BlackBerry Enterprise IM Clients (OCS, Sametime, GroupWise) Get v2.5 Update

Most of RIM's enterprise-specific BlackBerry instant messaging and collaboration clients have been updated to version 2.5, adding credence to reports that the BlackBerry-maker's next major handheld OS release, v5.0, is just around the corner.

If you're a corporate BlackBerry owner who employs one of RIM's enterprise instant messaging (IM) clients, you can expect an updated messenger experience in the near future--assuming your IT department decides to take advantage of the latest and greatest Research In Motion (RIM) has to offer and deploys the available update.

RIM's BlackBerry IM Client for Microsoft OCS 2007 Download Page
RIM's BlackBerry IM Client for Microsoft OCS 2007 Download Page

RIM's enterprise IM clients bring secure messaging and collaboration features to BlackBerry users who connect to corporate mail servers like Microsoft's Exchange or IBM Lotus Domino via BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES). Consumers can think of these enterprise IM clients as similar to the popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) app, with more corporate security- and collaboration-oriented features.

RIM recently updated most of its enterprise IM clients from v2.2 to v2.5, including the clients for Microsoft's Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007, IBM Lotus Sametime and Novell GroupWise Messenger. The one RIM enterprise IM app that has not been updated is the client for Microsoft's Office Live Communications Server 2005.

As far as I can tell, RIM hasn't detailed the specific changes within the new enterprise IM apps, but I imagine they'll feature updated interfaces in line with what we've been seeing in recent consumer IM app updates, as well as in a recent BlackBerry Messenger "5.0" leak.

The timing of this release seems to suggest that RIM is one-step closer to announcing its next major BlackBerry handheld OS overhaul, BlackBerry handheld software v5.0. In May, while announcing the new BES 5.0, RIM said it expects to ship BlackBerry device software v5.0 during 2009, which means its official release shouldn't be too far off.

The standard BBM application that ships with all RIM smartphones is also in the process of being updated, and a widespread leak of the new software a number of weeks back gave the public a glimpse of what's to come.

However, it's rumored that this new BBM client for all BlackBerry users is being referred to by RIM as BBM 2.5, not BBM 5, which matches up with the official names of these new enterprise messaging apps, as well as the latest version of RIM's consumer IM apps.

The enterprise IM updates can be downloaded immediately from RIM's website by BlackBerry administrators and then deployed via BES. Jump over to RIM's site for additional information on the company's enterprise IM clients.

AS

Via @banthon

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