BlackBerry has confirmed that it’s bringing Secure Work Space, a software solution that offers professionals a secure way of separating their work and personal data on a mobile device, to iOS and Android.
Closed beta testing has already begun, although a public release is expected before the third quarter of this year.
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The multi-platform solution will be managed through BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, which the company revealed would soon be updated to include security for “data-at-rest” and “data-in-transit”, providing users with a more complete separation of the data needed for their job.
Secure Work Space currently includes secured client apps for email, calendar, contacts, tasks, memos, secure browsing and document editing for any device covered under BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, which launched in January.
David J Smith, EVP of Enterprise Mobile Computing at BlackBerry, said launching the service on iOS and Android was “critical” in a society adopting the bring your own device (BYOD) mentality.
“Enterprise Service 10 offers administrators a single, intuitive platform enabling them to effectively and securely manage a variety of devices while protecting their corporate assets and at the same time providing employees the flexibility they desire,” he said.
Why support iOS and Android?
It’s still all too common to see businessmen walking around with two smartphones. One, quite often a BlackBerry, has been given to them for work while the other, usually running a different mobile OS, has their personal SIM card and data.
The ongoing concern for BlackBerry has been that people will eventually ditch the device given to them by their employer once other mobile platforms – iOS and Android in particular – catch up and begin to offer more robust services and productivity tools.
Secure Work Space exists to try to keep professionals on a BlackBerry device, by offering large businesses a solution so that they can keep their company smartphone for both work and personal use.
The solution also means that employers don’t need to configure or manage expensive VPN infrastructures to ensure that mobile devices only have access to data and applications protected by corporate firewalls.
The support for iOS and Android shows that BlackBerry has admitted it can no longer pretend that its own mobile OS is presently the dominant choice for employers. By supporting Apple and Google’s mobile platforms, businesses will be able to oversee the applications and data accessed by users across (almost) all types of mobile devices.
In the process, BlackBerry makes considerably more money by licensing the technology to additional companies. In other words, everybody wins – except BlackBerry sales, of course.
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