Today RIM announced the availability BlackBerry® Business Cloud Services for Microsoft Office 365. This new service allows organizations to expand their Microsoft mail services to the cloud and manage their BlackBerry deployments in the cloud.

One of the nice things about this service is that customers that are already subscribed to the Office 365 suite or standalone Exchange Online and works with BlackBerry smartphones on business or consumer data plans. The service is actually very robust and offers a comparable features that a typical BES server would have.

Having it cloud based makes it an affordable alternative for many organizations. In addition RIM's partnership with software giant Microsoft helps alleviate some of the nasty licensing that many organizations have to go through. Here is a brief statement taken from RIM's official press release:
“Microsoft’s partnership with RIM exemplifies our commitment to providing customers with the best productivity experience across the PC, browser and phone,” said Julia White, Senior Director of Microsoft's Exchange Product Management Group. “The availability of BlackBerry Business Cloud Services is great news for Office 365 and BlackBerry customers who want to get the maximum benefit from these two business collaboration services.”
Some key features include:
  • Wireless synchronization with Microsoft Exchange Online email, calendar and organizer data from a BlackBerry smartphone
  • BlackBerry® Balance™ technology, which presents a unified view of work and personal content on a BlackBerry smartphone while keeping the content separate and secure
  • An intuitive web-based console for IT administrators to provision, manage and secure BlackBerry smartphones from anywhere
  • Online access to employee self-service smartphone security functions, allowing users to easily reset a device password or remotely lock or wipe a device in the event of loss or theft
You can read the full press release here.