'We’re here to manage any device… except Windows Phone' says BlackBerry

By Peter Gothard
04 Dec 2013 View Comments
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There is insufficient user demand to include support for Windows Phone on BlackBerry's mobile device management platform, the company has told Computing.

While echoing the company's latest "back to its roots" enterprise-focused message, senior director of enterprise product management at BlackBerry, Jeff Holleran, said that BlackBerry is now "here to manage any device".

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With the upcoming 10.2 release of BlackBerry Enterprise Server, said Holleran, BlackBerry wants to "be clear" that the company "will manage devices beyond just BlackBerry devices".

"The next iteration of BES 10 continues to be a proof point of that," he told Computing.

"Our goal with 10.2 was to continue to expand on our legacy of device management. Our customer base is the largest out there - larger than any of the other vendors considered to be EMM or MDM vendors," Holleran claimed.

"We've got 30,000 BES 10 servers out there in test and production, in our customer base. That's a tremendous adoption number," he continued.

But despite the firm's determination to widen its scope, there's still no room for Windows Phone on the platform, Holleran revealed.

"We haven't had the demand from our customer base to prioritise the work," he said.

"Windows Phone is something we've been monitoring for a while now, and we're working with our customers to understand the demand as we look to make the investment there," he said.

"We're more than happy to manage any device, and I think you'll see us continue to go down the road as customers look for us to manage those, to put them into the portfolio."

Holleran also promoted the effectiveness of using both BES 10.2 and BlackBerry 10 mobile devices together, as security on the BB10 phones would still be distinctly improved over other phone platforms. "We're securing the devices at the manufacturing point," said Holleran.

Pointing out the continuing unpopularity of the BlackBerry 10 family in terms of price, understocked app store and various UI concerns among users, Computing asked Holleran to elaborate on the company's business plan to encourage enterprise users back into the fold.

"Being really on the software side of the business, I wouldn't be the right person to comment on the device side," Holleran replied.

Computing is waiting to hear back from BlackBerry about the game plan for BlackBerry 10 devices, and will update when possible.

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