Research in Motion is bringing BlackBerry security to iPhones and Android devices, in an attempt to regain its enterprise niche.
RIM’s Mobile Fusion program works in tandem with corporate IT departments, allowing staff to monitor software, passwords, e-mails, and apps on employees’ mobile devices. The software also lets staffers lock or wipe a device remotely, an important function for businesses that may be at risk if company phones or tablets are hacked or stolen.
The announcement of the new security software for rival platforms is a move to enhance BlackBerry’s market share and remind users of its best features: secure email for businesses.
“What our enterprise customers are looking for, and the opportunity for us, is to become the de facto platform,” said RIM vice-president for enterprise product management Alan Panezic to Reuters. “We will take full advantage of whatever security capabilities are provided by the core operating system. We’re not going to hold that back in any way, shape or form.”
Mobile Fusion works on numerous smartphone platforms, including Apple and Android, giving users the freedom to opt for other devices and still retain BlackBerry’s level of security. The Canadian company pioneered the field with its Business Enterprise system, which became renowned for providing trusted security for corporate businesses.
Over the past three years, however, many businesses have switched to touch screen, app-centric Apple or Android phones, preferring to use employees’ personal devices instead of signing contracts for BlackBerry devices.
In addition to the loss of business customers, RIM has struggled with outages, layoffs, and disappointing sales, all of which led to widespread criticism of the company’s top leaders. Some investors are calling for a sale, merger, or at least a major leadership shakeup.
But the debut of Mobile Fusion may pacify naysayers, at least temporarily. The new software will likely be a draw for business customers, and may help RIM boost its bottom line while it develops and perfects BBX, its new operating system, to go along with new hardware.
But the moves may not be enough to save the company’s reputation as a phone maker.
“It will help stem the tide of those companies that may have considered eliminating their BES but it won’t help sell more phones,” said Phillip Redman, an analyst from Gartner. “That’s what they really need to do.”
Mobile Fusion is slated for release in early 2012.
This post originally appeared at Mobiledia.
Android is an operating system for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. It is developed by the Open Handset Alliance led by Google.
Google purchased the initial developer of the software, Android Inc., in 2005.The unveiling of the Android distribution on November 5, 2007 was announced with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of 84 hardware, software, and telecommunicationcompanies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices.Google released most of the Android code under theApache License, a free software license.The Android Open Source Project (AOSP) is tasked with the maintenance and further development of Android.
The iPhone (pronounced /ˈaɪfoʊn/ eye-fohn) is a line of Internet and multimedia-enabled smartphones marketed by Apple Inc. The first iPhonewas unveiled by Steve Jobs, then CEO of Apple, on January 9, 2007, and released on June 29, 2007. The 5th generation iPhone, the iPhone 4S, was announced on October 4, 2011, and released on October 14, 2011.
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