BlackBerry opens up BB10 to outside MDM platforms

BlackBerry has announced that alternative mobile device management systems can now support BlackBerry 10. AirWatch, Citrix, and IBM are already showing interest in supporting BB10 in their respective MDM solutions. BlackBerry will of course continue to be offering BES as their own solution to businesses looking to wrangle Android, iOS, and BB10 devices.

This is a pretty big step for BlackBerry, which has traditionally held a pretty firm grip on their devices, but as a shift in providing a flexible platform with as wide adoption as possible, this is probably a smart move. What do you guys think? Should BlackBerry be the only one to offer software to managed BB10 devices, or would you like the option of alternative MDM solutions?

Press Release

BlackBerry Opens BlackBerry 10 Operating System to Multiple MDM Platforms

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 13, 2014) - BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ: BBRY) (TSX: BB), a world leader in mobile communications, today announced that it will enable mobile device management (MDM) companies to directly manage devices with the BlackBerry 10 operating system.

AirWatch, Citrix and IBM have expressed their intent to be the first companies to work with BlackBerry to enable a more open mobility ecosystem. In doing so, BlackBerry will provide organizations with more options to embrace multi-operating system mobile environments by enabling other MDM companies to manage BlackBerry 10 devices.

According to Gartner, "Mobile device management (MDM) remains a top priority for IT buyers, and investment levels are growing steadily. Competition among players drives commoditization."(1) Gartner also notes, "Proliferation of and demand for workplace mobility necessitate the need for quality and flexible management tools."(2) As a result of this demand, BlackBerry is working with the companies listed above to offer customers the most flexible solution to support a broader enterprise mobility strategy.

"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."

"The enterprise mobility landscape continues to rapidly evolve, and BlackBerry represents a valued addition to our partner ecosystem," said Kevin Keith, Director of Business Development, AirWatch by VMware®. "The integration of the BlackBerry 10 operating system into the comprehensive AirWatch Enterprise Mobility Management Platform™ will empower our customers and partners to fully manage any device in their mobile fleet from a single console." "At Citrix, our vision is to deliver mobile workspaces to users anywhere, any time and on any device. As an industry EMM leader, Citrix XenMobile extends support to all enterprise devices. We have long supported BlackBerry OS devices, and the new BlackBerry 10 APIs create exciting possibilities," said Chris Fleck, Vice President of Mobility Solutions & Alliances, Citrix.

BlackBerry will continue to offer its 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.