I’m here in Ottawa attending the BlackBerry Innovation Forum. It’s a full day of IT managers, CIOs and folks in charge of mobile deployments talking about new technologies. This year there’s a big focus on BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, RIM’s solution for managing BlackBerry, iOS and Android devices for deployments large and small. The crowd was full of BlackBerry fans with over 70% of the attendees sporting Playbooks.
Employee-liable devices have become a hot topic in mobile deployments over the past couple of years and RIM has pledged that they will be supporting both iOS and Android with BlackBerry Mobile Fusion.
BlackBerry Universal Device Service will be managed through BlackBerry Mobile Fusion Studio and is compatible with BESX, BES 5.0.3 and above. The highly scalable system will be able to handle device management, apps, configuration and security via a console that can be accessed both on PC and the BlackBerry Playbook. Also IT managers and CIOs can approve apps to be either mandatory installs or have a special My Work tab in App World similar to the My World tab except it contains all the apps that your company has pre-approved.
There was a lot of talk about BlackBerry Balance, which partitions a part of your mobile device specifically for encrypted corporate data. This makes it easy for IT to remove corporate data while leaving personal data intact. A hands-up poll of the crowd showed that almost no one has enabled BlackBerry Balance in their deployments and it suggested that a lot of employees were still carrying around two devices.
After the main session everyone was directed to follow-up sessions with the major Canadian carriers so that they could have an in-depth look at some of their latest offerings. My session with Telus revealed that while Mobile IT policies are being more open to additional apps and platforms, the policies themselves are getting more fragmented and corporate clients are looking for solutions to help make their mobile deployments a little easier to manage.
With the demand of more mobile platforms and tablets in the workplace, RIM has stepped up to the challenge of the consumerization of IT. With corporate-liable and employee-liable devices both on the rise, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to manage mobile deployments. BlackBerry Mobile Fusion is poised to make multi-platform management simple for IT departments everywhere.