Monday, March 11, 2013

Using Google Apps with the BlackBerry Z10: Device Administration and Remote Wiping

The new BlackBerry Z10 brings a number of great new features to the plate for enterprise users, all without the need for costly BlackBerry Enterprise Server hardware or BlackBerry Mobile Fusion licenses. These costs aren't insignificant; BlackBerry Mobile Fusion costs $99/device/year. If you want to manage a phone and tablet you pay twice or $198/user/year.  Compare that to Google Apps which costs $50/user/year with no per device fees.

In our last post, we showed you how easy it is to set up a brand new BlackBerry Z10 to work with your Google Apps domain. Thanks to the new BlackBerry 10 operating system and the continually-improving functionality of Google Apps, it's now easier than ever to manage all your mobile devices from one centralized location.

In your standard Google Apps for Business Mobile Device settings, you will be presented with a screen similar to the following:

Click to enlarge.
On this page, you'll see all the mobile devices currently registered to each user in your organization. The last one is what we're particularly interested in, as that is our fancy new BlackBerry Z10. (Note: it's listed as Unknown/Unknown here because we took these screenshots very soon after the device's launch. It now shows up correctly as a BlackBerry Z10.) Clicking the Device ID will bring you to the device's current status page, where you'll be able to see such information as the first time the device synced to Google's system, the last time it did, its current state, the user's name and email addresses which are delivering mail to the phone, as well as some more technical information.

BlackBerry 10 device properties
Click to enlarge.
Alternatively, if you have a large number of mobile devices, it may be easier to get to the one that you need through the user's control panel settings. Simply scroll down to the bottom and you will see the mobile devices the user has registered with his/her account.

Click to enlarge.
Through either of these control panel screens, you have the option to wipe the device. This will wipe all data from the device and restore it to factory settings. You will be presented with a fairly standard warning screen when you choose to wipe the device, at which time you will either confirm or cancel the wipe process.

And that's it! Nice and simple device administration, without the need for any additional hardware or software.