microsoft ActiveSync protocols for email and other data, and when strong security isnt needed, it will let email services run in an HTTPS environment. However, BlackBerry Mobile Fusion is designed primarily to maintain a BlackBerry Secure Connection from the business network to the device using end-to-end encryption. The apps necessary for this to work on iOS and Android devices are available in the respective app stores for each device.
RIM is also making BlackBerry Mobile Fusion available free on a 60-day trial so that companies can try it out before committing to a subscription. In addition to supporting iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices, including phones and tablets, Mobile Fusion is designed to set security and use policies, it supports multiple devices per user, and it performs asset control and configuration management.
Recognizing a growing trend in the mobile market, Mobile Fusion supports multiple devices per person, meaning you can manage someones BlackBerry smartphone and their iPad tablet at the same time.
BlackBerry Mobile Fusion is a significant step for RIM. While the company is struggling with device sales, it still has more than 77 million users globally. Many of those users are working in situations where data security and the related management tools are critical. While there are other MDM packages out there, BlackBerry has long been considered the gold standard by IT managers, which explains the persistence of BlackBerry devices in corporations, even if users dont always consider them cool.
By embracing the exploding BYOD trend, RIM is making a move that effectively outflanks its competition. While both Apple and Google allow management using ActiveSync, the implementation has varied and security wasnt always a given.
With BES, and now with Mobile Fusion, companies can basically get the benefits theyve demanded from BlackBerry devices without actually having to buy BlackBerry devices. This allows organizations significant flexibility to use the device that best fits their needs, while maintaining security and manageability. The real benefit is that it simplifies mobile device management across all of these platforms, Devenyi said.