RIM Details Upcoming Cloud-Based BES; General Availability “Late 2011”
RIM today announced details about an upcoming, cloud-based version of its BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) for Microsoft Office 365, with hosted BES for other messaging platforms coming in the future.
By Al Sacco
Managing Editor, CIO
BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) today detailed its upcoming, cloud-based BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) offering during a media webcast.
News of a free, hosted BES service for Microsoft Office 365 users hit the Web yesterday, but RIM officially announced the service today. The Canadian company also said that support for additional popular messaging platforms should come in the not-so-distant future.
Cloud-based BES provides options to deploy and manage BlackBerry devices in the cloud, according to RIM. But it will not offer the full IT control and management options currently available within RIM’s full BES; instead, it will offer features similar to those found in RIM’s slimmed-down BES Express software.
The cloud-based BES will also support RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry Balance service, which is meant to help enterprises separate work and personal data on employees’ smartphones.
The new BES offering will be hosted by RIM, and as such, customers will see a number of benefits, according to Alec Taylor, RIM’s VP of software, services and enterprise marketing.
“RIM knows [the BES] product best, so you’re going to get a superior experience,” Taylor says. “And you’re always going to have the latest, up-to-date software,” since this new version of BES will be hosted by RIM and not stored on-premise, or hosted by its users.
RIM plans to make a closed beta of the new hosted BES available some time this year, with general availability expected in late 2011.
Cloud-based BES won’t likely replace the current BES, which organizations host on their own corporate servers, at least for the time being, because it does not offer the same security safeguards available in full BES. But Taylor sees many companies running a “hybrid environment” of cloud-based BES and older on-premise BES.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.