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From WatchDox to Workspaces: Five Ways BlackBerry’s Building Better Secure File Sharing

l-series-workspaces-feature-imageIn 2015, we acquired WatchDox, the leading enterprise secure file sharing and synchronization platform. In the time since, we’ve been hard at work integrating it into our own portfolio, with a number of improvements, enhancements, and new releases along the way. Our hard work has paid off –  we’ve been recognized twice as a visionary in Gartner’s EFSS Magic Quadrant and also as a leader in Forrester’s EFSS Wave report.

Today, we’re taking the next step in our integration: from here forward, WatchDox will be known as BlackBerry Workspaces, based around our BlackBerry Secure technology. BlackBerry Secure is one of the tangible representations of our transition to a software-focused company. It underpins everything we offer your enterprise to manage and secure your mobile devices, connected things, communications, and files.

Our Workspaces update is more than just a new coat of paint, however. We’ve added new features that make the best secure file sharing solution on the market even better. Changes in the Workspaces release include:

Take Control of Version Control Through File Locking

There’s an old saying that applies all too well to version management: “too many cooks spoil the broth.” When multiple users make edits to the same document, figuring out which to apply, which to discard, and which conflict with each other can be a nightmare. With the new release of Workspaces, this is a thing of the past.

Users who are permitted to upload new versions of a file can be permitted to ‘lock’ it, preventing anyone else from making edits at the same time as them. This reduces duplication of effort, eliminates the risk of losing recent document edits, and makes version control simpler than ever before.

Collaboration is Easier, Better, Faster, & Stronger with New Usability Enhancements

workspaces-main-view-screenshotGiven the choice between an oven with only a few buttons and one with a hundred-page owner’s manual, most people would choose the former. If a tool is unintuitive, people aren’t going to use it. That’s why our latest Workspaces release includes usability enhancements to make secure collaboration simpler than ever before, such as:

  • Mark files as Favorites, and use Quick Access Filters such as Favorites and Recent Locations to quickly track down documents.
  • Keep track of activity on files you’ve shared with your colleagues through Collaboration Mode, and access previous versions of a file through your mobile device.
  • Easily create new workspaces on external repositories including Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft SharePoint Online, OneDrive, Windows File Shares (CFIS), and any CMIS-compliant file repository.
  • Edit and collaborate on files in place using the tools you already know with native integration to Office 365.

Take a Load off IT With Easier Deployment & Integration

We’ve taken measures to make things easier for IT, as well. Workspaces can now be managed from the same admin console as the rest of our software, including BlackBerry Work, Blackberry UEM, and any BlackBerry Dynamics apps you’ve deployed. We’ve also developed new connectors for Windows File Shares, OneDrive, and SharePoint Online, meanwhile. This will allow you to extend Workspaces’ protection to even more of your repositories, while simultaneously making it better equipped to work with the systems your clients and partners are already familiar with.

Speaking of clients and partners, we’re making it easier to deploy and manage Workspaces on premises. Workspaces provides ultra-secure deployment of EFSS with App-X, a virtual appliance which customers can use to deploy Workspaces in their own private cloud.

Enjoy Better Visibility & User Management

workspaces-use-reportAlong with our improvements to deployment and integration, we’ve also made management of Workspaces users easier for IT. You can now generate more detailed licensing reports by inputting a list of your company’s internal email domains in the admin console. This report is separated into internal contributors, internal visitors, external contributors, and external visitors.

User deletion is also improved, and to ensure someone’s always in control, workplace administrators cannot be removed – only replaced.

Bring Workspaces File Security to Any Application Your Developers Create

Finally, integration of Workspaces into the Content Edition of BlackBerry’s Enterprise Mobility Suites means it’s more than just an app – it’s a platform service. From a development standpoint, you can now easily incorporate Workspaces’ core functionality into applications developed through BlackBerry Dynamics. You have the flexibility to use Workspaces however you want, whether that’s to provide secure document sharing in a healthcare app or file collaboration in a remote desktop tool.

At BlackBerry, security is in our blood – we’ve over a decade of expertise, and have leveraged our proven leadership to transform both our company and software platform. BlackBerry Workspaces is just one facet of that transformation. Combining an easy, intuitive user experience with unique, data-centric architecture, Workspaces is built to meet the needs of your organization, IT team, and users, whatever they may be.

For more information on BlackBerry’s updated software platform, check out our overview blog. You can also take a closer look at our updates to BlackBerry Work, BlackBerry Dynamics, BlackBerry UEM, or the BlackBerry Enterprise Mobility Suite.

Chris Hazelton

About Chris Hazelton

Chris Hazelton is Director, Product Marketing for Enterprise Software at BlackBerry. A former analyst at IDC and 451 Research, Chris has been working in management and security for enterprise endpoints for over 10 years.