“The beauty of BES 12 is that one single server with one management console can manage up to 25,000 devices. That is a lot of scalability, especially for corporates and industry segments with a global footprint. You are no longer tied down to putting one server per location. From a security perspective, the BES 12 server does device and application management along with the core security itself. Plus, there is no learning curve involved,” explains BlackBerry India MD Sunil Lalvani.
He says the advantage is that earlier users needed a BES server for BB OS devices and a BES 10 for all other devices. “Now, we have combined the two into one scalable BES 12 server. It also has forward compatibility for cloud. That means an investment protection for the user. Along with this we are also offering a modular approach for different VAS offerings.”
But what are these VAS offerings?
1. Virtual SIM provisioning: BlackBerry acquired a company called Movirtu a few months back; the company has a technology that lets you virtualise up to nine numbers on a primary SIM card. From a corporate perspective, you can make sure that employee does not take business calls with him when he quits as he was using his personal number. So a corporate can have a group of controlled work assigned numbers which an employee can use along with his personal number. Plus, the company can also assign roaming numbers as needed on the same SIM. At the end of the month the corporate gets one invoice from the service provider with split billing. This brings in cost saving and security for the companies. BlackBerry working on final provisioning with networks.
2. BBM Protected: This lets users have a protected conversation with file transfer with a colleague or client. With this service they can transfer files only with a BBM Protected user. They can use this for chats with others, but that will be open.
3. BBM Meetings: This is targeted at corporates who use WebEX. But this is much easier as the server dials you in at the fixed time. You just launch the client on any device and all invitees will get a link and the server dials you in at the assigned time. This too comes with file transfer and works on all devices. This is a subscription based service and costs $150 per host per year. One host can have 24 additional users.
4. Virtual VPN tokens: VPN tokens are an expensive proposition and a management nightmare. BlackBerry is using its infrastructure to issue a virtual token, which can be on your phone and is used along with a password that you will remember.
5. Enterprise Identity Management: This allows companies to roll out software as a service over the cloud leveraging our network.
6. Secure Smart: Another recent acquisitions, this German company can provide end to end voice encryption, but only on BlackBerry devices. This is the only offering that is limited to our devices. The server ensures that only authenticated devices can decode the voice call irrespective of whether I am using a Wi-Fi or cellular network.
7. BlackBerry Blend: This service lets users mirror a device using a network. He can use a smartphone to connect to his laptop on Mumbai and access files. Similarly, he can use the laptop or a tablet to reply to messages or mail coming on his phone. There is no data stored on the second device when the link is gone.
“The BES 12 server will be the core and these services will be add-ons. The service license is zero, but you pay an annual gold or silver license for every device added. What we have done with our carriers is to activate an Enterprise SIM-Based Licensing, or ESBL, which is a monthly plan to enable silver or gold licensing. With a BES server on premise and you pay just monthly OPEX based model. Idea is already offering this to its customers at as low as Rs 199 per month and we think SMEs will be big users of this along with contract employees,” says Lalvani.