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RIM announces free BlackBerry Enterprise Server

by Volker Weber

besexpress.jpg

BES Express is unlimited, comes with fewer IT Policies (35 instead of 450), and supports Exchange 2003, 2007, 2010 and Small Business Server 2003 and 2008. It does not support clients for Instant Messaging, Mobile Voice or the Lotus portfolio.

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RIM just gave another reason for SME to migrate of Notes. Bugger, we switched to Lotus Notes/Domino Express last year from a IMAP/CalDav "solution" because wanted Blackberries. Exchange and Outlook did not fit into our heterogenous landscape (Win/Unix/Mac users) and Domino was more attractive because of the collab functionality we just started to use. Seems we are left out in the cold. And no, iPhone or Android are no Blackberry replacements, at least not now...

Peter Daum, 2010-02-16

Well, you can still buy a BES license.

Volker Weber, 2010-02-16

Of course I can and will even do. For my 5 BBs this takes about $5000, which is $1000 per BB today, add maintenance and updates over the next years. I will do because we love the solution and can afford to. However, given the fact that the BES part costs more than the whole package (MS SBS with Exchange + BES Express), we might have taken another decision a year ago and other businesses might to the same in future... You know the cost-driven managers ;-)

Peter Daum, 2010-02-16

Talk to your carrier. Talk to RIM. You never know if they might waive your license. :-)

Volker Weber, 2010-02-16

Hm, it seems that BES Express will work "....with any Internet-enabled BlackBerry data plan or a BlackBerry enterprise data plan." And the press release suggests a "....growing demand from employees to be able to connect their personal BlackBerry smartphones to their work email."

So, the master plan is not only going after SMBs but to have consumers connect their private BB on their private data plan to their corporate mail account. And RIM allegedly sees a "growing demand" for that. Interesting.

Max Nierbauer, 2010-02-16

Someone should remind RIM that IBM has the Express Client License, and Foundations which are both targeted at small business as well. I'm hoping that another announcement will be made soon regarding this.

Wayne Sobers, 2010-02-16

Has someone asked RIM yet what their plan is for Lotus Domino in the context of BESX?

We were told that in Q&A at MWC today, RIM was answering this question in terms of future plans.

I think the point of BESX is more about understanding what is included/free in the mobile world and what isn't, vs. who is in SMB.

Ed Brill, 2010-02-16

Yes, I have asked.

Volker Weber, 2010-02-16

@Peter: Don't buy a BES license for 5 BBs. Go for the Blackberry Professional Software. It's limited to a maximum of 30 devices, but in other ways "free" (about 100€ per device).

Natanael Mignon, 2010-02-16

I have asked if they plan to offer a similar set for Domino and Lotus Foundations, let's see if and when there is going to be an answer.

Andreas Ponte, 2010-02-16

-Blackberry Professional Software

is end of life

Flemming Riis, 2010-02-16

@Volker, and?

Stuart McIntyre, 2010-02-16

The answer made it into the press release towards the end.

Volker Weber, 2010-02-16

Our executives all moved to iPhones using traveler, we asked them after 20 days if they wanted to go back to the blackberiies, not one (of 10) took us up on the offer.

oh and Traveler is FREE

if you dont like the iPhone try the Droid or Milestone or whatever Volker suggests.

Mark Hughes, 2010-02-16

I have discussed this many times with RIM executives. Look at their financial statements and how small the software revenue stream is. I think, and I am probably not smart enough, it would make sense to give away the software and push more devices. It's just that the software business scales much better than hardware.

At Lotusphere RIM was very happy about the fact, that the Connections and Quickr clients are not a download on some website, but rather sold through the IBM sales force and the partner channel. Sales people only ever mention a product if they can make a commission from the sale. Ed could probably say something about this with his vast sales experience. Not that he would want to. :-)

Volker Weber, 2010-02-16

@Peter - I can't believe you'd have to pay that much for a BES. We're a small company with a growing number of BBs, but started at

Dan King, 2010-02-16

FWIW, my people checked with their sources and RIM has indicated to us a plan to add Domino to BESX offerings later in the year. Still trying to find a direct and official place they're saying this.

Ed Brill, 2010-02-18

Ed, thanks for sharing the good news. At least there will be an alternative when BPS gets phased out...

@vowe: Just talked to my carrier re a good BES deal. The only thing they were willing to offer was their hosted Exchange solution together with HTC Windows phones (she even praised that as heaven on earth). They also explained to me that BlackBerries as well as Notes were totally inappropriate for my small shop and that neither iPhones nor Androids were suitable for business use... No really the kind of advise I'd expected...

Peter Daum, 2010-02-18

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