RIM is gearing up for the beta of the BlackBerry Business Cloud Services for Microsoft Office 365 that was mentioned offhand and then confirmed at BlackBerry World. This new beta is set to start in June with a limited trial and will allow enterprise customers to deploy BlackBerrys from the cloud. The service will be a RIM hosted BlackBerry Enterprise service/subscription starting at $0 per user per month and will have features similar to BlackBerry Express for that plan. I simply think of it as a free cloud based BlackBerry Express for Office 365 Exchange Online.
Here is a bit on how RIM describes the service:
- BlackBerry wireless sync with Microsoft Office 365 Exchange Online with the fastest, most efficient, most secure and most reliable wireless service in the industry
- BlackBerry Balance, allowing an employee’s use of a single BlackBerry smartphone for both work and personal use without compromising the security of corporate data
- Online self-service BlackBerry smartphone management and security, including remote device wipe
- Advanced BlackBerry security with a rich complement of IT policies that can be set and managed online
- Simple, secure user and user group management online
- Single sign-on to Office 365 and the RIM-hosted BlackBerry enterprise service
- Service available with always up-to-date BlackBerry software
Let us know if BlackBerry Business Cloud Services for Microsoft Office 365 is something you are interested in. For years I have been waiting for RIM to simply offer BES in the cloud for simple PIM sync like contacts and calendar. I always thought they would do well if they simply integrated Microsoft ActiveSync into BIS for automatic synchronization without a BES server. Until then BlackBerry Business Cloud Services sounds promising and is hitting at the right price point. I have heard that RIM plans on extending it beyond Office 365 hosting which should broaden the appeal.