RIM Plans Wireless Appliance For SMB Market


Research in Motion is set to launch an economical hardware and software solution that small and midsize businesses can use to simplify the process of mobilizing email and other Blackberry applications, CRN has learned. The Blackberry Appliance is a preconfigured server that serves as a central link between wireless networks, applications and devices, enabling companies without an IT staff to provide secure access to wireless applications. The offering consists of a preconfigured rack-mounted server with Blackberry Enterprise Server software pre-installed, as well as 20 client access licenses, according to an internal RIM document viewed by CRN.

The solution integrates with Microsoft Exchange 2003 and is being sold on a 24-month purchase plan at $207 a month, which includes technical support and a two-year hardware warranty. The Blackberry Appliance will belong to the customer at the end of the two-year period, said a source who requested anonymity to protect his company’s relationship with RIM.

RIM, Waterloo, Ontario, also is offering an exchange program, in which the customer can have a new appliance sent out immediately in the event of a hardware failure, and six months of RIM’s Tx0 support package, which includes email support and 8×5 telephone support for one caller, according to the document.

RIM would neither confirm nor deny details of the Blackberry Appliance.

The Blackberry Appliance will gain widespread adoption in the SMB market because of the complexity and cost associated with setting up a Blackberry Enterprise Server, predicted Surya Jayaweera, CEO of Wolfetech Development, a BlackBerry solution provider in Claremont, Calif.

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