7 Ways BES 5.0 Helps Mobile Management Take Care of Business
Research In Motion (RIM)'s BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) 5.0 is designed to allay the concerns of mobile IT administrators who are concerned about smartphones failing to meet corporate standards for mobile management and mobile security. BES 5.0 is enterprise-class software that acts as the centralized link between BlackBerry smartphones, enterprise applications, and PBX environments through the use of BlackBerry Mobile Voice System and wireless networks. The solution works seamlessly with enterprise messaging and collaboration systems to provide secure access to email, calendar, voice, instant messaging, browser, enterprise applications, and personal information management tools. It also provides advanced security features and access to administrative tools that simplify the management and centralized control of the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution. BES provides many administrative tools that are easy to deploy and manage, while delivering the mobile security people expect from RIM, said Peter Walker, senior director, enterprise product management.
Walker listed seven ways BES 5.0 helps CIOs and administrators:
1) Web-based administration consoleAs the BlackBerry administration service is Web-based, administrators don't need to install desktop clients. This gives administrators tremendous freedom, allowing them to do BlackBerry-related tasks on any machine, their own or another person's. "With BES 5.0, administrators simply log into their BlackBerry accounts and they get all the functionality of BES wherever they are," said Walker. "Administrators have full control over who accesses what, when," said Walker. "They can easily create and enforce white lists and black lists. For example, an administrator can whitelist or blacklist a single user for certain applications with the click of a mouse."
2) Wireless upgradesBES provides a fast, cost-effective method for remotely supporting users and managing application life cycles, said Walker. BES allows administrators to search for updates to their users' handheld operating systems through BES, instead of having to search various carrier sites or RIM's own BlackBerry downloads page to see if new software is available. In addition, administrators can download and wirelessly push OS upgrades to individual users or groups of users, and even schedule those upgrades in advance so as not to disrupt users. In the past, administrators had to schedule physical upgrade appointments with users, thereby consuming productive user time. "BES 5.0 allows administrators to update a user's device at a time that suits the user, say three in the morning on Saturday," said Walker. He added that device software upgrades used to be among the most time consuming and costly activities for BlackBerry administrators.
3) Scheduling other IT-related tasksBES not only enables administrators to schedule and remotely perform device upgrades but to schedule and remotely perform other IT-related tasks such as troubleshooting.
4) Role- and group-based administration capabilitiesBES 5.0 also allows administrators to assign BlackBerry smartphone functionality according to employees' roles in the company. Administrators can remotely enable features for individual users or groups of users at a time, which enhances the efficient and flexible management of BlackBerry smartphones, said Walker. BES 5.0 also gives administrators very granular control over users' devices, enabling them to grant or deny specific IT policies to individuals or groups, thereby restricting access to specific resources.
5) Built-in fail-overBES' built-in fail-over capability allows administrators to connect multiple servers with one system that is kept ready in high-availability mode for activation in case the primary systems start malfunctioning. Once administrators notice that a failover has occurred, they can quickly fix the problem on the originating server, set the systems back manually, and avoid potential fail-over loops. Implementing the fail-over capability requires some users to install additional hardware to run the backup tool, Walker said. However, he also noted that multiple computer systems can share a single database that would not need to be replicated.
6) Greatly enhanced mobile securityWalker noted that administrators also like the software's improved security, notably its ability to freeze or wipe data from a BlackBerry that has been reported lost or stolen. All data transmitted between BlackBerry Enterprise Server and BlackBerry smartphones is encrypted using industry-standard algorithms, Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and Triple Data Encryption Standard (Triple DES). Walker said the BlackBerry has more than double the number of wireless IT policies and commands than any other wireless solution on the market. IT policies can be adjusted to allow an organization to match varying grades of security with their comfort level. He added that the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution has received more security accreditations globally than any other wireless solution. BlackBerry Enterprise Server and BlackBerry Device Software is the first mobile platform to achieve Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level 2 augmented (EAL 2+) validation.
7) Track key device statisticsBES 5.0 lets administrators easily review and monitor third-party applications, IT policies, device models, PINs, software versions, and serial numbers.