Showing posts with label Blackberry 10 Remote Wipe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blackberry 10 Remote Wipe. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

BlackBerry is repositioning itself as a device management company—but is already being beaten by Google

BlackBerry recently published an open letter to its "valued enterprise customers and partners," to remind everyone that they "are very much alive, thank you." The newly-minted CEO, John Chen, makes an important—and telling—concession to the "new" mobile computing landscape: recognizing "that BlackBerry devices are not for everyone."

Unfortunately BlackBerry devices are losing ground faster than ever according to data released by Gartner last month. BlackBerry now sits at a mere 1.8% of the global smartphone market, compared with 5.2% at the same time last year.

As a result of their declining sales of smartphones to end users, BlackBerry is beginning to reposition itself to focus on a handful of what it sees as key areas: enterprise mobile management (EMM) solutions and embedded systems, as well as cross-platform instant messaging (BBM).

It's not hard to see why BlackBerry sees the need to pivot away from what has traditionally been its strength, but unfortunately it's pivoting straight into a marketplace where it's pricing itself out of contention. BlackBerry's enterprise management capability revolves around the BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES), a software package that requires you to either manage an on-site server or pay for hosting one in the cloud, in addition to the $19 per year management fee. Add to that the fact that the newest version of BES (10.2) can't manage BlackBerry devices running older versions of the BlackBerry operating system and you need to double your server count just to be able to manage both generations of devices.

As if all that wasn't enough, the $19 license fee is charged per device, so if you have two devices, each one of them needs its own license fee. And who doesn't have a smartphone and a tablet these days? In fact, a Sophos survey says consumers are carrying an average of 2.9 mobile devices each.

Google Apps for Business and Education includes bring-your-own-device (BYOD) security for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry 10 in the $50 per user per year price tag—which includes activation on an unlimited number of mobile devices. We've tested management of BlackBerry 10 devices from the Google Apps console and it provides remote wipe and monitoring capabilities just as it would for any other device. There's really no need for a BES.

For about $12 more per year than two BES device fees per user, you can have an all-in-one, cloud-based productivity suite that includes BYOD management features and can replace your Exchange, Lotus Notes, or other email and documents solution. Sticking with BlackBerry means you're on the receiving end of all the IT headaches involved with patching, securing, and managing yet another server (or two!).

All of us at Interlock IT live close to BlackBerry headquarters in Waterloo and sincerely hope that they can find a successful market niche. BES 10.2 does have some advanced security features not found in other products. But the BYOD market is a highly competitive space already well-covered by giants like Google so BlackBerry has a tall, competitive mountain to climb.

Does anybody remember Palm?

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.