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BlackBerry remains the device of choice for the US Government

BlackBerry Security
By Jared DiPane on 6 Apr 2012 10:38 am EDT
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While some companies may be moving away from corporate BlackBerry devices, and RIM has released applications for Android and iOS , the US Government has decided that BlackBerry is still their top choice. RIM's focus has been, and likely always will be having a secure platform in which the users data is extremely safe. While the US Government has allowed some users to go with Android or iOS, they still support 12,000 BlackBerry users, and that is what they prefer.

"We appreciate RIM's focus on security, which is paramount for government use," said Casey Coleman, the chief information officer at the General Services Administration.

Continued support is always a good sign, we know RIM has many new things coming down the line, many of which will continue to spark interest in users. With BlackBerry 10 on the horizon, and the launch of BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 just behind us, we hope more businesses will continue to see the benefits of having BlackBerry devices in the hands of their productive employees.

Source: Washington Post 

Reader comments

BlackBerry remains the device of choice for the US Government

34 Comments

Last week I was watching CNBC here in the UK on the night of the RIM results. They had an analyst who was clearly no fan of RIM (everyone is entitled to their opinion). I can't remember all that he said but his parting shot to an audience of business people and investors was, "you can't play Angry Birds on a BlackBerry".

But there is a large market in the non-government and non-company based customers like myself. If RIM combines their security with user experience on BB 10, then it will out perform on ALL markets. RIM can't just depend on governments along!

RIM needs to solidify its government and business base with BB10, that's the core user. Then they can work on the consumer. Great thing is, Angry Birds should be ready for BB10 on day 1.

Good to see some common sense from the CIO. Security should be the only priority for the US government and any organization, not the ability to waste time and play games on a work device.

RIM needs to build on Press like this!

They need to Market better, stressing security (even for the regular Joe), in these insecure times - GOOGLE ANDROIDANARCHY!!

I'm a BES admin at a civil gov in Canada and we LOVE BB and BES for all those security reasons. Sure, we let a. Few iOS come in but with Mobile Fusion, we can manage those soon. BB will always be our first choice.

I noticed a mistake in Jared's post that should be cleared up. He states that:

"While the US Government has allowed some users to go with Android or iOS, they still support 12,000 BlackBerry users, and that is what they prefer."

The 12,000 BlackBerry users mentioned in the Washington Post article refers only to the General Services Administration (GSA), a single government agency, not the entire U.S. government. As we know, the U.S. government has many agencies and branches. The actual number of D.C. government employees using BlackBerry devices is far higher than 12,000 (i.e. Congress, Dept. of Interior, Office of Personnel Management, etc etc.).

I work in D.C. myself, although I work for a large NGO charity, not the feds. Just in our headquarters alone, we have hundreds of employees using BlackBerries (I'm using a now-ancient Bold 9700, so I'm hoping to upgrade to a BB7 soon!).

In addition to government employees, D.C. also has thousands of people working at large institutions like the World Bank and the Red Cross who have employer-issued BlackBerries.

this is an oppurtinity knocking for RIM to upgrade those pre OS7 devices to the government since OS7 is certified. i hope RIM doesnt sleep on this.

Good and bad news. I work in the DC area doing senior IT support for the banking industry. Recently we saw a small uptick in the number of new BBs being added to BES. That is the good news. The bad news is our largest customer is dropping BES and going with BEST. A mistake I know but I was not involved in the decision. When I asked the decision maker at the customer about that yesterday, she said they were not sure RIM would be around in a year. Also, she did not know about Fusion or the iOS and Android agents. This lays at the feet of RIM for not working to keep these customers.

I went to the hottest restaurant in the DC area last Saturday night. Every phone I saw was an iPhone.

Why is this news anyway? It's going to take more than the backing of the US government to keep RIM afloat. I guess when you have no new new news to report you hang on to whatever you can. Here's a better article "Blackberry remains the device of choice for US consumers" We know that will never happen again.

This is news. There have been stories about this business and that business dropping BlackBerry. There should be stories about the ones sticking with BlackBerry.

The impression I get is RIM has recognized it needs to re-focus on its core market (business / security) and in recognizing this, is prepared to scale its business operations to a smaller and focused professional / sophisticated audience.

