BlackBerry-maker RIM is moving into multi-platform mobile device management with its BlackBerry Mobile Fusion technology. The system can be used by businesses and government organisations to manage smartphones and tablets running not only the BlackBerry OS but also Android and iOS.
More than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies provision BlackBerry devices, according to RIM, but with the new product the company is acknowledging that there is a growing diversity in devices being used in enterprises.
The service makes use of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server technology, allowing admins to manage devices using a single web-based console. It provides asset and configuration management, security policy definition, remote lock and wipe, connectivity management and scalability.
“It provides the necessary management capabilities to allow IT departments to confidently oversee the use of both company-owned and employee-owned mobile devices within their organisations,” RIM's VP for enterprise product management and marketing Alan Panezic said in a statement.
BlackBerry Mobile Fusion is currently in early beta testing with a number of enterprises and RIM is accepting applications for a closed beta programme due to commence in January. General availability is pencilled in for the end of March.
The future for RIM is currently the focus of debate following a decline in sales and share price, which hit a seven-year low last week. Reuters reports that Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu thinks increased competition will hurt RIM’s margins and has upgraded RIM shares from ‘neutral’ to ‘buy’ due to their potential value if the company is acquired. Scotia Capital analyst Gus Papageorgiou says RIM stock has been oversold and that the unique skills the company possesses means it can survive.