For years, the smartphone of choice for the corporate world has been Research in Motion’s BlackBerry, mainly for security features like giving someone in an IT department access to the phone to help manage it. But that’s changing. More and more companies are letting their employees use a phone of their choosing, which tends to mean an Android phone or iPhone.
RIM may have come up with a winner with its newest plan to expand its security software to non-BlackBerry phones.
RIM is expected Tuesday to unveil BlackBerry Mobile Fusion—a software system that will allow companies to integrate a number of competing devices and operating systems into their corporate mobile ecosystem. It will incorporate some of the security features long offered by RIM, including the ability to remotely lock and wipe data from lost phones.
RIM has been saddled with a series of big setbacks this year - worldwide BlackBerry network outages, poor-selling tablets, a delayed operating system update - so, the news comes at a much needed time. While RIM may see this as an opportunity in the software/security market, it’s also an admission of defeat, to some extent, in the handset market.
If you start pestering your IT department today, there’s a good chance you’ll get a call back by early 2012, which is when RIM says Mobile Fusion will be ready to roll out. (note to the Marketplace Tech Report IT staff: you know I’m joking... right? Also, how do I “power off” my computer?)