Last week Research In Motion announced three things:
- It had renamed itself to BlackBerry
- It would soon ship two new BlackBerry 10-compatible devices, the Q10 (with keyboard) and Z10 (touchscreen only)
- It had shipped the new BlackBerry Enterprise Service, version 10
These three announcements, taken together, signaled the end of a long period of frustration for customers, employees and shareholders. After a wait of nearly three years, BlackBerry, indeed, delivered the goods. Reviewers of the Q10 and Z10 have generally been impressed; these are solid handsets. Ditto for the BlackBerry 10 operating system. BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 includes updated software updated for managing BlackBerry 10 devices and PlayBooks (the BlackBerry Device Service); a new bundled, reskinned, version of the Ubitexx MDM software it acquired in 2011 for managing iOS and Android devices (now called the Universal Device Service); and, an updated version of the server software for routing data to older BlackBerry devices using the “classic” BlackBerry network infrastructure (BlackBerry Enterprise Server). BES 10 also includes an updated version of BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express (aka “the cheap one”) for customers who don’t need all of the power and complexity that the non-Express version offers.
At least one reviewer intoned that with its new offerings, enterprises now had a true BlackBerry BYOD (bring-your-own-device) solution. It seems that the wait may have been worth it.
Left unanswered, though, is the existential question of whether it matters.