BlackBerry opens up BB10 to outside MDM platforms. Right after I read this headline I thought I saw a pig flying out the corner of my eye. Is BlackBerry really allowing BB10 devices to be managed by another companies MDM system? Surely not?
We don't have too much information right now, but we do have many questions.
How It Works Today
Today, you can activate a BB10 device directly against an ActiveSync server. While you can, this is not a popular option because it is not very flexible.
You can also activate your BB10 device against a BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) 10 server. Then your IT administrator can place restrictions on your BB10 device, see what you have installed, remotely wipe it, etc.
Today a BB10 device cannot activate directly against an MDM systems like MobileIron, AirWatch, etc. Through web services, an IT administrator can have a tiny bit of control over BB10 devices activated against a BES10, from a foreign MDM console, using the BlackBerry Administration Service (BAS). This is normally just used by IT to help migrate you off BlackBerry and onto another platform.
Since a BlackBerry and the BES it is activated against use the BlackBerry NOC for all communications, what happens when you activate a BB10 against another MDM system? Will BlackBerry provide the MDM vendor with code to allow its product to act as a BES and communicate via the NOC? Will you get an SRP ID for your MobileIron server? Will the NOC be forgotten and not used at all in the future?
Will BlackBerry still require a BES10 server plus your foreign MDM server of choice??
Will BlackBerry still require a BES10 license fee per device?
You can read the full press release here and the Q&A session on the subject with John Sims here.
Let us know what you think about this announcement. Do you think BlackBerry just took too long with their MDM system, BES10? Are they giving up too much by allowing outside companies to manage their devices?