For all the talk of devices and the consumer electronics angle on smartphones, the one company who has the end-to-end solutions which allow it to really differentiate itself is RIM... a company which enables smartphones to be truly government-approved secure endpoints on wireless networks. At a recent press conference in Manhattan, the company announced Blackberry Enterprise Server 5.0, what the company says is the simplest upgrade ever and available next quarter.
The benefits of BES 5.0 are a redefined administration console which boosts productivity of support personnel and users. Features like a web-based admin screen and tools to roll out upgrades at off-hours will make support teams happy because they will not be forced to come into the office on weekends to upgrade. And when you consider a number of single companies are bumping up against the 100,000 Blackberry user threshold, you can see these admins need any assistance they can get.
This is why 5.0 has better group and policy support allowing settings changes to cascade throughout the enterprise. There is also an application repository allowing corporations to determine which users can download which apps and more importantly, which are mandatory and/or optional.
A few other new benefits include over-the-air upgrades meaning RIM gadgets never have to see a cable besides the one that connects to power. In addition, admins no longer need to physically handle the devices.
Users too will see benefits like being able to easily download documents from shared servers, the ability to have more control over email folders and niceties like storing files on an SD card and opening attachments in calendar invites.
There will also be enhanced telephony integration making the Blackberry a much more seamless part of a corporation's voice/data unified communications (UC) network.
In short, the focus on devices is where the sizzle is but for the enterprise market, Blackberry excels at providing secure access to corporate networks and the date therein. With the 5.0 release, companies will increase productivity and save administration costs while allowing users to forgo laptops in more situations than ever. Add in better FMC support and you have a great story for corporations looking to save time and money.