Continuing the post-BBDC trend of providing great support and tools for the BlackBerry ecosystem, RIM has published BES compatibility matrices for IT Admins. Matrices for Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino, and Novell GroupWise are provided, detailing operating systems, versions of IM infrastructures and database servers, and so on. You can find these valuable resources in .PDF format at the link below.
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Our good friend Ronen over at BerryReview has noticed that whispers of Maintenance Release 2 for BES 4.1 Service Pack 6 have been circling around the RIM partner website, which means it should be available for release fairly soon. We’ll let you know when it’s live, but the meantime, you can read documentation of the changes at the link below.
RIM sent out emails last night informing IT Admins that BlackBerry Enterprise Server v4.1 Service Pack 6 Maintenance Release 1 for Microsoft Exchange is now available for download. Admins can head to http://www.blackberry.com/go/serverdownloads to access the software update, documentation, and any additional information.
Unfortunately, at this moment, the SP6 maintenance release doesn’t actually appear on the server downloads page, but expect it to be up by the end of the day.
Looks like RIM made a boo boo and the SP6 maintenance release is actually for Lotus Domino, not Microsoft Exchange! Oops! Oh well, there is a live link for downloads, however. Go nuts, Admins!
Thanks for the heads up, Alex! And the correction, Andy!
Now here’s an interesting service. Telus just announced Outlook Voice Access for their hosted Exchange server, which lets users dictate, listen and forward e-mails through their BlackBerry, as well as a bunch of other web-based Outlooky options, like access agendas, documents and contacts. Hosted Exchange is a fine option for SMBs, and this new Outlook Voice Access is some fine icing on the cake. You’re looking at $14/month for the professional plan, plus another $10/month for BlackBerry syncing, but there are a few other BlackBerry voice services through Telus that might be worth looking into. For more details, head on over here.
After much ado, the latest BlackBerry Enterprise Server service pack is available, complete with free/busy lookup and monitoring tools. Rich e-mail viewing was cut from the feature list not too long ago, to the dejected sighs of suits everywhere. On top of that, the release seems to be only for Exchange and Domino, so MDS and Groupwise users will have to play the waiting game.
UPDATE: Heard from a little birdie that the rich text e-mail feature is actually in this service pack, just locked away. Even if you flipped the switch with an SQL command, the handhelds on your BES would need the corresponding handheld software to enjoy the long-awaited feature.
Today BoxTone has busted out a new asset management module, which will let BES admins track volume, inventory and security of BlackBerry devices, as well as pinpoint inactive BlackBerrys which are uselessly draining your enterprise’s budget. They’ve got a slew of other modules, including one for help desk personnel. BoxTone is a BES administration system very similar to Zenprise with a few twists. For one, they support Lotus Domino servers in addition to Exchange. Secondly, BoxTone has a core product for which you can buy additional modules that expand the basic functionality, this way BoxTone can be tailored to whatever your BES setup is like.
There’s been some debate over the differences between the Zenprise and BoxTone (mainly revolving around the presence of a web-based interface), but we’re going to be taking a closer look at both real soon just to see what the key selling points are. If you’ve got any experience with either, feel free to drop a comment.