I work at a small engineering company in Seattle and a few years ago we switched over to Exchange servers. Most of the senior people have smartphones, but they are all bring your own devices and everyone makes sure they support Exchange ActiveSync so they can sync wirelessly. The majority of people have iPhones with a few Windows Mobile devices thrown in. I often get asked about BlackBerry devices, but our company cannot justify the cost of a BlackBerry Exchange Server for just a couple of users. Thus, I was pleased to read the press release today introducing BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express. This new server software will be FREE to use and available in March.
BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express will support many of the features found in the BES solution, but is targeted towards those small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) that want to support BlackBerry smartphones without having to budget extra funds for the BES. BES Express works with Microsoft Exchange 2010, 2007 and 2003 and Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2008 and 2003. With this new software connected to your server your employeed BB smartphone will be able to do the following:
- Wirelessly synchronize their email, calendar, contacts, notes and tasks
- Manage email folders and search email on the mail server remotely
- Book meetings and appointments, check availability and forward calendar attachments
- Set an out-of-office reply
- Edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files using Documents To Go®
- Access files stored on the company network
- Use mobile applications to access business systems behind the firewall
Looking at the BES Express website you can see that the full BES provides high availability, advanced IT controls, web desktop manager, BB monitoring service, enterprise transporter tool, and support for BB add-on products. I may now just go have to talk to the IT guys and see if we can roll this out at our company.