RIM Soft Announces New BlackBerry Feature for Employee-Liable Devices

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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.

Read the full interview on Inside BlackBerry.

  • Donny

    I don't think employee-liable BlackBerry devices are a concern for larger corporations. Many corporations have a piticular verbage stating non-employer purchased devices through a specific channel and a tracking method through that channel will be wiped & disabled with a clause freeing the corporation of liability of ANY personal data loss or personal functionality including the phone to which is tied to an employee ID which matches their SIN/SSN and employability documentation.

    PINs, IMEI's, ESN's are easily trackable with a specific group of employees access to verify information from providers. Also note that providers of BlackBerry's can & DO specific batch ordering and pre-account/device configurations before shipping/deployment by corporations. Very easy and simple to do.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/ Kyle McInnes

    Good point Donny. We now know that the new features in SP2 allow the corporation to wipe ONLY corporate data and keep the personal data in tact. It seems like a good compromise for businesses that want their employees to feel comfortable about using the device for personal without worrying that it will all be lost after a wipe.

    http://www.blackberrycool.com/2010/07/07/blackb