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This week RIM announced their innovative and secure cloud infrastructure, Blackberry Business Cloud Services (BBCS), is now available and fully supported for Microsoft Office 365! This is great news for users who want to take advantage of the cost-saving cloud products offered by Microsoft, while retaining the unparalleled mobile security of a BlackBerry. The RIM/Microsoft partnership is strong and demonstrates the remarkable dedication the two companies have to business client success.

This milestone represents a huge step forward in the day-to-day management of business communication and collaboration. To most people it may not be quite as thrilling as the release of Angry Birds on the PlayBook, but business owners should seriously consider BBCS and Office 365 as a company-wide communication solution. The bottom line is BBCS and Office 365 can save a considerable amount of time and money without foregoing advanced features found in server-based BlackBerry management systems, such as the BlackBerry Enterprise Server family of products.

Before the release of BBCS, the ability to manage an entire organization’s mobile phone system from a central portal was only available to companies who had an onsite server with BlackBerry Enterprise Server software. This hardware/software solution requires a substantial upfront capital investment that most small business cannot justify. Hardware solutions have several growth limitations and can become very expensive to replace if an organization experiences rapid expansion. Additionally, these solutions can be hard to manage on a monthly basis without a dedicated IT person. That is why Sea to Sky’s Microsoft certified team is excited to provide information on cloud services offered by RIM and Microsoft. It really does represent a new way of looking at enterprise email, file sharing and online communication with virtually unlimited scalability. BlackBerry Cloud has been built from the ground up to work with Office 365’s selection of enterprise plans. When properly configured, support costs and capital investment costs become a lot less expensive. Finally, it is comforting to know that these products are being offered directly by Microsoft which eliminates compatibility issues as the product evolves.

Notable features of this collaborative effort include:

– Secure transmission and synchronization of Microsoft Exchange Online email, calendar, contacts and organizer data.
– A data management system called BlackBerry Balance which helps to securely separate personal and work data on a single device.
– A cloud, or web, based console allowing IT administrators (Sea to Sky’s technical staff) to manage and secure a BlackBerry smartphone more efficiently.
– Additionally, this console will allow the BlackBerry user to access self-serve options, such as password resets and remote lock/wipe functionality.

For reference, here is a complete comparison of the BlackBerry management solutions currently available: BlackBerry Comparison Document

Now that BlackBerry fully integrates with Office 365, Sea to Sky would like to take this opportunity to let our readers know about a series of blog articles we plan on releasing over the next month. These articles will provide insight into the features of Office 365 and the BlackBerry Cloud. We encourage you to contact us if you have further questions about these new services by emailing info@seatosky.com.

All the best,
– Sea to Sky Team

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