BlackBerry Limited announced this week productivity and security enhancements to its enterprise software platform designed to power the Enterprise of Things. With an estimated 20.8 billion connected devices by 2020, the Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming people live, and the Enterprise of Things is transforming how work is done.
As part of BlackBerry Secure, its secure and comprehensive platform to connect people, devices, processes and systems, BlackBerry Enterprise Mobility Suite provides secure, management policies and controls across key platforms (iOS, Android, Windows 10, macOS, and Samsung Knox) and device ownership models such as BYOD and Corporate Owned. It can be delivered on premises, as a cloud service, and now includes secure Microsoft Office 365 Mobile Applications. IT can manage and apply protection policies to Microsoft Office 365 mobile applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint from BlackBerry UEM. Users of BlackBerry Access, will now be able to securely work with business data on their personal or BYOL (Bring-Your-Own-Laptop) Windows 10 and MacOS computers.
BlackBerry’s secure Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing (EFSS) solution, BlackBerry Workspaces, has been updated to allow in-line comments, @mentions and alerts. DocuSign has also been integrated, adding a key workflow for legally binding documents such as loan applications and financial transactions.
BlackBerry Analytics can now track daily and monthly active users, daily minutes used, usage by OS type and version, daily launch count and user engagement by feature (such as 1:1 chat vs group chat). This application analytics capability gives IT and developers the key insight they need to increase business productivity, such as modifying UX flow, modifying training or altering maintenance schedules.
BlackBerry also extended its endpoint management software capabilities to include modern workforce devices such as smart glasses. Applications specific to wearables, such as Ubimax and Atheer, can also be securely managed.
Staying with workplace productivity and security, BlackBerry is also rolling out DocuSign Integration and Document Read Acknowledgement as new features for BlackBerry Workspaces. It also delivers file-level control and legally-compliant signature abilities not only speeds along contract negotiations and deals, while keeping highly regulated enterprises compliant on the fly.
Also new in BlackBerry Workspaces is the ability for readers to make comments in-line in documents. These are stored permanently and displayed alongside the files. Commenters can use the “@mention” feature to leave a comment for a specific person, who will be alerted. These friction-reducing features boost worker productivity while maintaining the end-to-end file security and management that BlackBerry Workspaces has always provided.
With partnerships such as Ubimax, BlackBerry can support enterprise wearable needs with an integrated offering to provide secure hands-free computing for workers. BlackBerry UEM now provides IT departments with the ability to enact specific policies that simplify the provisioning and deployment of watchOS and Android Wear devices.
An example is the ability to apply actions based on a device’s location. If the enterprise plans to roll out the use of Android Smart Glasses, all of this can be done from the BlackBerry UEM console.
“The explosion of devices and consumer applications is making it increasingly difficult for enterprises to balance information security and compliance with productivity and connectivity,” said Billy Ho, executive vice president of enterprise software, BlackBerry. “MDM and EMM are simply not enough, which is why we offer a Unified Endpoint Management platform that lets companies secure and manage these devices, plus the associated applications. By making it easier to use, we are removing one of the biggest IT challenges – getting employees to use corporate applications.”