The Pentagon promises to continue to support BlackBerry Smartphones while welcoming BYOD

The Pentagon promises to continue to support BlackBerry Smartphones while welcoming BYOD
By DJ Reyes on 3 Nov 2012 03:46 pm EDT

It's not new to us that many companies and indeed governments are opening its doors to BOYD (Bring Your Own Device) users. We will also now see the Pentagon allow the U.S. military to start using other devices, specifically the iPhone and Android devices. But the Pentagon also says that it will continue to support a large number of BlackBerry phones.

However, at the same time, the Pentagon is also looking offer a contract to companies who can provide software that will allow them to manage and monitor all the different devices. BYOD is a reality, so while it's not ideal for RIM to lose that Pentagon exclusivity with BlackBerry, RIM can step up and offer their Mobile Device Management Service, Mobile Fusion. It serves the purpose that the Pentagon are looking for to manage Android, iOS and BlackBerry devices.

The contract will start with least 162,500 devices, eventually increasing to 262,500. In the long run, the Pentagon would like to support 8 million devices. So, if RIM were successful in their bid to the DOD, it would certainly make losing the exclusivity with the Pentagon less of a blow.

Source: Reuters 

Reader comments

The Pentagon promises to continue to support BlackBerry Smartphones while welcoming BYOD


Best scenario for RIM is to win the bid with Mobile Fusion/BES10, and then to show the Pentagon how much better BB10 devices are with this, and hope that people choose BB10 for BYOD because of how much better Balance is for dual persona than any other solution on the market.


Besides Mobile Fusion is the ONLY managment system that can control Android, iOS, & BB (which is what the Penagon is looking for) my knowledge there is no system that can currently manage Windows 8; though I'm sure M$ is working on one of their one.

I believe RIM has said they will add Windows Phone support to Fusion/BES10 if or when there is enough scale/demand to justify it. Right now it looks like that is their leverage against WP just like Microcludge seem to be using Skype as a club to beat RIM with.

Agreed. I don't think that even under the best circumstances that RIM could have maintained the monopoly it used to have.

The scenario you describe would have them step up and be competitive.

For those of us who know how to read and post a comment, sure LOL.
I’d rather be a Black Sheep than an iSheep any day.

The only reason there allowing support for BYOD is because people don't want to use blackberry phones anymore. People are just going to bring other phones, so this is just like saying they are dropping blackberry phones. BB10 has to be a hit, I mean they can't just rely on the 80 million subscribers they need to bring people from other platforms back over. I really hope they pull this off.

Not to worry from everything I've seen with BB10 it will become a hit. And all indications with iPad mini and iPhone 5 are they don't have the same huge impact as their predecessors, so Apple is clearly starting their decline. Perfect timing for Blackberry to regain their lost greatness.
I’d rather be a Black Sheep than an iSheep any day.

I agree that Apple has peaked, but don't expect their fall to be fast as they have enough cash and enough loyal users that they will hold on to a good chunk of the market for a long time.

Also don't count Windows Phone out even though it offers nothing really for anyone to choose it over Android or iOS Microsoft also has a ton of resources and can afford to stay in the game forever even if they lose money every year in mobile because they have a stranglehold on the PC market and Office market.

RIM doesn't have anywhere near the ecosystem or alternate revenue streams that Apple, Google, and Microsoft has. RIM is David up against 3 Goliaths. RIM needs partnerships while they grow an ecosystem of their own and relative to this article one of the things they need to do is establish themselves as THE undisputed number one player in MDM. Plus, as Chris said in an article a few months back, once they get back on their feet, they should look at doing what HTC did and buying some of the small players in the MDM market to consolidate and fortify their position there. Heck they should even try and sang a big player like Good Technologies if they can pull it off as that merger alone would give RIM total dominance in MDM as Good is the next biggest player.

RIM bought the pieces they needed to make BB10 a great platform. But when BB10 is successful they need to buy up some companies that make RIM an indispensable company to the mobile computing market. Newbay was good because it deepens carriers reliance on RIM as many of the worlds top carriers use Newbay for white label cloud storage. If RIM is indispensable to carriers, then carriers will always push BlackBerry devises. If RIM is indispensable in BYOB then BlackBerrys will end up being a very popular choice among Enterprise EMPLOYEES again. RIM needs BB10 to be a hit but once it is, RIM needs to still make more strategic moves to make sure that even without mobile phones, that the mobile computing market can't get on without RIM.

They are gonna lose many subscribers, without a doubt. BYOD is basically a ticket to turn in your Blackberry and get an iPhone on the company's dime.

The only way the Pent will allow iOS and Droid in house is because they will lock them down tighter than Mother Terrisa's _____.

I've had the privillage to evaluate various MDM solutions and I can tell you that if your a "BlackBery shop" as the Pent is, going to another solution other than Fusion has a massive price tag, even at a discount.

I can't see RIM giving that opportunity up without a fight.

