BlackBerry expands separation of work, personal space to iOS, Android devices
BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY) is extending the separation of corporate and personal workspaces, available on BlackBerry smartphones through BlackBerry Balance, to iOS and Android devices, the company announced Thursday.
With its Secure Work Space product, BlackBerry is offering enterprises the ability to separate corporate and personal workspaces on employees' iOS and Android devices using the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 platform, providing increased security for corporate data and applications.
Security is top of mind for IT departments when it comes to BYOD. According to a recent survey by IDC and Samsung, 84 percent of IT decision makers polled said that security is a critical component of any BYOD strategy.
With the launch of BES 10 and he BlackBerry Z10 in January, BlackBerry made the ability to separate corporate and personal workspaces available. It did this through the BlackBerry Balance technology built into the BlackBerry device and enabled by a connection to the BES 10 server.
"Our customers have asked us to provide security for their data regardless of the mobile platform. We recognize that the enterprise is a heterogeneous environment with end users bringing in a variety of devices," Jeff Holleran, senior director of enterprise product management at BlackBerry, told FierceMobileIT.
BlackBerry is hoping the new feature will enable it to sell high-margin services to enterprises even if their employees do not use BlackBerry handsets, explained a report by Reuters. "Supporting devices with the best, most secure, and easiest-to-use mobile solution should enable RIM to transform into what we believe is an attractive model," Jefferies analyst Peter Misek wrote in a client note quoted by the newswire.
Secure Work Space will extend BlackBerry's separation technology to iOS and Android devices to accommodate the diversity of devices coming into the enterprise, although iOS and Android users will not have the same feature-rich experience as BlackBerry 10 users, explained Holleran.
"The difference between what we offer with BlackBerry 10 on BlackBerry Balance and what we can offer with Secure Work Space for iOS and Android is going to be the end user experience ... With Balance, we provide seamless integration and a unified view. That is something we just can't provide based on the underlying operating systems of iOS and Android," Holleran said.
Secure Work Space includes secure client applications for email, calendar, contacts, tasks, memos, secure browsing and document editing. In addition, with Secure Work Space, enterprises will no longer have to configure virtual private networks to provide mobile device access to data and applications that reside behind corporate firewalls, explained BlackBerry.
"With this product, BlackBerry is showcasing their security legacy by providing a stronger cross platform security solution than anyone else can in the market," commented Robert Enderle, principal analyst with Enderle Group.
Secure Work Space is currently in beta testing and is expected to be available to enterprises by the end of the second quarter of 2013.