I am glad that we are finally able to clear the air on this one since there has been quite a bit of misinformation being spread by RIM’s competitors. RIM has confirmed with their BlackBerry 10 Ready Program today that they will be offering BlackBerry Enterprise Server License Trade-Ups for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10. This trade-up will be on a one to one basis and will be free for over a year. As RIM describes it:
RIM will be offering customers who purchase BlackBerry 10 smartphones the ability to trade up their existing BlackBerry Enterprise Server licenses on a one for one basis for free, until December 31, 2013.** The license trade up offer will allow customers to secure and manage their BlackBerry 10 smartphones with BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10. Customers will be able to access an online tool for the BlackBerry Enterprise Server License Trade Up in January 2013.
That last sentence means that we will be seeing this conversion option when BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 starts rolling out. This means that companies will immediately be able to use their current BlackBerry Enterprise CALs for BlackBerry 10 devices for free. RIM even has an incentive for companies with BlackBerry Technical Support at the “Advantage” level to get on board and install BlackBerry Mobile Fusion and then BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 before launch to get a free BlackBerry 10 smartphone. Here are the details:
BlackBerry customers with BlackBerry Technical Support at the Advantage level or higher are eligible to receive a free BlackBerry 10 smartphone.* Customers will need to install and run BlackBerry® Mobile Fusion (which will be succeeded by BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10), and successfully complete an exclusive online learning course to qualify. Upon the launch of BlackBerry 10, the organization will receive a free BlackBerry 10 smartphone.
There are a few small caveats that make sense. First of all the one to one conversion for Cal licenses is only good for actual paid BES licenses and not free BES Express licenses. Here are the limitations:
* Offer available while supplies last. Limit one (1) device per company. Offer currently only available for customers in North America. (Additional countries are expected to follow with similar offers.) Offer deadline: February 28, 2013. For complete details see Terms and Conditions: http://www.blackberry.com/business/blackberry-10-ready/free-blackberry-10-device/terms-and-conditions.html
** Offer applies to BlackBerry Enterprise Server licenses only; not applicable for BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express licenses. Additional Terms and Conditions apply.
I find it interesting that RIM has set an end date for trading up CAL licenses to BlackBerry 10 to get companies to adopt BlackBerry 10 in the next year. Should be interesting to see how this plays out since RIM is allowing companies to keep their BlackBerry Enterprise investments instead of purchasing another MDM. Its also good that RIM is offering some competitive upgrade assistance to get companies ready for BlackBerry 10.