BlackBerry Management Centre Launched For SMBs

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RIM’s new free online management service simplifies smartphone security and requires no technical expertise

Small businesses with BlackBerrys now have free access to some of the security and data management functionality previously reserved for BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) customers.

The BlackBerry Management Center launched today by Research In Motion (RIM) allows SMBs to centrally manage company and employee owned BlackBerrys from the cloud via an online interface that BlackBerry says requires little to no technical skills.

RIM Vice President of enterprise product management Alan Panezic said the BlackBerry Management Center service was an effective way for SMBs to manage and support employees’ smartphones in the cloud.

It is designed for businesses with up to 100 BlackBerrys that access email services from ISPs or web-based email services like Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo.

Remote security

The new service supports automatic wireless data back-ups and remote locking and wiping of content, including from the microSD card. The backup function allows for all settings and data to be restored on recovered or replacement phones.

As well as remotely locking lost phones, a burglar alarm type function, which initiates a loud ring and a message on the home screen can help locate lost devices.

Interested businesses can sign up for BlackBerry Management Center at www.blackberry.com/managementcenter. It is compatible with OS 4.6 and above and no software download is required.

The mobile question

At the start of the year, research firm In-Stat said it expected smartphone sales to reach 850 million globally by 2015. More and more of these devices find their way into the enterprise through consumerisation by tech savvy employees, raising the question of liability for security.

Securing mobile devices is fast becoming a hot issue. According to analysts IDC, enterprise mobile management and security market in Western Europe is set to explode in value to $763 million (£470m) by 2015, up 30 percent on 2010.

It said last week that, driven by the consumerisation of IT, the acceleration of mobile enterprise applications, and cloud computing, enterprise mobile security and management is coming to a head.

Nicholas McQuire, IDC research director for Mobile Enterprise Strategies said at the time: “Enterprise mobility is becoming mission-critical, but implementing security, policy, and compliance across a diverse set of devices, networks, and applications remains a hurdle.”

Meanwhile, on 3 August RIM launched three new BlackBerrys in London, the first to run on the company’s updated BlackBerry 7 OS.

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