Research in Motion (RIM) has announced BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0, with a number of new capabilities to simplify the use of BlackBerry smartphones in the enterprise. Whereas most smartphones are criticized for having weak functionality in the enterprise, BlackBerry phones have been (and still are, in many ways) the de facto standard in the enterprise for mobile employees in need of rich email support.

“We are proud to unveil the next generation of BlackBerry Enterprise Server software,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at RIM. “BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0 significantly raises the bar for advanced IT manageability, high availability, system monitoring and reporting. It has undergone testing in real world environments for over a year and is available now for customers.”

Currently, IT faces increasing challenges to manage and secure smartphones at the same level that computers have traditionally been managed at, since many users are now using their smartphones for everything a computer does. BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0 comes with BlackBerry Administration Service, a new web-based interface that offers management, monitoring, and control of BlackBerry deployments. New mobile application management will also allow IT to both push mandatory applications and updates onto users, as well as prevent smartphone users from downloading prohibited applications.

IT administrators can create groups of smartphone users to apply policies and settings to a high quantity of users at once. Health monitoring allows for easy identitification of issues. BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0 also supports new smartphone features, such as remote access to Windows network file shares, email flagging, email folder management, viewing attachments in calendar entries, and management of public distribution lists.

Read the original press release which highlights the new features in detail.

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