Force India IT chief full of praise for BlackBerry and BB10

By Danny Palmer
06 Aug 2013 View Comments

BlackBerry 10 smartphones are "very good" devices and don't deserve the negative reaction they often receive, Adrian Collinson, Head of IT for the Force India Formula 1 team has told Computing, with security a key benefit for the outfit.

"We are exclusively using BlackBerry's at the moment and have been for a number of years as it gives us a very secure, closed environment," said Collinson, who added that if staff were to use other devices, like Apple's iPhone or Android smartphones, they'd require use of Blackberry's multi-platform device management tool.

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Launched earlier this year, the mobility management tool allows users to manage a variety of different devices, taking advantage of BlackBerry security tools, which Collinson told Computing are superior to that of other smartphone operating systems.

"There's a lot of push for iOS and Android devices now and we are actually looking at using those using the BlackBerry management service to manage those, but out the box they don't give the same level of security that you would expect," he said.

Force India's 300 strong staff use a mix of BlackBerry devices, ranging from BB6 models all the way up to smartphones running the most recent BB10, OS, Collinson explained, and they're happy with what they offer.

"They're very good devices," he said, "It's unfortunate in the press that BlackBerry gets such a bad rap."

Using a theoretical example of a broken phone at one of Formula 1's Far Eastern races, Collinson explained the advantage BlackBerry has over its rivals.

"If you take an example where you have a user at an event in, let's say Malaysia, and they break their phone, an Android. How do you provision that remotely, if you're not using some sort of managed backend service?," he asked.

"With a BlackBerry, a standard BlackBerry, you give them another one, remote provision it and everything is exactly as they left it." Collinson continued, adding it's even simpler with the newer BlackBerry models.

"It's easier with BB10, with the universal device service to reproduce that on Android and iOS," he said.

Recently, EasyJet CIO Trevor Didcock told Computing that the airline's staff are happy to stick with BlackBerry.

"BlackBerrys are a personal productivity tool. We chose BlackBerry when the other devices didn't have as strong security," he said.

"Now I guess we could standardise and move away from BlackBerry, but people like BlackBerrys. A lot of people who come into EasyJet from other industries have been used to operating on BlackBerry. So as a personal productivity device BlackBerry has been fine," Didcock added.

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