There has been quite a bit of confusion over BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 and BlackBerry 10 and their connection to RIM’s traditionally BES (BlackBerry Enterprise Server") infrastructure. At first there were rumors that BlackBerry 10 and the PlayBook OS would not use BES but what truly came out is that RIM has instead upgraded to what RIM’s VP of Enterprise Product Management, Alan Panezic calls “The next generation of BES.”
Panezic gave nice and simple explanation of the highlights and implications of this change in an interview with CIO.com. RIM also does a simple job of describing their vision including BlackBerry Balance in a recent blog post on their business blog. As we have explained a few times in the past RIM utilizes Microsoft’s ActiveSync technology to sync email, contacts, and calendar which is available to all BlackBerry 10 and PlayBook OS 2.0 users. What is different is that RIM is offering Mobile Fusion as a “next generation BES” that will secure the communications channel just like BES currently does for current BlackBerry smartphones. This is taken a step further since RIM will also allow administrators to manage their iOS & Android deployments along with their current BES servers and devices all from one console.
It is a pretty compelling case for RIM to solidify and fortify their entrenched position in the enterprise and government solutions by offering a management solution from a trusted brand. If RIM offers it inexpensively, which is what we are hearing, then this could be a huge shoe in for RIM. Alan Panezic also promises to keep on updating Mobile Fusion to support all devices beyond iOS and Android along with all the security features those platforms add.
Right now Mobile Fusion is available in its first phase which allows admins to manage BlackBerry PlayBook deployments. RIM is rolling out the iOS and Android management portions in March.