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Old 05-26-2005, 04:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Massive BB deployment

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I have well over 1000 Blackberry devices deployed in my environment. I am experienceing some push back on getting a dedicated BES admin. Does anyone out there have experience with very large environments? Does anyone have any recommendations, or better yet documentation from RIM stating the number of users that a single administrator can/should support.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-26-2005, 04:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've never heard of anything. I suppose a BESAdmin should also be able to handheld end-user escalations and take some of the strain off normal IT Help Desk?

Who is managing IT Policies for those handhelds, who is watching the server performance /mem usage and network connectivity? I guess those maybe factors, and if BES is critical in the environment and those matrix cant be watched due to other tasks, maybe its time to start looking at getting a BES Admin?
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Old 05-26-2005, 05:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This is always a very tough thing to do in most companies. Getting a dedicated person just for BES administration is tough....but with that said I would say very few companies have over 1000 units deployed. So I would say here is a few things to sell management with:

1. If the business deems this as a business critical device then you need to monitor the perfomance and perform the correct maintenance on a weekly basis.

2. With this many deviced deployed I am sure you have users calling in with issues and someone needs to be the "guru" for the BES/BlackBerry environment at your organization.

3. Like T-Roy said...who is currently managing the IT policies, adding/deleting users, watching the event logs on a daily/weekly basis, watching the hardware performance to make sure you are not overloading one server (out of curiousity are all these users on one physical box?), Any BES knowledgable person will tell you the SQL/MSDE database(s) are the most critical piece of the BES environment so if these are not being maintained and backed up correctly your whole BB environment is at major risk.

4. Do you plan on using 3rd party apps on your BB's? Who would test and deploy these apps? Is your environment going to grow further? Who is planning your overall environment for growth?

All these and I am sure many more things can be used to justify a dedicated BES admin. You can also use word like Mobile Workforce and try to get your BES admin to focus on an overall Mobile Workforce for your organization. This is going to be a BIG topic in the next few years. Hope this helps.
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Old 05-27-2005, 04:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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JWcanada gave an excellent breakdown of the some of the critical areas in a BES environment. However i'm not sure you require a dedicated BES Admin....which is probably what your management is tryiny to say by their "push back".
A more likely approach would be to identify (or you may already have this in place) an escalation process to handle any issues that are BES related. Because the argument could be raised if, say your company went with another wireless solution (and sometimes they do things like that)...e.g GoodLink...(I'm not advertising...never even seen it). Would you require a GoodLink Admin?
An escalation process tied into your present ticket/incident handling system could serve to share the burden of support. For this to work, it would require that the front line support (HelpDesk) be trained to handle/resolve some of the basic issues as well as recognize those that would require an expert opinion/intervention.
The relevent areas to look at would be....
Server related- backups, upgrades, general maintenance (probably handled by server support)
Infrastructure related - partly server/network support
Handheld/Desktop related - should be handled by desktop support...even designate 1 or 2 individuals with the responsibility for user maintenance....e.g add/delete/modify users on the BES.
The key here is delegate...delegate...delegate. That would leave you more time to "explore" additional wireless technologies related to current environment.
Show management the different areas that are critical (see jwcanada post) and identify the addtional skillset required and if possible provide some "stats" on number of issues/tickets on per day or per week basis. They like to see numbers.
If that doesn't do the trick.....take two weeks off to the Bahamas..... remember to turn your wireless off...
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Old 05-27-2005, 10:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you want a dedicated BESAdmin then perhaps you should ensure someone unqualified works on the BES and breaks it. That should be all the justification you'd need.
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Old 05-31-2005, 09:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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We have over 1200 people on Domino BES servers, and I am the dedicated BES Admin for the firm. I do provide additional 3rd level Domino support as well as being the go to guy for our spam solution. However I do not interact, for the most part, with the Blackberry device setups, that is the desktop software group. I also have little to do with the actual hardware/os setup, that is the systems group. SQL group manages the mgmt database.

This fine segmentation of responsibilities requires alot of good communication between groups, but results in great efficiency when it works well. We have been moving toward a model of "is it a mission critical app? then hire an appropriate expert for it" in the past few years, although I am not sure other corp's have the $$$ for this type of solution. Fortunately we do, and I like being the "master" of the BES instead of having that heaped on other primary responsbilities!

I like BBTechGuy's response, that seems to be the only easy method for securing a dedicated position! Make the managers want it instead of trying to convince them!
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Old 05-31-2005, 01:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Someone just for BES admin seems like a waste to me... maybe someone as the BES dude, but also manages a few other things...
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Old 05-31-2005, 01:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I feel overworked then. I am the Exchange Admin, Blackberry Admin, Goodlink Admin, Antivirus SME, and IM admin for my company.

Yikes!!!
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Old 06-03-2005, 08:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for your replies.
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