RIM is getting back to what it does best—corporate cell phone services—announcing the availability of it new Mobile Fusion device management service. The service provides government and enterprise customers a way to manage their fleets of mobile devices, now including iOS and Android devices, all from one web-based console. Of course this comes at a cost--$99 per device or $4 per device per month, which is about par for the course for a service such as this.
For businesses and government, managing a mix of mobile devices on any scale is chaotic. Organizations face pressure to allow employees to bring their own devices into the workplace, and they are looking to RIM as the global leader in the enterprise mobility space to solve that problem,” said Alan Panezic, Vice President, Enterprise Product Management and Marketing at Research In Motion.
BlackBerry Mobile Fusion allows organizations to manage a mixed environment of devices in the most secure, simple, and cost efficient manner possible. It also means that businesses and government do not have to move to the lowest common denominator on security for all the devices they need to manage.
Some of the main touted benefits are the abilities to manage a user’s device without their input, allowing for remote wipes, lockdowns, application management, configuration management, and so on. I understand the security side of remote wipes and lockdowns, but in my experience, many people who have switched from BlackBerry devices to Android or other smartphone operating systems did so to be less restricted.
I’ve already been in a situation where my boss required a smartphone of me, but refused to cover the costs thereof. It was ok, as I wanted a smartphone anyway, and happened to have an upgrade ready. But does anybody else see this as the start of a dangerous new trend in which our bring-your-own-device devices are at least partially controlled by our employers, without compensation?
For me, the beauty of the Android environment is the ability to do whatever, whenever. I would be very uninterested in having my only mobile device controlled by my company’s IT department, but I’m equally uninterested in carrying two devices. Thoughts, anyone?