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Old 12-10-2008, 01:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Arrow Blackberry BES vs. iPhone ActiveSync - re: Enterprise Standpoint

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I am the BES Admin with my company, which is in the banking industry. We currently have about 140 devices deployed. Several members of our management team would like to get the iPhone instead of the Blackberry.

From an enterprise standpoint (NOT a personal preference standpoint), what are the advantages and disadvantages of staying with BES only vs. adding ActiveSync to the mix?

Some of our initial thoughts are focused around:

1. Security of data on the device (obviously we handle very sensitive financial data)
2. Supporting iTunes (what will this add to our desktop support load?)
3. Increased administration responsibilities (user setups, troubleshooting, etc.)

Does anyone have any case studies available for this topic? I would really like to find an industry-specific study on this if it is available. When Googling this topic, I find a lot of generalities, but not much in the way of specifics.

What are your thoughts on all of this? Thanks in advance for everyone's input and ideas!
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Working for a F100 financial company and having all the standard regulations (FINRA,SEC,HIPPA etc) it's really about the management of the devices and security policy (encryption, encryption of removable storage etc) nothing even comes close to what BES provides you.

With Blackberry, you can get all kinds of reporting detail and lock down practically every function if you choose.

With iPhone you have a subset of ActiveSync and can remote kill, enforce password/timeout. There is no reporting unless you are good at parsing out IIS logs.

There is also the ability to circumvent your ActiveSync policy via Jailbreak and loading a easy to find app. So it's really not a secure device if that is a concern.

I'm hoping someone comes out with a solution to manage the iPhone as without these things it's impossible to consider any deployment beyond a device here and there.

Also keep in mind the new regulation taking effect 1/1/2010 that requires mobile devices to be encypted (MA,NV,Washington,CA,MI) - presently there is no way to encrypt the iPhone and speaking with vendors in the Forrester "magic quadrent" for encryption no one has this on their roadmap, doesn't help that Apple refuses to release the API for this.

Apple wants to control the iPhone and have it feed the iTunes/AppStore Ecosystem.
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Old 12-14-2008, 07:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weemdog View Post
I am the BES Admin with my company, which is in the banking industry. We currently have about 140 devices deployed. Several members of our management team would like to get the iPhone instead of the Blackberry.

....

What are your thoughts on all of this? Thanks in advance for everyone's input and ideas!
Just get them Blackberry Storm.
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for your input. I am really concerned about the potential of these users losing their device and then we are up a creek. If someone who knows what they are doing picks it up, then suddenly we have all of this confidential data released to the public. Not good.

We are in Texas, so the encrypted device law is not currently an issue here, but it could be in the future.


Berry One, I'd love to try out the Storm but we are strictly AT&T, so no Storm touchscreen (yet). Maybe when Blackberry rolls their next generation of touch screen devices out, they will come to AT&T and that will appease our users.
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