RIM's BlackBerry Mobile Fusion Solution to Monitor Android, iOS Devices Too

"Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)" phenomenon

BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, like most mobile device management solutions, is intended to help both end users and IT better manage the clash of personal and corporate information in the enterprise. Mobile Fusion, however, signifies a big (and perhaps even humbling) step for RIM: its extended platform support allows an enterprise to monitor not only BlackBerry devices, but those running on Apple iOS and Android operating systems as well.

RIM may even stretch platform support to include other operating systems, including Windows Mobile, if the demand is there.

"At this point we don’t hear the demand," said Alan Panezic vice president, enterprise product management and marketing at RIM. "But if that should change, we will happily support other platforms."

BlackBerry Mobile Fusion allows IT administrators to monitor and manage mobile devices, including the new BlackBerry PlayBook, via a Web-based console. Capabilities include configuration management, security and policy definition management, user- and group-based administration, and application and software management. The solution can support multiple devices per user, and can be scaled to accommodate up to 10,000 users.

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"It provides the necessary management capabilities to allow IT departments to confidently oversee the use of both company-owned and employee-owned mobile devices within their organizations," said Panezic.

BlackBerry Mobile Fusion also includes BlackBerry Balance technology, enabling the use of a single device for both work and personal use without compromising corporate data. By prompting users to supply login credentials when accessing corporate networks on their device, BlackBerry Balance protects enterprise data within a "separate encrypted perimeter," RIM said.

BlackBerry Mobile Fusion management software will enter closed beta testing in January, and is expected to be generally available in late March of 2012. Pricing details are not yet available, but Panezic said that RIM "will make sure pricing is very competitive in the broader industry."