RIM: Enterprise customers embracing Android, iOS devices

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SAN DIEGO--Robin Bienfait, CIO of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM), said an increasing number of the company's enterprise customers are adding iOS and Android devices to RIM's mobile device management service.

Robin Bienfait, CIO of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion

RIM CIO Robin Bienfait

"We've had a significant number of downloads of that product," Bienfait confirmed to FierceWireless, though she declined to provide specifics.

RIM in April announced its BlackBerry Mobile Fusion product for enterprise customers, which provides mobile device management support for devices running Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platforms in addition to BlackBerry devices. Specifically, the product builds on RIM's BlackBerry Enterprise Server and supports multiple devices per user, application and software management, connectivity management for Wi-Fi and VPN networks and remote locking or wiping.

"By supporting our competitors in the enterprise, we're focused on supporting our customers in the enterprise," explained Bienfait during her keynote presentation here at the CTIA MobileCon trade show. "This exceeds commitment to single brand."

Bienfait also announced that early next year RIM plans to add additional features to its Mobile Fusion product that will allow enterprise customers to lock down corporate information inside iOS and Android devices. The feature will essentially create a "secure container" inside iOS and Android smartphones and tablets where workers will be able to access corporate information but will be unable to move that information to other, potentially unsecured areas of their device.

When asked if RIM would also support Windows Phone 8 devices with Mobile Fusion, Bienfait said RIM's customers are currently only asking for BlackBerry, iOS and Android support. However, she said RIM could add support for Windows Phone 8 if it becomes necessary.

RIM also early next year plans to merge its Mobile Fusion product with its BlackBerry Device Service, Universal Device Service and BlackBerry Enterprise Server products into its planned BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 product, which will also work with the company's forthcoming BlackBerry 10 smartphones.

Bienfait said RIM currently counts almost a quarter of a million BES customers. She said most of those businesses use RIM's software to manage BlackBerry devices, but a growing number are also using BES to manage iOS and Android devices.

Bienfait is responsible for managing RIM's IT systems, including the BlackBerry network, and earlier this year also was put in charge of RIM's enterprise business unit.

For more:
- see this RIM blog post
- see this TechCrunch article

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