Big Brother Gets a Make Over

By Adam Zeis on 18 Dec 2007 12:41 am EST

Big BrotherBig Brother Gets A Makeover Corporations and BES admins have always had their eyes over our shoulders, and today the long line of BES software continued as Gwava has come up with Retain For Blackberry Enterprise Server. The longtime developer of various security software has released the software that adds on to the email and text monitoring already present on BES and makes it a breeze for Admins to analyze the data without any extra device software. The software will show email history, text history - including who sent & received the SMS message - call logs and also Blackberry Messenger messages. Admins can also add in keywords and be alerted immediately when they pop up on a device. Users wont be able to edit or work around the software since it does not present itself on the individual devices at all. Some companies may love this new offering as more and more they are monitoring all communications fro PCs and phones alike.

While similar offerings exist, Retain for BlackBerry has an advantage because it doesn't require any software for the BlackBerry phones, Lauer said. That makes it easier for IT administrators to manage, and also means that the capability is transparent to end-users. "The biggest value proposition, besides the amount of work for IT to deploy the software, is that the device user can't alter or delete a phone call or SMS or Pin message at the device level," he said.

What's it all mean? How about if you're using a BlackBerry that was issued to you by your company you may want to think twice before you send that message. Ergggs.

[ PC World

Topics: Apps

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

Big Brother Gets a Make Over


While I understand why companies do these things to employee BB, I have never been a big supporter of it, especially when the employee is not made aware such things are in place, in my job I speak to a good amount of people who have BES restrictions deployed on their devices and impeding what they can and can't do on their devices, maybe my hatred for it comes from the fact of me talking to these people and them blaming me for the problems they are having when in true fact theirs nothing I can do to solve/stop it from happening, maybe if the employee's were made aware of these things I may not have as much hassle but thats not the case...good for BES admins...Bad for carriers who have to provide support to these people without knowing their are BES restrictions that are in effect, carriers have no access to the BES side of things and most consumers don't know what their company has deployed on their devices.

Retain is making it possible of a company or organization to meet regulatory compliance. When the NCAA decided to begin restricting coaches from texting recruits, BlackBerry Administrators were faced with the choice of completely trusting their coaches to follow the guidelines, turning off the capabilities so they didn't have to worry about it, or putting in a tool, like Retain, so that they could use the tool, trust their coaches, and verify that they were in compliance with the regulations.

GWAVA is helping companies meet the mandates are required by law and keep the communication tools in the hands of employees.

I don't disagree that I wish we didn't have to have someone watching over our shoulders to keep us in line, but it would seem to be an indication of human nature that someone needs to be watching.

Re: earlier comments by Richard Bliss. These comments were more than likely made by Richard Bliss of GWAVA, where Richard Bliss is Vice President of Marketing, Worldwide. Smile for the camera Here for LinkedIn profile

I work for a leading, international law firm,(1,500 Blackberrys) I will definitely be taking a closer look at Retain for BES. Retain certainly has great potential as a valuable tool to meet the highly stringent, and ever expanding needs in regards to regulatory compliance.

More than ever, large firms cannot afford to simply cross their fingers, and hope that their employees follow firm policies. Imagine that business secrets were suspected of being leaked to rivals via PIN messages, or that employee denies sending harrassing SMS or emails to another employee? A large firm needs tools to track this type of data.

As for the capabilities of a BES, thank goodness a company can choose from over 100 policies to apply over the air to their Blackberry devices, install software etc. also to be able to lock down or remotely wipe a lost/stolen device.

Without central control, you have no control. If employees want to learn why certain features are locked down - they should direct their concerns to the internal IT Help Desk - not the carrier. In most large firms, most IT related policies also come with the backing of the firm's Management.

A Blackberry is simply another business tool issued and paid for by the employer to make that employee more productive - not a plaything, nor a private device.


Seriously? How is this different from Lotus Notes or Outlook & Exchange Server??? Or monitoring of your phone line at work? If your Blackberry is paid for by the company, it's COMPANY property. It certainly isn't your personal toy or a way to get in contact with friends on where to meet for coffee or harass the employee in the next cubicle into having "relations" with you.

So many people take advantage of what companies offer to make you more productive. ie: the Internet. Companies offer this is a reference tool or to look certain things up, not as a way to shop on ebay or check your myspace page! I have friends that complain constantly that their companies are blocking myspace at work... Booo Hoo! Same goes with Blackberries, if you don't want it monitored then go out and get your own and pay for it out of your own pocket. Then it won't be monitored for illicit activities.