RIM unveils Mobile Fusion for Android, iOS

Research in Motion Ltd. released its BlackBerry Mobile Fusion solution today for mobile device management across various operating systems.

The product, first announced in November, enables BlackBerry, iOS and Android devices to be managed using a single interface. The release comes just days after RIM posted a fourth-quarter loss and a 25 per cent drop in full-year sales for 2011. The company also announced the departure of former co-CEO Jim Balsillie.

The release of BMF appears to mesh with new RIM CEO Thorsten Heins’ emphasis in last week’s earnings release that the Waterloo, Ont. company will get back to focusing on the enterprise space rather than the wider consumer market.

Although BMF gives RIM a chance to capitalize on the BYOD trend, competitors like Zenprise and Sybase Inc. have already established a lead in the mobile device management (MDM) market. RIM has lost ground in catering to the consumerization of IT in the enterprise, Info-Tech analyst Mark Tauschek told ITBusiness.ca following Heins’ promotion to CEO in January.

“Where (RIM) really fell down was they completely missed the consumerization of IT trend and BYOD,” Tauschek said. “They’re trying to make up for it now but it came out of left field for them. They should’ve seen it coming. They’re playing catch up there.”

BMF is designed to establish and maintain a BlackBerry Secure Connection from the business network to the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. BMF also supports the latest MDM capabilities available in iOS and Android, and is designed to enable administrators to apply corporate policies and configurations to manage and secure these devices.

“BlackBerry Mobile Fusion (BMF) allows organizations to manage a mixed environment of devices in the most secure, simple, and cost efficient manner possible,” Alan Panezic, RIM’s vice-president of enterprise product management and marketing, said in a released statement.

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