We have been talking a lot about employee-liable versus corporate-liable BlackBerrys for a long time here on BlackBerryCool. Ahmed Datoo of Zenprise summed it up best in this article about BES Express. The idea is that smartphones have become so prevalent that every organization needs to deal with devices on their network that haven’t been explicitly deemed “corporate safe”. These devices are called employee liable, as in the employee is liable for the device as it hasn’t been approved. There is no way to stop the shift towards employee liable devices, as employees are becoming much more aware of the smartphones they purchase, and being a player in the mobile industry requires you understand all platforms available.
On a post at the official BlackBerry blog, RIM soft announced a new feature for BlackBerry that deals with employee liable versus corporate liable devices. According to the post, RIM is working on building “a platform of coexistence between these two lives on one device.” A corporate BlackBerry user will be able to respond to corporate email but also be able to check fBBM and Facebook.
The blog post doesn’t say explicitly how this will be done, but specifically points to first party RIM apps. The new platform might be a new feature set in upcoming versions of BES or BES Express. However it’s implemented, it’s clear that this is something RIM needs to deal with immediately. Employee liable devices are becoming a larger issue for IT departments to manage, and BlackBerry should pioneer a means of effectively dealing with them without compromising the BlackBerry gold standard for security.