RIM Launches Free Cloud-Based BlackBerry Management Suite for Small BusinessesBusinesses are increasingly warming up to the use of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets for productivity and improved collaboration. But while there is the need to ensure their data is secure when accessed on mobile devices, not everyone can afford big IT departments and dedicated hardware to manage their tech-related assets. With this in mind, Research In Motion (news, site) has launched a cloud-based management service for BlackBerry devices.

BlackBerry Enterprise Server Miniaturized

The BlackBerry Management Center is a free online service that small and medium enterprises can use to centrally manage BlackBerry devices. Considered an SME alternative to the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), the service is designed for organizations with up to 100 BlackBerry smartphones that gain access to email from an ISP or a web-based service. The service can be set up to handle both company- and employee-owned devices, and will support an array of BlackBerry device models.

BlackBerry Management Center lets users remotely backup, lock, wipe out and locate
BlackBerry Management Center lets users remotely backup, lock, wipe out and locate

With the new service, RIM stresses the advantage of running the company's SaaS offering in managing and supporting organizations' communication needs. Alan Panezic, VP for enterprise product management, says the company designed the service for small businesses. "BlackBerry Management Center is a free service and an effective way to centrally manage and support employees' BlackBerry smartphones in the cloud."

Minimizing Risks from Data Loss, Theft

The BlackBerry Management Center gives organizations centralized access to devices and data, for better peace-of-mind, while allowing for better worker mobility. The service's features will provide benefits for management, IT departments and end users:

  • Wireless backups can be scheduled on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, which helps minimize data loss from device loss or damage.
  • BlackBerry devices can be remotely locked in the event of theft or loss. The data can also be remotely wiped, to minimize the risk of information getting into the wrong hands. This includes content on microSD cards.
  • Devices can be located remotely through locking and initiating a loud ring -- useful when the "lost" device is actually just stuck in an office desk, pocket or purse somewhere.
  • Backed up data and settings can be restored to a replacement device.
  • Passwords can be remotely reset.

The BlackBerry Management Center is accessible from any recent web browser and will work on BlackBerry smartphones with firmware 4.6 or newer. This cloud-based service is free, although RIM can expect to earn from BlackBerry Technical Support Services, which is also accessible to Management Suite users.