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Old 04-15-2011, 01:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Are BES servers still necessary?

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I still have one client that is using BB devices. Most of my clients have moved on to iPhone, WP7 or Android which can all sync calendar, contacts and email without a BB server natively with exchange.

This isn't to dump on BB some people really like BB devices since that is what they are familiar with and prefer not to try new technology. I'd prefer never to have to set up another BB server but they have about 12 users at that office who still use BB devices.

I don't keep up with BB equipment or servers much since over 99% of my clients use another type of smart phone. The last BB server I set up was about 2 years ago for them (on an old server that didn't have much life left to it but it was adequate for BES). That server is starting to die and I have a pretty good server that needs to be replaced so I could make it a new BES box. But before I waste time setting it up as a BES box, I thought I'd check if BB phones could sync with Exchange using activesync like all other phones manage to do without requiring a server.

Many of the users at this office have multiple exchange accounts making iphone and WP7 better choices as they natively support full sync with multiple exchange accounts (not limiting them to pop or imap for additional accounts).

Thanks.

Last edited by boe : 04-15-2011 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are BES servers still necessary?

give this a look over
http://us.blackberry.com/apps-softwa..._NA_012110.pdf

There is no active sync for a BlackBerry.
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are BES servers still necessary?

You dont need reliable technology, if you prefer to choose something simpler.

From what the user is seeing on his/her mobile, there might be not much difference.
One thing maybe: how to you access public folder access with an iphone/active sync device ?

But when it comes to maintenance or setup of the handhelds and manageability the Blackberry Solution is hard to beat. I prefer to setup a BES for a single user, even if it is a waste of about 2hrs for the setup for this single user, because afterwards even a complete idiot will be able to use email with the blackberry.

Also think of the roaming charges when using an active-sync device. If a user forwards a 20MB email AFAIK the iphone will download the complete attachment and upload it again.
Depending on your location forwarding this mail will set you back $200. "full sync" does become here a different meaning.
With A blackberry about 1024 bytes are used for the forward, only a few cents. I prefer to have something I can use everywhere, everytime without the fear of getting a monster bill at the end of my journey/vacation.

There are still more reasons why a BES is the more advanced technology, but these are the ones I think of first.

Regarding your multple accounts problem: With BIS you can sync up to 16 other email accounts (not using pop/imap) but OWA. Why should anyone need more then one address-book/calendar besides from his primary mailbox ?

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Old 04-15-2011, 03:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are BES servers still necessary?

Quote:
Originally Posted by knottyrope View Post
give this a look over
http://us.blackberry.com/apps-softwa..._NA_012110.pdf

There is no active sync for a BlackBerry.
Not natively, but there's always NovaSync or AstraSync, right? I haven't used them, of course, so who knows as to usability. Obviously there is a software cost involved.

There is something to be said for going with an ActiveSync client over the BES - the BES is tremendously fickle I've found. It's a lot of work to maintain.
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Old 04-15-2011, 04:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are BES servers still necessary?

true there is 3rd party apps, I have not tested them and some dont do all that BES can do.

Why not use BES Express 5? It is free and offers more then EAS.

I have been running BES for over 4 years with out much trouble.
Setup can be fun since many dont understand the BESAdmin account permissions at first.
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are BES servers still necessary?

How do you sync notes and task with Active sync (unless, you use windows mobile) ?
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are BES servers still necessary?

An updated comparison chart is available here :

http://us.blackberry.com/apps-softwa...ison_Chart.pdf

Added: BlackBerry Protect, BES Express for Domino and even more IT policies on full BES.
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are BES servers still necessary?

our company is looking into mobile iron? I guess you can manage blackberry's through it?

We currently have 1000's of blackberrys deployed with around 5 BES servers but iphones are starting to catch the eye along with ipads.
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are BES servers still necessary?

MobileIron cannot replace your BES, it only provides a consistent GUI for user management. (They utilize the User config tool). You still need your BES and MobileIron cannot do any of the App management features.

Frankly anyone at a large scale deployment has outgrown EAS. EAS is an email connector with some basic policy enforcement. It's useless as there is not a consistent security. Each OS supports a subset of the EAS policies (which is already limited). You also have very little reporting / metrics unless you enjoy parsing up log files all day. I guess what bothers me about EAS is Microsoft has done little to improve it since 2003 SP2. The fact Apple had iOS tricking EAS for awhile was troublesome as well.

I'm not going to say BES is the be all end all, but it still remains (after 10 years) the leading MDM on the market. Enterprise mobile support is not cheap but there is a great mix of products on the market based on your need.

Having oversight of 5,000 Blackberry and a growing iOS deployment (we picked Good Technology) I recognize why a MDM matters.

Last edited by Frank Castle : 04-18-2011 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are BES servers still necessary?

We evaluated Mobile Iron (for managing Blackberries and iPhones), but we found that it does not much for Blackberries. It is ok for iPhones, but in the end the sandbox approch of Good Technology for iPhones has more advantages for us. Similar to Balckberry Balance, you can separate private from corporate stuff on the same phone.
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