RIM Unveils Hosted BlackBerry Offering For SMB

By Brian P. Watson  |  Posted 2006-07-06 Print this article Print

Research in Motion announced a server that will let telecom companies host RIM mobile service for small and mid-sized customers.

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM), the top seller in the enterprise smartphone market, today announced a new software offering, the Hosted BlackBerry Enterprise Server, that will allow carriers and service providers to host RIM's mobile service for small to medium-sized businesses customers.

Those carriers that host the service software will be able to offer their small to medium-sized business (SMB) customers support for e-mail programs such as Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Domino and Novell GroupWise, according to David Wilmering, a product marketing director with RIM. They'll also be able to provide access to instant messaging, Web browsing and access to a company's intranet and other business applications.

Previously, if SMB customers wanted those services their only option was to install and manage their own BlackBerry software.

RIM currently offers, through its carrier partners, the BlackBerry Internet Service, which integrates up to 10 mailboxes, usually for firms that use Internet service providers for their primary e-mail, and the BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express, a scaled-down version of RIM's enterprise server software product that provides wireless e-mail as well as security and policy controls for small businesses or small satellite offices.

The new hosted offering is different in that it lets SMBs manage their e-mail environments, set security policies across the company and build their own applications.

RIM's Wilmering said that more than 30 carriers and service providers – including EDS, British Telecom and Vodafone—have agreed to support the package

Wilmering says the Waterloo, Ontario, company saw potential in the SMB market based on customer feedback—small companies, he said, that came to them asking for a hosted option because they have less capital to spend on technology implementations and maintenance.

Associate Editor

Brian joined Baseline in March 2006. In addition to previous stints at Inter@ctive Week and The Net Economy, he's written for The News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla., as well as The Sunday Tribune in Dublin, Ireland. Brian has a B.A. from Bucknell University and a master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.


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