Research In Motion (RIM) has announced a series of updates for its BlackBerry platform that include enhanced messaging and collaboration, simpler management, enhanced security and expanded application development support. These updates will benefit users, IT groups and developers and will enable organizations to increase mobility, productivity and return on investment.
"RIM continues to expand the capabilities of the multifaceted BlackBerry platform to allow an increasingly rich and productive mobile experience for our customers," said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at RIM. "The software enhancements demonstrated today will make BlackBerry smartphones more powerful than ever and even easier to manage."
As a result of the integration of the ‘Documents To Go by DataViz’ software with the BlackBerry platform, users will be able to edit Microsoft Office Word, PowerPoint and Excel files directly on their BlackBerry smartphone.
Users will be able to search for and retrieve email messages from their email server even if the message is no longer stored on their BlackBerry smartphone.
For people with lots of appointments, the new platform will allow them to check the availability of colleagues before sending a meeting request.
Probbly one of the most noticeable change though is the ability to show HTML and rich text email messages with original formatting preserved including font colors and styles, embedded images, hyperlinks, tables, bullets and other formatting.
New features for users running IBM Lotus Sametime and Microsoft Live Communications Server will include improved address book integration, IM contact “click to call”, IM session “convert to call” and advanced emoticon support, allowing co-workers to collaborate and communicate more effectively using their BlackBerry smartphones.
But not all changes are visible to end-users. For example a new software component of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server will help organizations maintain high availability and high performance of their BlackBerry infrastructure by providing administrators with enhanced monitoring, alerting, troubleshooting and reporting capabilities. BlackBerry Monitoring Service will be included in the next release of BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
The company is ehnahcing compatibility with corporate messaging platforms by making its BlackBerry Enterprise Server v4.1.5 certified with Microsoft Exchange 2007 SP1 and IBM Lotus Domino versions 7.03 and 8.0.
In terms os security, the company points out that today there are over 400 IT policy settings and controls that an administrator can set to centrally manage and enforce security policies. Newly introduced IT policies further enhance the security and control of a BlackBerry deployment, including the ability to view encrypted attachments and expanded control over Bluetooth profiles.