Many have posted, me included, RIM can't be everything to everyone. We know the US market likes its devices to be primarily entertainment based with lots of bells and whistles. If security was as big of a "must have" as Angry Birds, you would have seen Apple focus their energy on developing this segment of their product features to overtake RIM in this sandbox. But they haven't and it's not because they don't have the money. It would appear they choose not to engage or compete at this level. Why would they? Apple's having too much fun and success at developing general consumer devices and applications like sushi ninja.

So as much as it would seem counter-supportive of RIM, I would support RIM's decision to scale down operations to the point of limiting their product lines, focus on enhancing and strengthening their security advantage, and as Kevin indicated, develop their OS experience to be fluid, sophisticated, and rock solid for what it was MEANT for...business professionals that prioritize security and data integrity in every facet of mobile communications.

Not until people experience a personal attack or misuse of their own personal information due to a security breach on their device, the US market at large will not put security above Angry Birds.

It's like people won't turn on or install a home security system until they've had a break-in already. Same situation with BB vs iPhone or Android.

RIM, be the best in the market you define. Just keep a smaller number of devices with the same capabilities available to any consumers who enjoy the benefits of BB.

Has anyone seen a story were a company experienced a security breach via an employee's iPhone or Android phone? If security is such a big issue, RIM needs to demonstrate the issue. Have a side-by-side attack of a company's IT infrastructure via an unauthorized access through a compremised iPhone and Android and end with ad with "IT admins and CEOs- you have been warned!"

I saw this article on Engadget yesterday, and surprisingly, the majority of comments on the article were positive for once. Only a few BB haters. BB's security is one thing trolls can't knock I guess.

The old saying, "Jack of all trades, Master of none" would be a fairly appropriate description of the Apple/Android platforms and I'm glad to see RIM steering away from that quagmire. Let the Androids, Apple and Microsoft fight for the title of "best camera" and let RIM become the master of communications and security. As long a RIM keeps a close eye on the latest technological developments and is willing to incorporate anything that will enhance their communications ability, without compromising the security of their devices, they will remain a relevant option for a good many people and organizations. The general populace will always be drawn to any shiny new bauble dangled in front of them, if only for the novelty of it, but where performance and reliability are paramount "shiny" and "new" rarely add anything meaningful to the overall experience. I think RIM is heading in the right direction and will emerge as a serious device for serious people (which I think it already is) and let the rest of them struggle with being everything for everyone.

Have you read the whole article? It's hardly a ringing endorsement of BB.

In the sentence right after the one you pulled out above, the GSA rep said, "But Coleman added that other platforms are proving equally secure. The GSA, she said, places 'a priority on adoption where appropriate of innovative new technologies,'”

Three paragraphs later - "The slow pace of change has made the BlackBerry as much a part of federal culture as short-sleeve, white-collared shirts were among NASA engineers or lapel pins are among politicians on Capitol Hill. Some analysts even expect Washington to become the last bastion for RIM’s devices.

That would leave many Washingtonians with smartphone envy. "

This is FAR from a ringing endorsement of RIM. It basically is saying "the government is stuck with BlackBerry for now but it will change over time." BB10 will be make or break. If it isn't readily compatible with BES and IT folks can't work on them like they can now, I expect the phase out will be accelerated.

Lol I don't see this s a positive story. If you haven't noticed, the government is always a$$-backwards and the slowest entity around.

Did you really expect anything less for the government to do?
Of course it would be the Blackberry as the first thing that comes to mind are the words Business, Security, Government, Corporate, Encryption etc
When I think of iPhone or Android I immediately think Apps and Angry Birds...

One thing everybody everybody forgot to point out, is that even Pres. Obama is rocking 2 BBs one for official use and one for personal.

In almost ever picture you ever see him in he has one in his hand.

I use Linux, and Blackberry, and i would never wanna have security issues with anything i use, I'm very security concerned kinda person :)

Wow. I guess I shouldn't be shocked but this article is very biased. The author conveniently neglects to mention that in the very next paragraph after his quote the original article states, "But Coleman added that other platforms are proving equally secure. The GSA, she said, places “a priority on adoption where appropriate of innovative new technologies,”. Government is looking at all devices and some sectors have switched to iPhone or Android.