The handset business for BlackBerry is pretty much dust at this point, but to be attractive to a potential suitor there still has to be a little value somewhere.
Yesterday, at the Gartner Symposium in Orlando, Florida, BlackBerry previewed a new offering that will bring mobile device management, mobile application management, security, and self-service capabilities to businesses. The Cloud-based solution intends to give businesses flexibility and cost control, while ensuring that employees using their own devices for work will have an enjoyable but secure experience.
Instead of emphasizing that the solution solves BYOD problems, BlackBerry has done the smart thing and distanced itself from the tiring and increasingly detested BYOD acronym. BlackBerry's solution intends to solve the business problems first and just bring the consumer-owned devices along with it. To me, this makes a lot more sense. Too many are trying to fit business into the consumer space when it actually should be done the opposite way. So, instead of focusing on BYOD, BlackBerry is aligning its new solution to the Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) space.
Per BlackBerry's announcement (HERE) the new solutions will offer:
- Simple and fast deployment. No server hardware or software to install, just register and go.
- Administrators can easily manage and secure smartphones and tablets. The simple Web-based admin console will provide easy activation and deployment of BlackBerry, iOS and Android smartphones, app management, security policy configuration and compliance monitoring.
- Administrators can secure, deploy and manage apps. Administrators will be able to build a catalog of public apps from the App StoreSM, Google Play and the BlackBerry World storefront, and then view app distribution and usage for all users and devices.
- End-users can manage their own devices through the self-service console. End-users will be able to easily perform common management tasks such as setting up or changing device passwords and remote wipe and lock without relying on an administrator, giving them independence and saving on helpdesk calls.
The true beauty of BlackBerry's solution is that it is all Cloud-based, meaning IT does not need to budget for new hardware or software to take advantage of it right away. A single web-based console allows IT to register for the service and then start registering devices and configuring options for security and application deployment.
The solution, as yet unnamed, is currently undergoing a close beta program, but you can read more about the solution, and even sign-up for email updates here: http://www.blackberry.com/cloud
Interestingly, though touted as a mult-platform solution, there's no mention of support for Windows Phone.