Merging work and play with the BlackBerry Platform


A recurring theme to the conversations I’ve been having with people in the wireless industry lately is the need for enterprises to better manage the dual personas of the modern employee: their work persona, and their play persona (my personal favorite persona). The software teams here at Research In Motion (RIM) are aware of this need and are working to address it by providing enterprises with the necessary tools via the BlackBerry® platform. I was able to catch up with Santiago Carbonell, a Handheld Software Product Manager at RIM, who is one of the people working on a new feature coming to the BlackBerry platform to do just that. Check out the interview below!

You’re working on a new feature coming to the BlackBerry platform. What’s the story behind this feature and what does it do?

Over the past 10 years, smartphones have been a huge boon to enterprises because they enable employees to take their work with them wherever they go. In the past few years, however, smartphones have started allowing us to take our personal life anywhere, through things like social networking applications and rich multimedia features.

This has led to a trend we’re seeing in the enterprise space right now, and that’s personal-liable devices, or BYODs (“Bring Your Own Device”). People are buying smartphones for that rich personal experience, but then looking to bring that smartphone into the office to take their work with them as well. What we’re working on is building a platform of coexistence between these two lives on one device.

That sounds cool, but what do you mean by coexistence?

Enterprises understandably need to be very protective of their corporate data and communications, and the BlackBerry platform has always allowed that information to be mobilized securely and efficiently through a robust set of IT policies. These policies allow enterprises to control virtually every aspect of the smartphone, down to whether or not personal email addresses or 3rd party applications can be added. This helps to prevent security no-no’s like data leakage, where confidential information sent to the smartphone via a work email is then shared via a personal email address or through some other application.

However, this means that in the interests of corporate security, some BlackBerry smartphone users can’t add their personal email accounts, access Facebook® or download 3rd party applications. RIM recognizes that enterprise employees are also consumers and we want to stay ahead of the curve by allowing those employees to do their jobs, but also take advantage of all the rich consumer-focused features that are a part of the BlackBerry smartphone.

So, for example, the average employee will be able to respond to that urgent email from their boss, but then a minute later be able to check up on their kids over BlackBerry® Messenger or Facebook, because their employer is comfortable with the security measures protecting their sensitive data.


So it’s a win for the company and the user, because they both get what they want.

Yep. =D Enterprises can then allow employees with their own BlackBerry smartphones to bring them into the office at no cost using products like BlackBerry® Enterprise Server Express. The employee gets access to all their corporate services (work email, work calendar… etc.) and is still able to enjoy using their BlackBerry smartphone in their personal life because the security concerns are addressed.

Without giving away the secret sauce, how is this going to work? Will the BlackBerry smartphone user notice anything different?

Really what we’re working on is keeping the enterprise data where it belongs. That means sensitive information like emails or important business contacts can stay highly secure and controlled. This is all happening in the background of the platform, so the BlackBerry smartphone user won’t really notice anything different. However, if they try to do something their company would deem unacceptable with that data, the platform is designed to help prevent it from happening and notify the user.

Thanks for this! I’m looking forward to grilling you for more information as it becomes available to put on Inside BlackBerry.

No problem!

About Douglas Soltys

Word Czar. Web 7.0 (in beta). Blogs and tweets and wonders.

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  • Caspan

    So what your saying is you want to keep company data safe but allow people to play games :) I wonder how much company time is spent updating Facebook status answering BlackBerry Messenger alerts and playing games… Get back to work and stop playing with your BlackBerry!

    It would be cool to set IT policies that specify when certain programs can be used, so between M-F 9-5 you cannot use Facebook (not that any one would but..) If the user is on vacation as it you can put in a temporary code and set a date range that this policy is not applied so users on vacation etc can do what they want.

    If it is a company supplied BlackBerry then it's for work during business hours, after that its all yours..

    Wonder how that would go over with users…

  • Curtis Klope

    Heard that this might be coming… definitely looking forward to it. Any idea on a timeline yet?

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  • ofutur

    I feel this is still not enough.
    Some small businesses can't afford BES or just don't want to have to deal with Windows on a server and rely on BIS to manage their personal and professional lives. For them, there are no solution to synchronize each address book and each calendar to a different system. I.e. pro calendar -> syncml -> SME server; personal calendar -> google sync -> Google Calendar, etc.

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  • Alexandre Bacci

    I have the BB 9700, and bought here in Brazil.
    Fact is I want to delete the operator logo and I can not.
    Think it's wrong not to have this right.
    I called the technical support of the BB in Brazil, and they told me not possible.
    Can you tell me how to do it?
    I do not discuss security, and I know that RIM appreciates that, but the world moves in the opposite direction, ie able to customize everything we use.
    Several articles and studies have been done showing that professional corporate tends to use one device for work and fun.
    Proof of this is the OS 6, which comes to be ridiculed in discussion forums on the Internet here in Brazil as an imitation of the operating system of Apple. “
    Finally, to improve this mind locked, if you will survive.
    And pay more attention to Brazil because we are among the ten largest economies in the world (and growing).

    Alexandre Bacci

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  • Data Recovery Software

    I've recently got BlackBerry BOLD but unable to find how to define the folder rules for configured emails. I want to forward different incoming emails on the basis of certain pre-defined rules. Do you have any info on it?

  • Caspan

    Have a look tell me what you think…


  • Caspan

    This is a job of your MTA not BES. Please see your mail provider to answer this question.

  • ofutur

    Only runs on Windows…No thanks!

  • Caspan

    Wow and they say us Windows admins are anti Unix/Linux/MAC :) You could use an online service that will do your Email & BES for you if you have a smaller company… I think once you start crossing the 40+ people line it becomes more financially viable to run your own server.

  • ofutur

    We would compromise on security if we were to use a shared Exchange server running on Windows for our emails.
    Hosted BES could work I suppose, connecting to our servers via Activesync, but it would be best to just deliver BES as a .war that can be run on Linux or FreeBSD.

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  • John

    This seems close, but you have it backwards. For a personally owned device, the question should be how much access and control the owner allows the company.
    How can I configure MY BlackBerry to allow corporate access to ONE email account and ONE view of my schedule while preventing them from accessing anything else (IM, other email, applications, call logs, etc.)?

  • BlackBerryHelp_Pavel


    If the BlackBerry smartphone is connected to a BlackBerry Enterprise Server then the Administrator of the server has the control to enable and disable the monitoring and the limitation of the BlackBerry smartphone.

    Thank you.

  • BlackBerryHelp_Pavel


    If the BlackBerry smartphone is connected to a BlackBerry Enterprise Server then the Administrator of the server has the control to enable and disable the monitoring and the limitation of the BlackBerry smartphone.

    Thank you.

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