There is nothing sexy about device management or BYOD, but it could be the saviour BlackBerry is looking for.
The company has unveiled what it is called EMM, or enterprise mobility management, a cloud-based take on its popular (and diminishing) BlackBerry Enterprise Service.
The idea is sound: take all the expensive hardware and licenses needed to administer all the devices within a company and put it in the cloud, hosted by BlackBerry itself, for a monthly fee.
EMM promises the same device support as Mobile Fusion, including Android, iOS and BlackBerry 10, and will be available as a stand-alone service. The only question is whether BlackBerry’s servers will be reliable in the long-term, as the onus is now on them and not the client to maintain those BES-like servers.
As part of the EMM, admins can manage devices themselves and the apps allowed on them, and a web-based portal will be available for both IT pros and end-users.
Since Fairfax Holdings has expressed interest in keeping BlackBerry’s lights open, should the $4.7 billion deal go through, services like BES 10 and EMM will likely be at the forefront of the company’s future. There is no shortage of competitors in this space, though, and BlackBerry will have to differentiate itself based on reliability, ease-of-use and, of course, price, to ensure EMM is successful in the long-term.
EMM is currently in beta preview, and will be released to IT managers towards the end of November.