RIM updates BlackBerry Mobile Fusion device management suite

The toolkit has received its first service pack, which brings new functionality for remotely managing iOS devices now and promises extra features for PlayBook management some way down the line.
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Research In Motion has updated its Mobile Fusion device management toolkit to introduce new features for iOS devices and PlayBook tablets, while also extending the suite's availability to dozens of new countries.

The changes came on Thursday in the first service pack for BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, which was itself released in April. The suite lets corporate IT departments remotely manage different types of mobile devices from a single console.

"While BlackBerry Mobile Fusion will allow customers to manage BlackBerry PlayBook tablets as well as iOS and Android devices today, it will also prepare customers for a simple and straightforward upgrade to BlackBerry Enterprise Server 10, when it launches together with the first of our new BlackBerry 10 smartphones," RIM enterprise product management chief Jeff Holleran said in a statement.

RIM is putting out a new version of BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) at the same time as it updates to BlackBerry 10, as the OS is shifting to the QNX operating system used in the PlayBook. There has been some concern that this means earlier BlackBerry devices will not work with BES, but the company has assured customers that it will.

The updated Mobile Fusion suite will give administrators more control over the distribution of apps to iOS devices, while also making it easier to configure Wi-Fi, VPN and ActiveSync functionality on those iPads and iPhones.

BlackBerry PlayBook tablets will also get over-the-air enrolment and configuration, as well as full device encryption and Exchange certificate-based authentication. However, those features will only become accessible to IT departments "with a pending update of the PlayBook OS", RIM said.

Mobile Fusion is now also available in 37 more countries. Its initial rollout took place in 44 countries across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific, but it can now be used in a total of 81 countries.

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