BlackBerry Opens its Smartphone OS to Multiple MDM Platforms

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BlackBerry has opened up its Operating System a notch and said that it will now allow 3rd party mobile device management (MDM) companies to directly manage devices with the BlackBerry 10 OS..

AirWatch, Citrix and IBM have expressed their intent to be the first companies to work with BlackBerry.

Enabling 3rd-party companies to offer mobile management services is one step towards making BlackBerry handsets easier for corporate IT departments to look after. In principle, they would be able to use just one MDM platform for a range of devices, as opposed to having one for BlackBerry and another for everyone else.

It can be seen as a mitigation strategy, as having two separate MDM platforms increased the risk that the IT dept would simply stop supporting employees who want to use BlackBerry handsets -- forcing them onto rival OS platforms.

"Offering the end-to-end secure solutions valued by our customers in government and other regulated industries remains central to our strategy; however BlackBerry understands the opportunity and importance of opening our BlackBerry 10 software," said Ron Louks, President of Devices and Emerging Solutions, BlackBerry. "This is a natural next step in our enterprise strategy as we seek to provide our customers with maximum choice in how they will meet the full array of employee mobility needs."

BlackBerry will continue to offer its own multi-platform EMM solution BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 (BES10), which manages and secures corporate-owned and BYOD BlackBerry, iOS and Android devices.

BlackBerry intends to launch BES12 in late 2014, adding Windows Phone 8 support.

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