BlackBerry Enterprise Mobility Suite Review

Containerization allows us to keep personal and corporate data separate, though better integration with AD is needed


What is our primary use case?

Email contacts and calendaring on mobile devices.

How has it helped my organization?

It allows our mobile users to access email, contacts, calendaring, documents, and collaborate with users, all on their own mobile devices. They no longer need to always have their laptops with them to respond to an email, to edit a document, or to share information with fellow employees, or vendors.

What is most valuable?

The containerization of BlackBerry Dynamics is the most important thing for us. It allows us to keep personal and corporate data separate on a personal device. It allows us to wipe the corporate data while leaving all the personal data in place.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see better integration with our AD. Instead of having to use Active Directory groups, we'd like to use Active Directory attributes instead. There is a lot of overhead in managing. Whereas, if we could key on something tied to HR, or some other feed indicating who they are or what role they have, and manage them that way, that would be much preferable than having to manage people with Active Directory groups. Because, if people move roles, then we have to make sure that we move them from one Active Directory group to another, which is hands-on, a lot of overhead.

Also, they could improve their QA. There are many times where something will be released, a new client will be released, and something gets broken. Or they do a release and they don't take into consideration how some people may be using parts of it. Even though it's supported, they release something and it breaks it because they weren't aware of it. The biggest thing for me right now is, I would like to see improvement in their QA. I'm tired of getting broken software.

I would also like to see continued integration with the Microsoft suite of tools, Microsoft Word, Excel, etc., on a mobile device. Continue to improve that experience. Continue to move down that track, and partner with Microsoft, and other vendors, so we can make it a fully functioning suite; that we don't have to manage things on separate consoles. They should continue their strategic partnerships with others in this space, continue to move forward and allow us to have the integration that our customers want.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven't really had problems with stability in the recent past. We were on legacy Good for a long time and it had eventually become stable. We had some problems early on. We had problems with different products being stable. But lately, except for the QA that I mentioned before - the quality analysis they do, especially on the new products, especially on their clients - it's been relatively stable.

How is customer service and technical support?

Tech support is much better now, but only because I'm integrating with Angie Simpson, our account rep. But if I don't get her involved early, I often end up on the phone with people who appear to know less than I do. They spend time going over a lot of stuff that I've already gone over, or they don't understand the product as well they could. It's not as bad as it used to be, but it occasionally happens if I open a ticket out of the blue without Angie knowing about it. If I let Angie know I'm opening a ticket, she usually makes sure it gets in the right hands very early. But I really would prefer that I not have to go through that route. Sometimes I have to make a call in the middle of the day, or we have to open a ticket in the middle of the day. Sometimes it's a shot in the dark whether you're going to get an analyst or someone who is familiar enough with the product.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We've used two vendors. We've used BlackBerry, then we moved to Good Technology, then BlackBerry bought Good.

When we originally switched from our old solution to Good, it was the ability to manage Android and iOS devices, and manage based on personal versus corporate data. That allowed us to keep all the corporate data in a container, separate from the personal data, and we could just wipe the corporate data if needed. It was really around the BYOD phenomenon that happened back in 2012, 2015, when iOS devices and Android started coming online and enterprise people wanted to bring their own devices. They didn't want to use BlackBerrys.

How was the initial setup?

There are a lot of requirements with their applications, and there are a lot of different firewall rules that have to be in place. For our environment, that makes it difficult and a struggle sometimes to get upgraded, or when there's new functionality or new firewalls, because of all of our different firewall requirements, and the way we segregate our systems.

There's a lot to learn. Their product has a quite a bit, and learning it and realizing its potential takes a lot of work and a lot of study.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

In my opinion, we're paying an awful lot for what we get, compared to other vendors. I don't deal with the pricing, but it does seem to be a bit pricey for the things that we get, especially, when you compare them to other vendors, such as VMware, Citrix, who have all bought up other players in this space. VMware offers AirWatch free as part of their packages. It's difficult to compare them to those because BlackBerry just does this, but it does seem to be a bit pricey in the space, compared to some of the other vendors.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did have other options. Good Technology was the first really real player in the BYOD space that met our needs. BlackBerry wasn't there yet. The other vendors were just starting out in that space, and Good had been doing it for a while. When we started looking at it, they were the most mature in this space, and they were the ones that best met our needs.

We have looked at VMware's AirWatch, we've looked at MobileIron, we've looked at Intune, Citrix Solutions, Zendesk. We look at most of the top players which are recommended by industry reviews.

What other advice do I have?

My advice depends on what industry you're in. If you are in a highly regulated industry such as ours, you need to take into consideration the ease of use of the product. We are in the highly regulated insurance industry, and from a security standpoint, BlackBerry best meets our needs.

If a solution is not easy to use, people will just find something else to use. If you make it too difficult for them to use the product, make it difficult for them to edit documents, view emails, or share content, they'll find ways, outside of the container and the space to do the same thing - such as personal email, personal shares - as opposed to using the corporate mobility suite.

I give Blackberry UEM a seven out of 10. From my customers' standpoint, it's reasonably easy to get set up. It's just there, and it just works. There is a lot more functionality we would like to release to our customers but, due to infrastructure restraints on our part, plus all the requirements that are always in place to install or stand up new infrastructure, or integrate with any new releases, it takes us some time to do that. We're working on that, and some of that is our issue. But, the on-premise solution, which we're using now, makes it difficult to easily get up and going, and get into our customers' hands, and get them trained on it.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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