DoD Denies Plans To Ditch BlackBerry, Still Seeks New MDM Solution
Yesterday the U.S. Department of Defense extinguished reports that they were parting ways with BlackBerry. Earlier in the month gadget website Electronista reported that the DoD was "decimating" the testing budget for BlackBerry 10.
In a statement to PCMag Lt. Col. Damien Pickart, a DoD official, said "The department is aware of recent reporting that asserts it is 'dropping' BlackBerry. This reporting is in error. The department recently released its mobility strategy and supporting implementation plan, which clarifies we are moving towards a mobile management capability that supports a variety of devices, to include BlackBerry,"
According to Electronista's mystery sources, there would be no budgeting for testing BlackBerry devices. Earlier reports from the same website claimed that the DoD was completely dropping BlackBerry devices and would be purchasing 650,000 iOS devices to replace them. All of this being a result of the recent government sequestration.
Naturally, this to was denied by the DoD. "[O]ur mobility experts are looking into what has been reported and are not familiar with the figures quoted in that report/article," Pickart said regarding the report by Electronista.
The DoD's search for an additional MDM solution started in October of last year when the department requested a proposal detailing their need for a "traffic cop" that would enforce policies for network end devices. The proposal also requested Mobile Application Store (MAS) capabilities for electronic software distribution (ESD). The new MDM solution is expected to eventually manage all departments, including combatant commands, military services,DoD agencies and field activities, DISA, Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office and the National Security Agency.
BlackBerry also responded with the following statement:
"Our work with the U.S. Department of Defense is going well and the U.S. Department of Defense is moving forward with testing of BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 and the new BlackBerry Z10 smartphone. We are currently working with the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and anticipate Security Technical Implementation Guides (STIG) and Security Requirement Guide (SRG) approval for the BlackBerry Device Service, BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry PlayBook by early April. BlackBerry was the first to go through the new SRG process by the Defense Department and will be the first to successfully come out of it."
The DoD should know better than to replace a superior security device with an inferior device.