RIM is having a tough time right now. They’re being squeezed from the top with iOS and from the bottom (well, bottom, top, sides and everywhere else) with Android. But the BlackBerry hardware is only part of RIM’s overall business, and they’re making a major effort to expand even more into the corporate services space. BlackBerry Mobile Fusion will allow IT managers to access and control company assets on BlackBerry, Android and iOS devices, essentially making the existing Enterprise Server cross-platform.
Managing a workforce that increasingly relies on mobile hardware isn’t easy when there’s dozens of different configurations to customize. But as long as employees stick to a late model BlackBerry, Android Froyo or Gingerbread or iOS 4+, their security and access can be managed remotely. Spotty version support is going to cause a few problems in the coming months – Honeycomb isn’t really a factor for corporate networks, but Ice Cream Sandwich may well be by mid 2012.
RIM has a while to iron out the kinks. The beta program won’t begin until January, with a wider public beta available in March, so there’s almost four months to widen support and squash some bugs. I suppose your local megalithic corp’s accounts department can use the time to shore up funds for those $200 PlayBooks – just get the marketing department to justify it.