RIM Enterprise Software to Support iOS & Android Devices
Research in Motion (RIM) plans to offer software that will enable enterprise IT departments to manage employees’ BlackBerrys as well as iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.
The management software, BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, was announced today and is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2012. The software gives RIM’s corporate customers the ability to securely link employees’ personal smartphones and tablets to the BlackBerry network. It will run in addition to, or as a replacement of, the BlackBerry Enterprise Server networks that RIM operates for enterprises and government agencies.
RIM is currently conducting software beta tests with financial services, manufacturing, and pharmaceutical customers, according to Bloomberg.
Is RIM’s announcement a sign of defeat? Or is it a logical next step at a time when more employees want to use their own mobile devices for work and more companies would rather not have to pay to issue every employee a BlackBerry or other smartphone? Could be some degree of both. As one analyst told Reuters, RIM’s move is not "an admission of guilt - it's a necessary evil."