Upcoming BES12 to add support for BlackBerry 5 OS

Organizations still running BlackBerry Enterprise Sever 5 have been left out of the capabilities the latest version of BES offers. That is about to change.

BlackBerry said this week at Mobile World Congress that the upcoming BES12 will unify the current BES 10 and BES 5 platforms into what it calls an application-enabled enterprise mobility management solution.

It will also be available in an on-premise, cloud and hybrid versions.

In addition BlackBerry said it will provide free migration to BES10 in a bid to get more enterprises to switch to its platform in the hotly-contest mobile management market, as well as a new pricing structure.

BES12 will be released by the end of the year.

“BES10 is the only mobility management solution that meets the highest security demands of regulated industries and is also flexible enough for BYOD,” John Sims, president of BlackBerry’s global enterprise solutions, said in a statement.  “This value proposition is why the new BES12 architecture is designed to ensure that the more than 80,000 existing BES customers can seamlessly migrate forward. As we execute on our long term vision, we will offer all customers the opportunity to move forward with us.”

BES12 will manage devices running BlackBerry 5, 6, 7 and 10 operating systems as well as Android and iOS devices.

It will have a new architecture re that will provide customers with the ability to move from on-premise to the cloud effortlessly and securely, BlackBerry said. Customers will have a choice of on-premise, public cloud,private cloud and hybrid environments.

In advance of the release of BES12, the company’s new EZ Pass program provides free migration for customers to move from older BES and other mobile device platforms to BES10 as well as a new pricing structure.

For existing BlackBerry customers, the EZ Pass will match any active existing on-premise BES license and any active license customers may have from other MDM vendors with a corresponding Silver level BES10 perpetual license. Customers will also receive free Advantage-level technical support with their new license to help them get up and running fast.

The new pricing and licensing structure will provide two simple tiers, Silver and Gold.

–Silver includes full device, application, email and security management for BlackBerry, iOS and Android devices, including the BlackBerry Balance technology for BlackBerry 10 smartphones. That allows organizations to create corporate and personal workspaces on BB10 devices.

–Gold adds the Secure Work Space capability for creating similar separate work spaces on iOS and Android devices. The level also includes and advanced BB10 management and security features.

Finally, BlackBerry also announced a new family and products and services to support enterprise-grade messaging on all BlackBery OS devices. Called eBBM Suite, its first application will be BBM Protected and is aimed at regulated industries that need to prove they have secure messaging.

It will have end-to-end encryption of BBM messages that uses symmetric encryption keys and best-in-class technology for public-private signing and encryption key pairs, BlackBerry said.

The eBBM Suite will launch this summer. Organizations will pay a monthly per-user fee.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including ITBusiness.ca and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@] soloreporter.com

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