Speaking with PCMag recently, RIM’s vice president of developer relations and ecosystem development Alec Saunders said that the company’s early BBX-powered smartphones will not resemble the popular BlackBerry Bold form factor. The first BBX devices will instead look like smaller versions of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and will come equipped with screens sporting a 16:9 aspect ratio and a 1024 x 600-pixel resolution. Saunders also said the first BBX phones will support BlackBerry Enterprise Server. BGR’s exclusively reported in August that the Waterloo, Canada-based company was building a special version of BES for its new BBX devices. According to rumors, RIM is rushing to get the BlackBerry Colt out of the door in light of BlackBerry 7 device sales that have reportedly underwhelmed, and it is expected to make its debut during the first quarter of next year.
Last month we reported on RIM’s announcement of BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express (BESX). And today, we are happy to report that BESX is alive, well, and ready for download on RIM’s website. As previously mentioned, BESX is RIM’s solution for small and medium sized businesses who could benefit from the centralized control and functionality of a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) but can’t justify the cost of a full fledged BES. We’ve got the official RIM BESX site all linked up for you. We’ll be sticking to a regular BES server around these parts, but what about you guys? More →
Big news out of Barcelona today as RIM has announced BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express, the software we exclusively told you about a couple of days ago. Simply put, BESX allows SMBs with a Microsoft Exchange or Windows Small Business Server to take advantage of the following BES features without having to splurge on the pricey software:
- Wirelessly synchronize their email, calendar, contacts, notes and tasks
- Manage email folders and search email on the mail server remotely
- Book meetings and appointments, check availability and forward calendar attachments
- Set an out-of-office reply
- Edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files using Documents To Go®
- Access files stored on the company network
Deployment of BESX shouldn’t be much of an issue for most SMBs as the software is compatible with Microsoft Exchange 2003, 2007 and 2010 as well as Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 and 2008. In terms of security, RIM says BESX has “the same robust security architecture found in BlackBerry Enterprise Server” whilst allowing IT admins to oversee over 35 IT policies and controls, including password controls and remote wiping. The BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express software itself will be free, but we’ve been told RIM will charge $5 per user per month. Furthermore, BESX does not need users to be on a BES data plan which translates to even more savings. Pretty damn awesome if you ask us. One huge downside we’ve heard? BESX will not support enterprise activations (OTA deployment).Look for the software to drop next month if all goes well. More →
Need more proof that Verizon is on the cusp of releasing the BlackBerry Storm 9550? If so, you might want to check out this BES 5.0 flyer that one of our BlackBerry connects just sent us. Aimed towards corporate folks, the flyer lists what a glorious and indispensable business tool the still-unannounced BlackBerry 9550 is when running on BES 5.0. You know, good stuff like follow-up flags, advanced folder management, calendar appointment forwarding, wireless contact sync, document editing with DocumentsToGo and remote file sharing with the Files app. Yes friends, this is hotness personified. Hit the jump for a larger pic!
First announced at WES 2009, Google’s Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server has finally gone live after missing its promised July launch. Free to Google Apps Premier and Education Edition users, Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server allows Google Apps to integrate with BES while eliminating the need for Exchange. Here are the highlights:
- Messages sent to your Gmail inbox are pushed to your BlackBerry within 60 seconds.
- Emails read/deleted on your BlackBerry are marked as read/deleted in Gmail, and vice-versa.
- Emails archived/starred on your BlackBerry are archived/starred in Gmail, and vice-versa.
- BlackBerry folders are synchronized with labels in Gmail.
- You can search for contact information of coworkers from the global address list on your BlackBerry.
- Contacts in Gmail are automatically synchronized with your BlackBerry address book.
- You can view your Google Calendar schedule with the native BlackBerry application, with one-way synchronization from Google Calendar to your BlackBerry device. Two-way calendar sync with the ability to accept, decline and schedule meetings from your BlackBerry device is not available with this release but we are working on it.
- Administrators can use the management and security tools that are part of BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
All in all, Google Apps Connector seems to be a solid Exchange alternative — though we would definitely have a very, very hard time parting with Microsoft’s tried and true solution. Plenty of companies are doing it however, so this is big news for them. Us? We’ll stick to Exchange.