BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) is turning its eyes to the cloud in 2011, and plans to launch a revamped BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) architecture that enables management from the cloud.
"We're putting tremendous effort into building out a BES cloud story solution, and we'll have product out by the end of 2011," said Peter Devenyi, vice president of the communication platform group for Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM, speaking Thursday at a BlackBerry press and analyst event in Boston.
Central to RIM's BlackBerry cloud strategy are architectural changes in BES that enable one BlackBerry Enterprise Server to support multiple corporations. That multi-tenant approach means that each company leveraging that specific BES will have its own segment, Devenyi said, adding that RIM is also adding significant scaling improvements to enable BES in the cloud.
The cloud-based BES will also feature deployment options that can support both cloud and on-premise e-mail and applications, and an open messaging interface lets new BES variants be created by third-party partners.
As part of its cloud strategy, the smartphone maker is also planning to launch Cloud-based Mobile Device Management for BlackBerry, an opt-in service for SMBs and small groups that will let users and admins manage BlackBerry smartphones via the cloud through a Web-based console.
Devenyi said that the cloud-based device management is targeted at a small number of users that leverage ISP or hosted email solutions and enables central management of e-mail for all employees and users. Functions available through the cloud include password reset, device details, e-mail deletion and management of BlackBerry Protect features like device lock, wipe, send messaging, backup and restore.
Devenyi added that RIM will also launch Enterprise Cloud Extensions in 2011 where BES runs in BlackBerry data centers and can appear like an on-premise solution in enterprise deployments.
Because RIM's cloud solutions are not expected until late 2011, Devenyi said it's still too early to divulge the go to market strategy, but he said the way the architecture is designed, BlackBerry and RIM can offer it as a hosted cloud or third-party hosing or cloud partners can offer BES to their clients.
"Architecturally, we can now set up these partnerships," he said, adding that he predicts both RIM and partners will offer BES cloud services.
Along with showcasing RIM's plans for BlackBerry in the cloud, the company also gave an early preview at a good portion of its enterprise product roadmap for 2011. Alec Taylor, RIM's vice president of software, services and enterprise said one of RIM's main goals for 2011 was to get back to the fundamentals of enterprise mobility. For RIM, that means focusing on secure, manageable, scalable, efficient, reliable, intuitive, global and extensible offerings, Taylor said.
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