BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) is working on a new service to help secure enterprise smartphones while still giving users access to their favorite social networks, consumer-oriented websites and mobile applications, according to a post on Inside BlackBerry, RIM’s official blog.
From, Santiago Carbonell, a RIM handheld software product manager:
“People are buying smartphones for that rich personal experience, but then looking to bring that smartphone into the office to take their work with them as well. What we’re working on is building a platform of coexistence between these two lives on one device….RIM recognizes that enterprise employees are also consumers and we want to stay ahead of the curve by allowing those employees to do their jobs, but also take advantage of all the rich consumer-focused features that are a part of the BlackBerry smartphone.”
In typical RIM fashion, the company isn’t sharing many specifics. But the news comes in response to an ongoing trend in the enterprise-mobile space, in which more and more staffers are bringing their own personal smartphones to work and asking IT to connect them to corporate infrastructure.
There are numerous advantages and disadvantages for organizations that choose to allow personal-owned, or employee liable, devices. But ensuring sensitive company information on those employee BlackBerrys remains secure can be a real challenge.
In the past, RIM’s vast set of customizable IT policies within its BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) software—more than 400 of them—enabled BlackBerry administrators to block the installation of third-party apps, disable personal e-mail setup and block access to certain websites, among other things, all in the name of corporate security.
But that security came at a price: Blocking employees’ access to sites and applications like Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn also blocks any potential value, be it personal- or business-value, those staffers could derive from them.
This new product/service from RIM, which will presumably be an addition to BES, sounds like it’s meant to deliver the security and piece of mind BlackBerry admins require, while still providing employee access to consumer-oriented applications and websites via BlackBerry.
That’s all RIM’s sharing at this point, but the announcement could have a significant impact on both BlackBerry administrators and corporate users.
In related news, RIM’s new BES 5.0 SP2, which is expected to be released in the coming weeks, packs a number of new IT policies that will be specific to smartphones running BlackBerry 6, the next version of RIM’s mobile OS.
Via Inside BlackBerry
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