by Al Sacco

RIM to Discontinue BES Express for IBM Lotus Domino?

Jun 22, 20112 mins
MobileSmall and Medium BusinessSmartphones

RIM could soon stop offering its free BES Express for IBM Lotus Domino to SMBs and other small organizations, though the Microsoft Exchange version should still be available.

UPDATED: I just received a message from RIM, and the company says it is not currently planning to discontinue BES Express for Domino. However, I trust my source, and I will continue to monitor the situation closely.

BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) released its BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) Express software for IBM Lotus Domino less than one year ago, but the company could soon discontinue the offering, according to a source familiar with the situation.

RIM's New BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express
RIM’s New BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) Express

BES Express is a slimmed-down version of RIM’s widely used “full” BES software that organizations can download for free for access to a subsection of the mobile device management and security features packed into the full BES, which can be quite pricey. (Read more about the differences between BES and BES Express.)

My source, who shall remain nameless due to NDAs with RIM and partners, tells me that the company is currently planning to cease distribution of BES Express for Lotus Domino, though no details on timing are available at this point. RIM is expected to continue offering BES Express for Microsoft Exchange.

Why RIM would discontinue one of its enterprise-oriented offerings when its position in the corporate smartphone world is one of the company’s true advantages over competitors is a bit of mystery. But perhaps RIM simply didn’t see the uptake in BES Express for Domino that it expected or needed.

RIM also seems to be cozying up to Microsoft lately—Steve Ballmer even spoke at RIM’s largest event of the year, BlackBerry World, in May to announce a new search-oriented partnership. So perhaps the idea is to make Microsoft Exchange seem more attractive to SMBs with BlackBerry deployments, since BES Express would be exclusive to Exchange.

Read more on the latest version of BES Express or download the software from RIM’s website.