No Dell MDM support for BB10 until future of BlackBerry becomes clear

By Danny Palmer
15 Feb 2013 View Comments

Dell's K3000 mobile device management (MDM) appliance is set for release next month, offering organisations a secure means of managing tablets and smartphones in the workplace.

But while it offers web-based dashboard support for a wide variety of Apple, Android and Windows products, K3000 won't support BlackBerry smartphones, at least initially.

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"We are waiting to see what the future of BlackBerry will be," Andy Struys, senior solutions architect for Dell KACE, told Computing.

"Currently, the K3000 is only supporting Android 2.2 and higher and IOS 4.0 and higher, so anything that is above those specifications is being managed. But we are not managing BlackBerry at this point, because we were quite late in the Android market and we're waiting a little bit to see how stable BlackBerry is," he said.

While a "wait and see" approach is being taken with regards to BlackBerry, Dell KACE is much more supportive of Windows 8 mobile.

"We will soon see an agent coming out for Windows 8 Phone and Windows 8 RT. Windows 8 on tablets - the full-blown Windows 8 on tablets - we can manage already through K1000 [the firm's endpoint security appliance]. We have full control on those devices," said Struys.

Struys said it's possible that the MDM software could be installed on a BlackBerry smartphone which supports the use of Android apps, but didn't reveal any plans for supporting the BlackBerry OS itself.

"We could potentially install the agent on a BlackBerry device which is supporting Android-based apps and then we might have a good control on the device," said Struys.

Unveiled late last year, the K3000 is an appliance designed to track and control the use of mobile devices whether company or employee-owned, while they are used for work purposes.

The appliance detects mobile devices, allowing recognised Android, Windows and Apple products to remotely access corporate data and programs.

The K3000 and other mobility solutions represent an attempt by Dell, once the world's largest PC maker, to adapt the business to a market that is seeing an increasing decline in PC sales.

"This is why we have a unique position in the market, with this full integration for handhelds and tablets, but also desktop and laptops which are connected. They are all being managed within one single solution," Struys said.

Despite the cautious approach shown by Dell, BlackBerry remains bullish about the prospects for its recently launched BB10 operating system and Z10 smartphone, and is pleased with the initial reception to both.


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