Research In Motions latest offerings for connecting wireless users to corporate messaging systems center on its improved BlackBerry Enterprise Server for Microsoft Exchange v. 3.6 ($4,999 direct). Add in one of the companys innovative voice/data devices—namely, the new BlackBerry 6710 Wireless Handheld ($499) that we tested—and you get a seamless enterprise solution that gives corporate users access to their business messaging systems and outside mailboxes.
On the server side, BlackBerry Server lets IT departments connect Microsoft Exchange (reviewed here) or Lotus Notes/ Domino servers to a wireless carrier. We installed the server product under both Exchange 5.5 and Exchange 2000. Having separate printed manuals for setting up each version is a plus here, since there are good number of prerequisites and tweaks for getting BlackBerry Server to run with Exchange correctly. After some trial and error and a few calls to RIM tech support, we were up and running with Exchange accounts for a department of 12 test users.
Managing your installation of BlackBerry Server in Windows is done through an impressive Microsoft Management Console (MMC) plug-in. The administration console is deep, with excellent control over setting policy-based defaults for your wireless users. A drop-down list with several dozen options let us set password, synchronization, and security options. For security, BlackBerry Server relies on Triple DES encryption while sending your data to carriers outside the corporate firewall.
For the full story, check out the PC Magazine article.