Pulling BES Plug

RIM has announced that effective July 2, 2011 they are discontinuing support for BlackBerry Enterprise Server 4.1.6 & 4.1.7 for both the Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Domino platforms.  This does not come as a big surprise since they stopped selling 4.1.x for both enterprise platforms back on July 2nd of last year.

If your organization is still running 4.1.6 or 4.1.7 your BES will continue to work, messages will still flow.  The challenge is that RIM will no longer be providing any more service packs, maintenance releases & hot fixes.  This can leave these organizations in a vulnerable position as exploits come along. The real pressing question is WHY ARE YOU STILL ON 4.1?????

Upgrading a BlackBerry Enterprise Server is not very cost prohibitive.  If you're company is a T-Sup customer of RIM's the upgrade is free.  Without a T-Sup subscription the cost is approx. $1,000 regardless of the number of users your BES has.  Unlike upgrading from Exchange 2003 to 2010 you don't have to upgrade licenses, RIM makes this nice and simple.

Here's a quick review for those of you living in the prehistoric times with a 4.1.x BES with the highlight new features:

  • Flag for Follow Up
  • Calendar Attachment Support
  • Support for Open Document Formatted documents and spreadsheets
You can wander over to RIM's support site for the full comparison.  Of course the other option is to move the company over to BES Express and take advantage of BES 5.0 goodness for $0.  The price is right and BES Express will be sufficient for most environments.  For a review of the differences see previous article.

Compare the features in BES v5.0 with BBES software v4.1 with Service Pack 6