In the complex world of mobile application management, enterprises need to be able to control the installation of approved applications, as well as maintain a clear and secure divide between work and personal data. Within Research in Motion's new operating system, which is set to launch in January 2013, there are a wealth of features designed with both the enterprise and the connected consumer in mind. Of these, one of the most interesting is BlackBerry Balance, which is a key function of BlackBerry 10.
When combined with BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), Balance allows enterprises to manage personal devices by separating personal data from corporate data. It maintains this separation at the file-level, providing administrators a granular solution with respect to data protection and security. Administrators are able to manage, or even erase, data from the "work" partition without affecting the "personal" partition if the device is used for non-work related activities.
Image via engadget.com
As the debate surrounding the growing Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) trend continues to grow, Blackberry 10 and Balance offer a robust and viable solution for enterprises. With companies purchasing fewer phones for their employees, yet simultaneously requesting more security and control over corporate data, RIM's combination of BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry Balance provides the flexibility, functionality and security that enterprises need.
The "work" and "personal" profiles within Balance are separate but simultaneously active. Their integration is seamless, requiring users to execute nothing more than a simple down-swipe from the top of the device's screen. When users wish to toggle between the two different "modes," the experience is smooth and the results are clear.
While logged into the work profile and the browser is launched, it appears with a lock icon at the top of the page, illustrating that the active browser session is subject to the employers' IT/Network policy. Swap back to "personal" mode, and the lock disappears, allowing users to browse freely. It is this fluid application of the two profiles that is likely to garner support from end-users and enterprises alike.
Among the most interesting features of Balance are those engineered specifically for enterprise administrators. Admins are able to manage application installations on the work partition remotely, as well as "wipe" data if an employee parts with the company, also from a remote location. All of this is done without affecting personal data, contacts or applications that reside on the "personal" partition.
Image via pocketberry.com
Having received the highly esteemed U.S. Government FIPS 140-2 security certification months ahead of its launch, BlackBerry 10 is well on its way to winning the support of even the most skeptical consumers.
By combining BES and Balance, enterprise IT admins are finally empowered to implement policies restricting, or approving, the installation of specific applications from the BlackBerry App market. The separation of the two different profiles allows users to install their favorite, classic apps on their personal partition, while giving enterprise businesses a much-needed peace of mind with respect to trusted applications and data security concerns.
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