It is the government that is looking for the highest level compliance. The government is adopting it because of the Blackberry Fusion started to support the multiple platforms. I am telling you the corporations are the situations to be worried about. They are willing to go to the other companies of the mobile device management. They are doing it because the Blackberry is not that popular compared to the competition. They are promoting the choice in the side of the enterprise. I want the Blackberry to be the choice that the customers of the enterprises. I think it is a market where you can sell the high-end devices easily.

- Rezaur Rahman

Of course RIM getting their MDM solution to be the go to solution for the pentagon would rely on RIM actually seeing the opportunity and taking advantage of it while they still can. . .and if history serves correctly they haven't had much luck in the foresight department. . .sorry. . . hopefully the Pentagon shift is much like other things of the government . . . slow enough for RIM to catch up and have BB10 devices out there.

I'm thinking it's going to be function over fashion, or security over popularity. In today's world security is paramount.


I'm not certain if D J was drinking when the article was written, or in dire need of an English 101 course.

Come on CrackBerry, please do not lapse into the lazy "journalism" that seems to be taking over the web. Specially you, CrackBerry.

I'm thinking those who criticize other's use of proper English, and suggest an English 101 course should at least have taken the course themselves... ;-)

Its the pentagon. Security matters most. Iphone an Android will never see the inside of the pentagon. If they do its the outer most wall lol.

I wonder how limited the byod's will be? I have a DoD issued BB and it's so locked down its basically only good for text, email, bbm, and phone. Most the guys at work don't even know it has a browser or mapping program. No access to app world, wifi, NFC, media apps, etc. I don't think the average DoD BB user has any idea the device does more than email and make calls.

I'm wondering if someone wants to use an iPhone for work if a) they'll be able to use the same phone as they use for personal and b) if it will be as limited as the BB's currently are. I can't imagine spending the cash to by an out of contract iPhone for use on my work line and have it only be allowed to access work emails and make phone calls.

Mobile Fusion/BES 10 is a nice way for RIM to keep a foot in the door, but I think BlackBerry Balance is the real trump card. While it might not be an option at higher levels of government security, the ability to separate, encrypt and kill-pill a "work partition" is a nice differentiator. RIM's challenge, though, is that even after BB10 devices are released, most organizations probably will stick with a BYOD approach. So, even if they like and prefer to support BB 10, they probably will leave it up to their users to decide which devices should be supported rather than issue BB10 devices only to find themselves in the same position they're in now with BB 7/6.

BB balance is the key. Lock down on the corporate side of the device while letting you access your personal side with consumer based Apps. Brilliant solution to the lock down issue. In the corporate environment, an iPhone or Android device will be nothing more than a phone, limited email and texting. What a beautiful contrast to the BB10 phones. Boy have the tables turned.

Finally thought. How long do you think RIM has before Apple tries to copy BB balance. I predict 2014.

I think the Editor in Chief did not proof read the article before posting. Like BYOD, CrackBerry is open to PRYOP (Proof Read Your Own Post). The Editor in Chief is too busy for his role. :-)

Maybe I'm not understanding the "balance" feature but if the DoD provides a work phone line it can't be used for personal use. Even if they somehow let my put my personally purchased phone on their line, which they don't currently allow, i can't use it for personal use. Everytime I enter my password i agree to a banner that says I've read and agree with the user agreement. There'd be no advantage to turning the phone over to my personal profile when not at work. It can still only be used for work calls, emails, etc. Unless i missed something?

Balance let's you byod with fewer headaches offered by current solutions wherein the company you work for has pretty much full control of how your device functions. E.g. With balance, I can have a personal phone with all my personal stuff, the have a second persona for work... Totally independent on a single device.

It works both ways too... A company that issues a device can relax the rules for personal use, amking it more likely that a user will want to carry a phone with them.

I get your point.

But there is a solution if RIM chose to implement it - Dual SIM support.

Make a phone that supports dual SIMs and extend the balance functionality to be able to associate work and your work profile with one SIM and personal and your personal profile with the other.

That would determinately give RIM an advantage over the competition in Enterprise and also help secure their position in developing markets where dual SIM phones are highly popular. Apple won't do it. Android already does but for the most part they aren't a threat to enterprise in general. Windows Phone might do it but they haven't yet.

I don't think that dual Sims solves the problem. You need to separate information and consumer Apps from the corporate side. To accomplish this, the OS has to be rewritten right down to the base code. For example, just about every good App collects information from your device about you. Well, what if starts collecting information from your corporate email account. Can't be done with BBM balance because this information resides in a separate container that doesn't interact with the rest of the device. What about a simple function like file management. How to do separate personal and corporate? How do you prevent corporate files, contacts,etc from leaking out to the personal side? Can't be done without lockdown on the device. That is why Balance is a game changer.

But, but, but Android "Knox" and Apple were, supposed to be, getting the same certifications from the military as BlackBerry - according to Bloomberg and other members of the "Apple Hype Machine Media Complex"... what happened... did they all "misrepresent to us" the facts around these "security certifications" and how close to BlackBerry Android and Apple were?

Wow... that's awfully irresponsible and misleading... wouldn't you agree Bloomberg? and your wonderful anchors on the pier in San Francisco?

Let the "denying begin"... Pathetic and unethical are "two words" that come to mind...