In a move that appears to mark a significant shift in strategy for Research In Motion (RIM), the purveyors of the Blackberry platform finally launched their Mobile Fusion product for Android and iOS. Mobile Fusion is a enterprise management tool that gives business customers the ability to configure devices for the workplace. Email/calendar configuration, security, managment of lost phones and detection of jailbroken/rooted phones are among the core features of the product.
From the RIM Business Blog:
RIM has now officially released the entire BlackBerry Mobile Fusion solution, including the Universal Device Service. Similar to how BlackBerry Device Service provides a set of security and management features for BlackBerry PlayBook tablets, the Universal Device Service provides Mobile Device Management for iOS and Android based devices.
So, is RIM making the correct decision or are they digging their own grave? I would argue that their grave has already been dug, and they must change their business model in order to survive. iOS and Android devices are making significant headway into the corporate market. IT departments are grappling with with demand for BYOD policies that are often driven by executives who have found great use for their Android/iOS tablets for work related tasks.
RIM’s days of dominating the consumer smartphone market are long gone. Mobile Fusion represents an opportunity for them to become a leader in the multiplatform device management space. As the market for enterprise apps grows, the demand for secure, scaleable and easy-to-manage infrastructure will grow. This is where RIM can make a difference.
Here’s the full feature list from RIM:
- Activate and configure devices and profiles over the air
- Enable access to enterprise Mail, Calendar and PIM
- Administer users and groups, natively and directory based
- Establish corporate IT Policies and Security
- Manage lost devices – Password Reset, Device Lock, Device Wipe
- Set Wi-Fi® and VPN settings
- Deploy internally-developed apps
- Define (and enforce) public applications as mandatory or optional
- Provides Notifications to the Device User
- Provides Rooting & Jailbreak Detection
- Help manage Roaming to control your data costs
- Prevent apps from accessing corporate mail accounts