RIM Allows non-BlackBerry Devices Use BlackBerry Enterprise Server and BlackBerry Messenger?

BlackBerry Enterprise Server

Research In Motion (RIM) has been planning with the idea to allow its bread-and-butter services like BES (BlackBerry Enterprise Server) and BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) to be accessed on mobile phones other than BlackBerry for some time. If we have to be honest, these services and the form factor are what people are buying BlackBerrys for, not their run-of-the-mill hardware.

Back in the days when Symbian and Windows Mobile ruled the throne, BlackBerry Application Suite was outed for a while, which allowed IT departments to manage the employees’ non-BlackBerry mobile phones. We tried it then, and it was a bit cumbersome to set up, but now this general idea is once again in the center of RIM’s attention, as per Vice President Pete Devenyi:

“BlackBerry is and will continue to be dominant in most corporations, [but] it’s not going to be the only device given the fact that consumers have the choice to bring in their own devices and IT departments are often letting them in. So there’s a question there. Do those corporations have to manage those devices differently or is there the possibility that RIM might extend capabilities to make it easier for those corporations to manage those devices as well? If the right thing to do is to extend a subset of those [BlackBerry] capabilities to be able to manage other devices, it’s worthy of a conversation.”

It was not informed directly, but the reason behind the project’s resurrection could be the outflow of corporate customers like Dell, JP Morgan, and some others, who are allowing other mobile phones and platforms on their corporate networks. And the fact that the BlackBerry PlayBook (our hands-on here) is planned to appeal to the widest possible audience, with none of the usual BlackBerry applications on it, makes for an even stronger case for that to happen.

Currently, the only way to access BES and BBM services on the BlackBerry PlayBook is to pair up your current BlackBerry smartphone with it, using a software called BlackBerry Bridge. RIM’s Ryan Bidan, who is in charge of the BlackBerry PlayBook, says in an interview: “On its own, this is a great standalone tablet… This is not a device that is reliant on a BlackBerry….There have been some misconceptions about the role this device plays. The PlayBook is a solid, Wi-Fi-enabled tablet in its own right.”

Well, its purchase of QNX was named “The smartest technology acquisition of 2010” by Business Insider, and we agree it was a great idea, although it will take time for it to bear fruit. As for the PlayBook, we are sure that within months you will be able to do all sorts of things with it, including your typical BlackBerry stuff. We are more worried RIM is doing with their smartphones, hopefully the rumors about a 1.2GHz CPU in the next BlackBerry Torch have merit.


22 thoughts on “RIM Allows non-BlackBerry Devices Use BlackBerry Enterprise Server and BlackBerry Messenger?

  1. IMHO, BBM is blackberry’s trump card. to give it up is to lose the edge. good for the consumers, but not for RIM. The only thing holding me back on blackberry is BBM and to a smaller extent, the pushmail. Apps wise, blackberry does not have a compelling offering compared to iOS or android.

    They should not open it to other phones, but should do it for PC, if you have a tethered blackberry. A long session of BBM would be much more enjoyable on PC.

  2. Absolutely fuckin not. Bbm for blackberrys only. Other smartphones can chill the hell out and do something else to make their product unique.

  3. Not only do I think BBM should be available to non-BlackBerry smartphones, but I think RIM should turn BBM into the ultimate all in one messaging client by throwing in popular instant messaging clients into the mix such as AIM, Google Talk, Yahoo, MSN, etc.

  4. At one stage I was using my BB on a pre-paid sim, which includes a data plan but no BIS, it would have been great to be able to use BBM as a 3rd party app back then (via the data connection).

    I know a few people who’ve inherited a BB who use it in this same way, it would be great is they could use BBM on a data plan.

    Currently I am using Whatsapp to connect to the I-phone users in my world, and yes I was willing to pay the $2 a year. So RIM why not make BBM available to the other platforms?

  5. I call it the blackberry society… that’s why there is a bbm lounge party! specific just for us BB users. It would cost more bandwidth and more cash to upkeep the bbm server if blackberry makes it available to other platforms… sure bb can charge a fee for the service but out of this how much can bb get out of it? how many breakdowns will we get with it… What RIM can do or if possible it to use the PIN server to push the messages via text to non BB users? who knows.

  6. Think it should stay Blackberry only. It makes Blackberry unique, I’ve had several Andriod users tell me how much they miss BBM compared to texting and other IM programs.

  7. Hells yes they need to make it cross platform. Maybe they could somehow monetize it on non BB devices? Something to pay the bills.

    That, and I think they need to allow BBM to work without BIS.

  8. BBM is useless. You don’t get messages if you are on the phone unless you are walking around with wi fi up your ass. I have a bb and not one contact because all of my peeps have other phones. Why not text message. All you fanboys make a big deal out of nothing. There are also instant message apps that people also use so who would want bbm that don’t have a bb.

  9. If BBM was a cross-platform app, RIM would a lot of customers like me who are switching over to Android. It would be just another reason for me to drop BB. RIM is a the new Palm. It’s dying a slow death.

    Good bye RIM and BB, you couldn’t innovate and are always playing catch up.

  10. people get irritated now when BBM or Blackberry servers are down… If they opened this secure messaging service up to other platforms … for 1, other devices arent as secure & the network/server traffic would be ridiculous… if people want BBM , then buy a Blackberry. Why have a great app/service on any other crappy OS platform..

  11. I think they should. The should make a BBM client for Windows Mobile, Android and Apple. But charge a fee. $5 to download and $1/month service fee. Keep it free for BB users. That way it’s win-win

  12. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!

    Worst idea EVER!

  13. The real question is would Iphone and Android users pay to use BBM? I doubt Rim would ever offer them BBM for free especially with the increased traffic trough their NOCs

  14. f RIM gives up BBM to other platforms, sales of Blackberry hardware will plummet. BBM provides a competitive advantage for RIM.

    I know people who don’t want to give up their blackberry because they don’t want to lose BBM. Give them BBM on another platform and they will leave.

  15. RIM shouldn’t waste ONE SECOND on this CRAP – They need to focus ALL of their energy and time on getting out a STORM phone that can BEAT or AT LEAST COMPETE with the Droid’s and iPhone4!!! Who give’s a shit about BBM for OTHER phones?!!!!

  16. This is a really stupid idea, there are already plenty of cross-platform messaging apps already if people want to use one and most have both desktop and mobile clients, it is only due to the gullibility of some people that the likes of kik aren’t being ignored as the pointless hype that they are.

    The only thing rim should do with bbm is work on new ways to improve it for blackberry owners.

  17. There’s alot of different opinions but I think to make everyone happy bbm should charge a small fee to non bb users to make money. Bbm is totally worth the 1 or 2 dollar fee, anyways all non bb users are used to paying those fees. There just gonna make more money out of it so why not go for it. Bbm Will be the best cross platform right away unlike all other new ones still trying to get peoples attention.

  18. Speaking as someone who has a Nokia N900 on a contract, and whose family are now both on BB units… it would be good if RIM were to open up their api so open-source connectors to other IM apps could be developed.

    Would be good tol see plugkins written for Pidgin,Empathy. the Conversation app in Maemo…

    Also make it easier for non bb users to buy their userids.

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