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Old 02-25-2009, 02:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default States with BlackBerry policies?

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Hello. I'm a reporter from Maine working on a story. Maine's Office of Information Technology recently came out with a policy for the use of state-owned BlackBerries. Basically, state employees with BlackBerries won't be able to download 3rd party software without first obtaining a waiver by demonstrating the app is needed for business. I want to know if Maine is ahead of the curve in this regard or if many other states have similar policies. If anyone knows of states that have similar policies, please email me at wrichardson at mainebiz dot biz.
Thanks,
Whit

Last edited by mainebiz : 02-25-2009 at 02:58 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't know about states but almost every company has such policies - applications like facebook etc. are not necessary for the common office worker and the device is given to their employees for work purposes only.

should be almost the same reason for the state.
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Old 02-25-2009, 05:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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For work purposes only. Additionally, uncontrolled use of 3rd party apps may introduce problems that cost to resolve. (How often do you read on these forums about someone who started having problems after they installed XYZ Software? The IT departments don't have time to mess with that crap.)

Restricting what employees can put on their blackberries and how they can be used, the same way almost every company restricts what can be put on computers and how they can be used, is simply good business sense.

If the users don't like it, they can either find another employer with different policies (good luck with that) or do what I do, buy your own blackberry for personal use and do what you want with the personal device.
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Old 02-25-2009, 07:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Those types of policies are not uncommon.. I force that policy on my Users, along with a slew of others BT/Media Card encryption, forcing a device lock, requiring a password, and so on.
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Old 03-01-2009, 10:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The advantage of working for a small company....no Big Brother watching over you. We have no BES policies in place and can customize our BBs to our heart's content.
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Old 03-01-2009, 10:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I am the BES Administrator for a legislative branch in Pennsylvania and I can tell you that we have our own policies that we put in place. There is no bill or act that states what the policy must have as of yet. Interesting that you bring this up. I would like to see how other states handle their policies as well.
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Old 03-02-2009, 02:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well there is a pending regulation in MA, NV and other states regarding how data in encrypted so most companies with mobile devices will be looking into meeting this requirement if you have customers in those states. Usually once a few big states have this it will trickle across every state.
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Old 03-02-2009, 03:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Seems like a pretty standard policy to me. It's what we have to abide by in the Federal government when using gov't-owned equipment. Makes sense when you consider how many apps there are out there and how many can really screw up a device or computer. Also, within state, local, and federal governments you have major privacy protections to consider. There are so many apps that allow data to be accessed, not to the mention the headache of trying to get all the apps to work together.
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Old 03-03-2009, 09:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Our BB devices in our BES enviroment (large gaming company) have policies that lock the devices and prevent some apps from being download/installed. Pretty much mirrors similiar desktop policies (what can/can not be installed on a company laptop or desktop). However, the other driver for the 3rd party apps is cost of data plan. We have found that 90% of our user base on our BES environment only use about 8Mb of data or less. This was a huge cost saving opportunity, in that we reduced 80 to 90% of our users to a tiered data plan, saving about $20K a month in BB data plan fees (~1600 users, reduced $15 month from unlimted to some corp liable plan that was tiered, saved ~$24K a month). Almost $300K a year!!!! I asked for my bonus back as we saved to company some good coin -- you can figure the answer I got...

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