MWC 2014: BlackBerry Launches BES 12 And BBM For Enterprises

BlackBerry has announced a new version of its mobile device management platform, BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 (BES 12), which will launch in late 2014, while it also plans to release an enterprise version of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).

BES 12 will unify BES 5 and BES 10 and claims to be both backwards compatible and future-proof in order to make it easier for business to migrate to the new version, which adds support for Windows Phone 8 for the first time, alongside existing compatibility with Android, iOS and BlackBerry 10.

It brings new management options, such as proactive monitoring and system tuning, as well as improved cloud capabilities. Ahead of the full release, the software will be available through the early adopter programme which launches in the summer.

Windows Phone 8 support

“BES10 is the only mobility management solution that meets the highest security demands of regulated industries and is also flexible enough for BYOD,” said John Sims, president of Global Enterprise Solutions at BlackBerry. “This value proposition is why the new BES12 architecture is designed to ensure that the more than 80,000 existing BES customers can seamlessly migrate forward.”

BlackBerry is also offering a two-tiered pricing structure to BES10, which will see businesses able to choose from silver or gold packages from the end of March. Silver offers full device, email and application management for BlackBerry, iOS and Android devices, as well as BlackBerry Balance features for BB10 smartphones, while Gold adds security features for regulated and secretive organisations, along with BlackBerry Secure Work Space for iOS and Android.

BBM for enterprises

It is claimed that 85 percent of BES customers also use BBM and BlackBerry is keen to tap into this popularity by offering enterprise-specific versions of the instant messaging app. The first BBM application will be called BBM Protected and will allow owners of BlackBerry 10 devices in BES environments to send colleagues encrypted messages, while using the same app to send messages to their friends outside a work environment.

BBM Protected will not require an OS update and is expected to be available in the summer.

“BBM has always been an important tool for business users who want real-time messaging that is reliable, trusted and puts control of contacts and personal information in users’ hands,” adds Sims. “With the introduction of the eBBM Suite and BBM Protected, we will provide regulated industries and security-conscious organizations with a powerful and best in class instant messaging solution.”

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Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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