Today is Capital Markets day at RIM where they talk about the year behind and the year ahead to financial analysts. But this week is also its annual wireless conference, BlackBerry World and it made two important announcements that’s going to impact enterprise mobility management. First, RIM is finally moving into multi-OS device support by acquiring the mobile device management (MDM) vendor Ubitexx, based out of Munich, Germany. Ubitexx was listed on our MDM Magic Quadrant and is a fairly strong provider in its market. RIM will eventually, in a year or so, integrate its multi-device capability into the BES. This will allow one-stop management for BlackBerry, Android, iOS and other devices. However, don’t expect RIM to be able to match the 550 policies it has for BB on other devices. Like any other MDM vendor, it will be limited to what the OS vendor will allow for support. Though no pricing was announced, it may drive up BES licensing costs, as co-CEO Jim Balsillie announced that the deal was also an opportunity for increased revenue.
RIM also announced the shipping of BlackBerry Balance. This is RIM’s capability for managing and securing corporate from personal data, which was announced earlier this year. There’s no doubt that the consumerization of mobile IT is placing a lot of stress on securing corporate data on personal devices. Other MDM vendors also provide containers around corporate data to allow additional security. The nice thing about doing this on the BlackBerry will be the consistent interface and integrated BES solution. Porting this capability to other OSes will be important as RIM moves deeper into MDM.
RIM is smart for supporting other devices on its BES. There’s no doubt as other platforms began to be supported into the enterprise RIM was worried about its position. If RIM can do for the enterprise what Apple has done for consumers–being a one-stop shop for enterprise devices, applications, content, management–it will be a more successful strategy than only selling smartphone devices, which are under constant pricing pressure and the threat of commoditization.