One of the things that really has my head spinning in circles currently is how companies will be able to control and secure the BlackBerry PlayBook. RIM says that it is the tablet designed for enterprise but fails to go into any detail on exactly how it is designed for enterprise use. BlackBerry enterprise administrators are very familiar with BES IT Policies and the hundreds of restrictions they can place on BlackBerrys to make them enterprise acceptable. This includes things like restricting App World, access to Bluetooth, third party app access to PIM data, GPS data, and much more. How will that exactly work on the PlayBook.
From what RIM has told me and many others so far the PlayBook will not be tied to a BES. Instead the IT Policy will be on the BlackBerry that it is “Bridged” to over Bluetooth. Through that “Bridge” the PlayBook can access the BlackBerry smartphone email, contacts, calendar, BBM, and more. The thing is will other apps on the PlayBook be able to access that data? Will other apps be able to send or receive emails through your BlackBerry “Bridge”? For example, say you have an RSS app. Will it be able to share an article through email on your BlackBerry? How about a calendar app will it be able to show your calendar in a different format?
So far it looks like the PlayBook will have what I call a pseudo IT Policy. My guess is that RIM will allow BES IT administrators to set certain policies on the “bridge” to disallow or allow applications to access certain information. That makes the most sense for RIM’s current stance and is what I am hearing from a few of my sources. On the other hand I really don’t get why RIM will not just open the Tablet to its own IT policies? If RIM is worried about complexity let them just ask their government users how convoluted and locked down they like all of their devices. They welcome and WANT the complexity and flexibility.
What do you think? Are you a BES administrator? If so what do you think of the BlackBerry PlayBook?