Saturday, July 08, 2006

Research In Motion (RIM) Introduces Hosted BlackBerry Server

The company has introduced a software package that lets service providers handle all of the work it would take to roll out and maintain a communications system for the popular handheld devices.

The new Hosted BlackBerry Enterprise Server is designed to deliver enterprise-grade mobile applications for small- and medium-size businesses that want wireless connectivity but don't want to invest in the technology required to operate their own systems.

Hosted BlackBerry Enterprise Server offers the same level of BlackBerry functionality -- including e-mail, personal information management, and Internet service -- enjoyed by larger enterprises, said David Heit, senior product manager at RIM.

"Customers don't have buy, install, or manage server software," Heit said. "A business can go wireless with no up-front costs or ongoing I.T. support costs, so that they can concentrate on their primary business tasks."

The software package offers integration with messaging systems such as Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Domino, and Novell GroupWise, as well as the ability to access company intranet and other business applications.

For wireless carriers or other hosting service providers, the latest offering provides security and I.T. policy controls while delivering an array of mobile applications that can run on BlackBerry devices, Heit said.

IDC analyst Stephen Drake noted that many small businesses already use outsourced e-mail systems and that expanding to wireless would be a natural extension of their existing systems.

"The cost of supporting mobile access can be a problem for some companies that don't have the I.T. resources to handle communications networks," Drake said. "They are not used to owning and maintaining all of the software, so hosted services can be a more desirable option."

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