Nov 29th, 2011

I suppose RIM is putting a stake into the ground for the future of mobile business with this move. They have introduced Blackberry Fusion, a suite of security tools for Android (and iOS) devices that gives IT administrators and managers a way to secure and manage employee devices from an abstract web console. Here are the list of features IT departments can look forward to:

  • Asset management
  • Configuration management
  • Security and policy definition and management
  • Secure and protect lost or stolen devices (remote lock, wipe)
  • User- and group-based administration
  • Multiple device per user capable
  • Application and software management
  • Connectivity management (Wi-Fi, VPN, certificate)
  • High scalability

It’s an odd move for RIM who still sees dominance as the #1 platform for businesses, though with Android and iOS quickly on the rise in enterprise they feel they need to act accordingly. We can’t say whether or not this shows they’re afraid for their future in business, but even if they’re not it still servers as a nice security net for them.

If Android, iOS and other platforms do indeed take over enterprise RIM will need to rely on people adopting this and other services to continue making the money that helps keep their lights on. As they’re already heavily declining in the consumer market, a dying role in enterprise may force their hand in switching to an entirely different business model altogether.

In any case, it would appear that this move would be counterproductive to RIM’s goals. They want to remain relevant in hardware and software in the enterprise world and the main reason they still are is due to the security that BES and BIS provide.

If they provide similar security for competing OEMs and software vendors then it may be the window businesses were looking for to switch to different platforms. It’s an interesting desire for RIM, but one we’re excited to see play out. All of this is said to begin in Q1’12. [via GigaOM]