Research In Motion has released its BlackBerry Mobile Fusion device management tools, which promise to let businesses manage iPhones and Android devices alongside its own BlackBerry products.
RIM's BlackBerry Mobile Fusion tools can be used to manage iPhones and Android phones as well as BlackBerry devices. Image credit: Ben Woods
The software suite went on sale on Tuesday, after going through limited beta testing for a few months. RIM unveiled Mobile Fusion in November, after picking up the technology in its purchase in May of mobile device management company Ubitexx.
It aims to simplify management of a fleet of phones and tablets from a single user console, and to deliver new features to those devices without disruption to existing BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) setups.
"This is a massively scalable solution; 10,000 devices supported from a single server. It'll help [users] manage [their] existing BlackBerry environment without having to upgrade that environment," Alan Panezic, head of enterprise at RIM, told ZDNet UK recently.
"The administrator console will tie into your existing BESes and give you a new beautiful experience to manage existing BlackBerry devices, PlayBooks and iOS and Android devices from a single, global, integrated console," he added.
The Mobile Fusion tools can be used to manage tablets and phones running the BlackBerry OS. They provide many features and much of the functionality found in BES, such as a single outbound 256-bit AES encrypted 'BlackBerry VPN', enforceable IT policies, support for BlackBerry Balance technology, and over-the-air app and software installation.
Mobile Fusion can also be used to manage iOS and Android devices. For these, it can be used for tasks such as application, software and connectivity management, as well as providing security for lost or stolen devices via the remote lock-and-wipe features. It can also be used to manage multiple devices for each user.
While the software apps are freely downloadable, the use is priced by the number of devices being managed. RIM was unable to provide UK pricing at the time of writing. The iOS and Android Mobile Fusion apps are available via the related marketplaces.
With BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, RIM is aiming to regain lost enterprise market share by providing management of non-RIM devices. Apple's iPhone and other rival products have been making headway among business buyers, a sector once dominated by the Canadian smartphone maker.
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