• AT&T Responds To BlackBerry Balance with Toggle

    Computer World recently reported that Annual IT costs for managing smartphones will increase by 48% next year compared to 2011. Citing a new survey by Osterman Research, Computer World echoes that this increase is due to the need for better security and management as workers bring their own smartphones to work. In essence, this translates to a higher cost of managing employees’ phones costing an average of $399 per user in 2013 compared to a yearly IT labor cost per user of $229 in 2011.

    It is no wonder 90% of Fortune 500 companies still chose to deploy BlackBerry in their enterprises. However, RIM has not been shy in acknowledging that this may change in the future due to the sudden influx of consumer smartphones in the market and that they are prepared for the future by implementing new and innovative ways to continue providing top-notch security and ease of administration to companies far and wide.

    For companies who still chose to deploy BlackBerry Smartphones, they have introduced BlackBerry Balance, a solution which aims to separate personal data from work data in an easy and manageable way by creating an AES-256 bit encrypted file system on the device for work information and applications. Additionally, RIM is making it easier to also provide support for devices that use iOS and Android operating systems. With BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, IT administrators can use the Universal Device Service to manage and secure devices that use iOS3 and Android4 operating systems. Administrators can also use the familiar interface to add and import iOS and Android users, create group memberships, view user and device information, define IT policies and connectivity settings, manage apps on devices and assist users in the recovery of misplaced devices.

    Of course there is money to be made here by making it easier for companies to manage their employees work data as well as pushing work-critical information straight to the devices. Enter AT&T Toggle. Toggle is a new mobile management solution that just like BlackBerry Balance, enables the separation and encryption of business data on employees’ mobile devices. Although Toggle was introduced at a in October of last year, targeting devices running Android 2.2 and higher. This newest iteration released in June is targeted towards iOS and Android devices with BlackBerry and Windows versions to follow.

    Still Toggle by AT&T begs the question of what came first, the chicken or the egg, as it seems to offer many of the same benefits of BlackBerry Balance. Perhaps it is just an evolutionary step towards the future as the idea stemmed from the director of AT&T’s network operations in Dallas, through The Innovation Pipeline initiative.

    It will be interesting to follow how BYOD will continue to affect both the enterprise and consumer markets in the coming years. Be sure to check out the videos below, outlining both solutions.

    AT&T Toggle

    BlackBerry Balance

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