BlackBerry boosts enterprise IM with Microsoft Lync, Lotus support

The smartphone maker is bolstering its enterprise communications platform by expanding its offering to Microsoft's range of communications products, and IBM-based services.

Image: CNET

Amid a bevy of announcements from the smartphone maker at its conference in Orlando, Florida, BlackBerry today launched the latest offering of its enterprise instant messaging platform.

BlackBerry Enterprise IM 3.0 now enables BlackBerry 10 users to communicate with third-party services, notably Microsoft Lync 2010 and 2013, Microsoft Office Communication Server (in older versions of Office), as well as IBM's Lotus Sametime 8.5 and above.

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In prepared remarks, BlackBerry vice president for mobile computing Frank Cotter said: "To be competitive in today's fast-paced marketplace, you need to enable your workers with tools that let them collaborate in real time."

The company's latest enterprise mobility management solution now works across multi-platforms, gearing up the company to outside help. What's interesting here is how BlackBerry, which was once reportedly in talks to license out its BlackBerry 10 platform to rival smartphone makers, is instead embracing other platforms. 

With that in mind, nugget of instant messaging news, BlackBerry said it plans to launch BlackBerry Messenger, its consumer instant messaging service, to iPhones, iPads and Android-based devices .

This time last year, BlackBerry — then Research in Motion — said it had over 55 million users worldwide. Considering it's steep decline in market share since then, that figure has likely dipped significantly. That said, by branching out to rival platforms it could be the first step to revival for the PIN-based messaging system.

ZDNet's Jason Hiner has more from the event.