BlackBerry Mobile Fusion might sound like a zesty health tonic but it’s actually the latest enterprise project from RIM.
Set to bring iOS and Android devices under the aegis of your IT department, it’s a sign of the times that business types quite fancy the look of those iPads and Samsung Sensation HTC 2’s or whatever they’re called.
“The enterprise market for smartphones and tablets continues to grow in both the company-provisioned and employee-owned (Bring Your Own Device or BYOD) categories,” says RIM’s press release. “BYOD in particular has led to an increase in the diversity of mobile devices in use in the enterprise and new challenges for CIOs and IT departments as they struggle to manage and control wireless access to confidential company information on the corporate network. This has resulted in increased demand for mobile device management solutions.”
BlackBerry Mobile Fusion then allows your IT team a degree of control over your BlackBerry phone, iOS and Android device, creating work groups, sending out OTA (over the air) app installs and a remote wipe and lock function. All of these features are useful in keeping everyone on the same page and keeping a lid on any potential trade secrets should a phone get lost in the back of a cab.
As well as these devices, RIM’s own PlayBook will also be brought under the Mobile Fusion umbrella, allowing “administrators to push and install required work apps on users’ tablets.”
In the case of cross-platform apps, there’s things like Evernote and Documents To Go, which are available for iOS, Android and BlackBerry.
One enterprise service to rule them all
The full list of what BlackBerry Mobile Fusion will bring to supported devices is as follows:
- Asset management
- Configuration management
- Security and policy definition and management
- Secure and protect lost or stolen devices (remote lock, wipe)
- User- and group-based administration
- Multiple device per user capable
- Application and software management
- Connectivity management (Wi-Fi, VPN, certificate)
- Centralized console
- High scalability
RIM mentions that “device security, manageability and controls will continue to vary according to the inherent capabilities of the individual device operating systems.”
BlackBerry Mobile Fusion requires iOS 4.0 or higher and Android version 2.1 Eclair to 2.3 Gingerbread. No mention of Honeycomb, though the press release states that Android tablets will be supported. We’d imagine that Ice Cream Sandwich will eventually be supported, so perhaps this problem will be closed by the time BlackBerry Mobile Fusion arrives.
The service, currently in early beta testing, is expected to roll out in March 2012. RIM is currently testing with a handful of enterprise customers and is launching a closed beta program in January. To register for information on BlackBerry Mobile Fusion click here.