RIM Details BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) 5.0.3 Features; Launch "Very, Very Soon"

RIM will release BES 5.0.3 in "early 2011," and the company announced specifics on the software with a number of new features.

BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) on Thursday officially announced details of its upcoming BlackBerry Enterprise Server update, BES v5.0 Service Pack 3, aka, BES 5.0.3, and the new enterprise software should be available "very, very soon," according to RIM's Pete Devenyi, VP, Communications Platform Group.

RIM Slide With Info on BlackBerry Balance
RIM Slide With Info on BlackBerry Balance

Speaking at a Business on BlackBerry press and analyst event in Boston, Devenyi said BES 5.0.3 will be available in early 2011. And the RIM VP also announced details on BES 5.0.3.

Back in October, I posted leaked RIM documents with the first official information on BES 5.0.3, and many of Devenyi's announcements are in line with the BES 5.0.3 details I shared. But Devenyi also offered information on a few new features I missed. More specifically, Devenyi touted a new BES 5.0.3 feature meant to help administrators manage employee-owned BlackBerry smartphones, called "BlackBerry Balance."

BlackBerry Balance offers BES admins full support for employee-owned BlackBerry smartphones at work, according to RIM. Specifically, BlackBerry Balance can delete only work data or applications from an employee-owned device, without affecting any personal data—admins can still perform a full wipe, if necessary. And BlackBerry Balance can remove all corporate IT policies from users' smartphones.

BlackBerry Balance also offers new safeguards to prevent users from cutting/copying/pasting/etc. work data into personal applications or BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) personal Web mail. Warnings can be activated to caution users whenever they're about to send e-mail or calendar invites outside of the company domain. Admins can prevent device backups, to protect potentially sensitive data, and they can control and encrypt work data stored on a media card. Finally, organizations can use BlackBerry Balance to prevent access to corporate data via third-party apps.

Additional noteworthy features in BES 5.0.3 include:

  • encrypted attachment support

  • Certification with Microsoft OCS 2007 RC2 and Microsoft Lync 2010

  • Support for assigning Wi-Fi and VPN to groups of users

  • Sortable columns with export capability in BlackBerry Administration Service

Check out my earlier, related post on the subject, "BlackBerry Admins Share Best BES 5.0.3 Features" And additional information on BES 5.0.3 should be available shortly on RIM's website.

AS

Al Sacco covers Mobile and Wireless for CIO.com. Follow Al on Twitter @ASacco. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline. Email Al at ASacco@CIO.com.

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