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Five Reasons BES10 WIll Be A Game Changer

Considering BlackBerry out of the game is like saying you won’t drink water out of your tap now knowing that Coke exists. If you are interested in securely managing data on your smartphones and tablets you will at least look at BES10 and BlackBerry10.  While the competition is definitely popular there is no question that the original is still best for business.

No question Android and Apple devices have come out with new sexy hardware, Operating systems, apps, and ecosystems of services.  BlackBerry has had basically the same hardware, OS, and apps (actually even less apps than before) for several years now.  One thing that has remained constant is that businesses love the management infrastructure and security of BlackBerry.

We have been taking approximately 1000 calls per year about how to manage Android and Apple devices like you can manage BlackBerry’s.  While there are definitely some slick solutions out there none of them really measure up quite the same.  What’s worse is that while all of these businesses are looking at MDM they have been doing a lot more looking than buying.  And every time RIM makes an announcement about the new BES10 or BB10 devices the calls slow down in anticipation of launch.  Most of said launches either fell short or never happened at all.

I’ve had the pleasure of getting out to the RIM campus in sunny Waterloo Ontario over the last few weeks for a deep dive into BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry Enterprise Server 10 (BES10).  We have a separate post ready about the things we like about BB10 but are not allowed by NDA to talk about them yet.  Here are the things that make BlackBerry and BES10 a potential game changer.

  1. No public API’s for BB10 – without an application programming interface into the BB10 Operating System, other MDM solutions like Airwatch and Mobileiron will not be able to manage BB10 devices. Because so many organizations have sacrificed much of their systems management and security in BYOD scenarios and settled on ActiveSync alone, BB10 will be manageable through ActiveSync and BES10 exclusively.
  2. Gatekeeper – prior to December 2012 BES10 did not have the ability to ensure that any device connecting to ActiveSync was enrolled on BES10.  Gatekeeper is a small piece of software that connects to ActiveSync to make sure that every device connecting to your network is enrolled in your BES10 MDM.
  3. Android and Apple support – since RIM acquired Ubitexx in 2011 they are now able to manage the other most popular mobile Operating Systems.  The integration is now complete in BES10, meaning through a single management station and single pane of glass you can manage all BB10, Android, and Apple devices.  Until this month the integration was piecemeal.
  4. Current install base – This is the big one.  Most organizations already have a BES.  This means they still have BES licenses.  Upgrading to BES10 is a relatively simple procedure and the licenses are transferrable.  This will give administrators and procurement teams a certain extra level of comfort.  It’s much easier to upgrade a solution than to deploy a completely new one from a manufacturer you’ve never worked with before.  The support cals will be transferrable.
  5. Balance – One of the things businesses are struggling with is how to wipe corporate data and leave personal data.  Because on most devices the user can easily save email attachments to the device or a cloud service it is impossible to know where that work data has gone.  At the root of the BlackBerry10 operating system, the kernel, is BlackBerry Balance.  With a single swipe the user can switch between a personal version of the phone and a work one.  Within the work area there is no mixing of the data and the administrators can prevent cloud apps from getting installed in the first place.  When the work area is wiped you have a much higher level of assurance that the data will no longer be available to the user.  The residual risk is still that the user may forward data to a personal email address however this can be prevented through policy or with a solution on the email server like Data Loss Prevention.
There has been a lot of investigation by businesses around how to manage all of the new smartphone operating systems available today.  RIM had this market on lock many years ago.  And now with a compelling new smartphone of their own and a management infrastructure people are used to there is a great chance that they will regain the seat on their proverbial MDM throne.
If you would like to discuss BlackBerry10, BES10, MDM, or BYOD strategy please reach out!

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Insecurity authored by asdfasdfasdfasdf. Read the original post at: http://stephenperciballi.blogspot.com/2013/01/five-reasons-bes10-will-be-game-changer.html