It may sound like something of an unlikely pairing, but the folks at Microsoft and Blackberry are getting together to put on a new service. And Blackberry Business Cloud Services for Microsoft Office 365 will not only be valuable to small business owners for what it offers, but also for what it represents.
Basically, if you’re already a subscriber to the Office 365 suite, or to Exchange Online, you’ll have access to Blackberry Business Cloud Services, no matter if you’re on a consumer data plan or a business data plan. And once you get in on Research in Motion’s Blackberry Business Cloud Services, you’ll be able to sync your Blackberry smartphone of choice–and the word is that any Blackberry device out there will work with this system–to Microsoft Exchange Online’s email systems, calendar and organizer systems.
It will also offer up Blackberry Balance, which will allow administrators to manage corporate data without accessing or affecting personal data, thus allowing users to use their own devices for business purposes. And just to top it off, not only will admins have access to manage the phones by a web-based console, but users will have a variety of tools of their own, including password resets, device resets, and even remote lock and wipe should the device be lost or stolen. It’s available in fifty different countries, so you can get your hands on it in a wide variety of locales.
On the one hand, this is going to be useful for a lot of small businesses, especially those dealing in sales travel and the like. Anyone who’s got to be on the road away from the office will no doubt welcome the augmented mobility. But this isn’t just about a range of tools that offers valuable function for business users on the go, it’s also a wider commentary. Look at what they’re using here: cloud technology of the kind we discuss right here on a regular basis. Sure, Blackberry’s offering up cloud mail and cloud calendar and the like as opposed to the kind of cloud-based telephony service of hunt groups and digital fax receipt that you’ll need to keep your office running while you’re away, but still.
It’s always good to keep your mobile function just as versatile as your home office, and the coalition of Blackberry and Microsoft may be just what you want. Cloud computing can keep your virtual office just as sharp as your physical office, and Blackberry Business Cloud Services, backed up by Microsoft, has a great mix of tools to keep your mobile experience hopping.