RIM BlackBerry Management Center Aimed at Small Businesses

The service is designed for businesses with up to 100 BlackBerry smartphones that access email services.

BlackBerry smartphone manufacturer Research In Motion announced the debut of the BlackBerry Management Center, a free online service for small to medium-size businesses to centrally manage company- or employee-owned BlackBerry smartphones in the cloud and protect business-related content stored on the handsets. The service is designed for businesses with up to 100 BlackBerry smartphones that access email services from an Internet service provider or Web-based email services like Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo.

Small businesses can use the service to:

  • wirelessly back up BlackBerry smartphones automatically on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to aid in the recovery of lost business-related content stored on the handset;
  • protect content on an employee's lost or stolen BlackBerry smartphone by remotely locking it and, if necessary, wiping the contents, including the microSD card;
  • locate a lost BlackBerry smartphone by remotely locking it, initiating a loud ring and displaying a message on the home screen;
  • easily restore the settings and content on a new or replacement device; or
  • reset a password.

"We are pleased to introduce RIM's latest cloud service designed specifically for small businesses," said Alan Panezic, vice president of enterprise product management at RIM. "BlackBerry Management Center is a free service and an effective way to centrally manage and support employees' BlackBerry smartphones in the cloud."

In other RIM news, Verizon Wireless announced the new BlackBerry Bold 9930 smartphone, which measures only 10.5 mm and is the first BlackBerry Bold to integrate a touch display with a BlackBerry keyboard. BlackBerry Balance is integrated in the BlackBerry 7 operating system, allowing customers to get the full BlackBerry smartphone experience for both work and personal use. The smartphone is available for $249.99 with a two-year customer agreement.

BlackBerry Balance allows secure access to business information while preventing the information from being copied into, sent from or used by personal applications. An administrator can also remotely wipe business information from the device while leaving personal information intact.

Other features include a 2.8-inch touch-screen display, a 5-megapixel camera with flash and 720p HD video recording capabilities, and a full backlit QWERTY keyboard with trackpad navigation.

In addition, the smartphone's universal search capability now supports voice-activated search, allowing customers to say what they want to find on their device or the Web, and an updated Social Feeds app that has been extended to capture updates from media, podcasts and more in one consolidated view. The premium version of Documents To Go is now included at no additional cost, offering customers enhanced document editing features, as well as a native PDF document viewer.