Just yesterday Research In Motion announced the release of Service Pack 4 for BlackBerry Enterprise Server Version 5 as well as Service pack 1 for Mobile Fusion. These two service updates are paving the way for the future of BlackBerry 10’s integration on BES 10 and additional expansion of services for Mobile Device Management (MDM).
We had the opportunity to interview Research In Motion’s Senior Director for Enterprise Product Management, Jeff Holleran. We talk to Jeff about his roles in the recent product launches and how RIM is working on BES 10. Have a listen, or read the interview transcription below.
– Interview transcription –
N4BB: How were you involved in these two product launches?
Jeff: At RIM I am responsible for our product roadmap and direction on the enterprise product front. My team has been working closely with our partners over the past couple of months to understand where their needs are and what enhancements they wanted to see in the product line. We’ve made strong commitment in support of the requests of our partners. We work with them and their development team to bring out the wealth of good functionality.
It was a great day yesterday to see our products across our entire mobility management line updated, all the way from BES through the Fusion family. It was a very busy day for us.
N4BB: When is Universal Device Service going to support iOS6?
Jeff: That’s a very timely question with the launch of iOS 6 this week. With the update that we made available yesterday, we are supporting iOS 6 devices so our customers can activate an iOS 6 device against the Universal Device Service today.
N4BB: Is there going to be a ‘Enterprise activation’-like process on Android and iOS clients too?
Jeff: It is very similar to enterperise activation and if you have an Android or iOS client that you’re connecting up to Mobile Fusion today, you’d go out and download the Mobile Fusion client from the appropriate app store of the mobile device you have. Through that client you’d be able to go through an enterprise activation process that configures the device. It will go ahead and send out all of the settings that the administrator has configured, the email controls necessary to configure the email accounts, so the end-user doesn’t have to go through all of the steps of the server and port configuration, it is very similar to a BlackBerry with respect to connecting it up.
N4BB: Can you please further describe how the TouchDown feature will work for Android and iOS?
Jeff: TouchDown is an email client that comes from a company called NitroDesk and it is very popular in the Android community as a messaging client in place of the native messaging client that’s on the Android devices. Our support of that is to configure that client with all of those email settings so that if you have TouchDown installed on your Android device and you register against the Mobile Fusion server, when you activate the device through the activation process, we send out all of the server configuration for the actives and connections into the TouchDown client itself. It makes a very seamless experience for those users who have TouchDown installed on their devices.
N4BB: Can you please describe RIM’s future plans with MDS?
Jeff: MDS is our Mobile Data Service it is a component of the BES solution that helps extend the perimeter of the corporate network to encompass the BlackBerry devices. When you’re on your BlackBerry it is very similar to being on the network you’ve got the ability to do a lot of the same things as being on your desktop. For instance, you can browser the intranet when connected up to a BlackBerry Enterprise Server. It gives you the ability to access the file application of the device and browser file shares that sit behind the firewall. If you’ve got a Map Network Drive, most folks in a company do that they back their files up to, you’ve got the ability to access those files on the device through MDS.
If a company writes applications, those applications can transit the network through MDS to provide connectivity with no need for VPN or other connectivity. MDS is very important to us. I put up a blog post about ActiveSync and our use of it. With the PlayBook, if you look how we’ve leverage ActiveSync, we’ve been able to use it as a messaging protocol, but wrap it inside of our MDS transport so that a customer does not need to expose ActiveSync out to the internet. Or expose those interfaces directly to the internet. Using the PlayBook, and BlackBerry 10 will work the same way, you can si