If you are using BlackBerry for business purposes, you might have already knew that connectivity with third-party service providers is not a simple task. RIM tries to change that; the company has announced the launch of the BlackBerry Business Cloud Services for Microsoft Office 365 in its effort to take BlackBerry to small and medium businesses. The cloud-based service is still in beta version, but it shows some potential. Learn more about it from this post…
What is BlackBerry Business Cloud Services?
BlackBerry Business Cloud Services is a cloud service allowing companies to connect their BlackBerry smartphones to Microsoft Office 365. It is available to Microsoft Office 365 users free of charge.
What it does is actually linking RIM-hosted secure service to Microsoft Exchange Online, one of the products available in Office 365 to allow BlackBerry smartphones synchronizes email, calendar, contact, tasks and memo pads. This linking means that you only need a single sign-on to access both BlackBerry Business Cloud Services and Office 365.
According to this IT Business Edge article, here are some of the top advantages of BlackBerry Business Cloud Services, other than the main synchronizing feature…
- It works with cheaper BIS (BlackBerry Internet Service) data plans
- Instant incoming emails – no 10-minute polling
- You can initiate a server-side search from your BlackBerry smartphone.
- The (limited) ability to manage BlackBerry smartphones using IT policies.
Some issues about the services
The good thing is the fact that users will be able to manage their devices more efficiently. However, to some SMBs, connecting their Office 365 with RIM servers is not what they are looking for, as doing so means that your business’ Exchange Server will be visible to RIM that could potentially lead to privacy and security issues.
Another issue: You need a Microsoft Exchange Online account to start using BlackBerry Business Cloud Services. This is obvious, though, as the cloud service is currently only available to Microsoft Office 365 users.
Despite the drawbacks, BlackBerry Business Cloud Services offer a great solution for Office 365 users who are also BlackBerry users. The cloud services allow BlackBerry business users to plug their BlackBerry smartphones into the cloud, allowing them to manage their business emails, contacts, schedules and more right from their BlackBerry smartphones – anytime, anywhere.
If you are ready to take some of your business management functions to the cloud, be sure to check out BlackBerry Business Cloud Services and Microsoft Office 365 – both are free (Office 365 business plans offer 30-day free trial) – so you can test the features thoroughly before you decide to join.