BlackBerry announced today in a press release it will soon enable select mobile device management (MDM) platforms including AirWatch to directly manage BlackBerry devices. Currently, AirWatch administrators can integrate the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) into the AirWatch console to monitor BlackBerry devices and perform select functions over the air, such as troubleshooting, clearing the passcode, locking the device and performing a device or enterprise wipe. The release of BlackBerry OS 10 APIs will enable more comprehensive management from the AirWatch console.
AirWatch is one of three enterprise mobility management (EMM) companies to work with BlackBerry to enable a more open mobility ecosystem for BlackBerry 10 devices. According to the press release, BlackBerry is opening its MDM APIs to enable organizations to embrace multi-OS mobile environments. Previously, organizations could only achieve comprehensive management of BlackBerry devices by purchasing the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), which offers only limited management capability for other devices and operating systems.
BlackBerry cited Gartner industry research showing growing interest among IT buyers in flexible MDM programs as a primary reason for the change. According to Ron Louks, President of Devices and Emerging Solutions at BlackBerry, “Offering the end-to-end secure solutions valued by our customers in government and other regulated industries remains central to our strategy; however BlackBerry understands the opportunity and importance of opening our BlackBerry 10 software.”
BlackBerry has not yet specified when its APIs will be available to other MDM providers or which management functions will be enabled.