RIM adds IM to BlackBerry server

The latest version of Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerryEnterprise Server, introduced at Cebit on Friday, supportsenterprise instant messaging and supports the development ofapplications that mobilize corporate applications, RIM said.

Enterprises that upgrade to the BlackBerry Enterprise Serverv4.1 can allow mobile Blackberry users to exchange instant messageswith users of Microsoft Windows Messenger, Live CommunicationsServer 2005 and IBM Lotus Sametime systems, the RIM said.

Another new feature allows administrators to wirelessly pushdata to a new BlackBerry handset for users who have lost their oldone, without them having to return to base. Previously, the userwould have used a wired connection to a desktop to download theirdata to a new device, said Charmaine Eggberry, vice president ofRIM’s European enterprise business unit.

The new server also supports BlackBerry MDS Studio, adevelopment tool for creating applications. BlackBerry customersare increasingly extending applications other than e-mail, such asCRM (customer relationship management) applications, to theirBlackBerry devices, Eggberry said.

The new server combined with BlackBerry MDS Studio is aimed athelping developers create the applications, she said. Currently, 60percent of the existing 60,000 BlackBerry Enterprise Server usersalready enable access to corporate applications other than e-mail,she said.

RIM also showed a Bluetooth-enabled smart card reader that canbe used to further secure BlackBerry handsets. Customers place thereader near their BlackBerry. Once the BlackBerry identifies thereader, it will display a dual-sign on screen. The user must inputa BlackBerry password as well as a password tied to the smart card.If the card is removed from the reader, the BlackBerry shutsdown.

The extra security measure is expected to appeal to governmentand some large enterprise customers, said Khalid Kefel, commercialrelations director for RIM.

RIM also announced that it is working with the FraunhoferInstitute, a research institute in Germany, to create a benchmarkfor securing mobile e-mail, Eggberry said.

Separately, RIM also said on Friday that it acquired AscendentSystems Inc. for an undisclosed sum. Ascendent, previously aBlackBerry alliance member, offers software that allows businessesto extend some PBX functions such as call transfer, conferencecalling and four or five digit dialing to mobile devices. Thesoftware also offers end users a single voicemail service and asingle number that can reach them on their desk or mobilephones.

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