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.