BlackBerry Enterprise Mobility Suite Review

It has allowed us to manage many different mobile device platforms all through a single pane of glass

What is our primary use case?

Primarily for mobile device management.

How has it helped my organization?

It has allowed us to manage many different mobile device platforms, like Windows 10, Android, Apple, and BlackBerry 10, all through a single pane of glass. It has been quite effective at doing this. 

There has been improvements in how we know what software is available on devices, so there is better reporting. It has given us good visibility for maintaining compliance as far as operating system versions go.

It is a very comprehensive solution.

What is most valuable?

There are a lot of features. Some of the features that I find most valuable are how we can manage devices by device model, device type, and operating system. We can create device groups, user groups, and control. We can push special policies based on user end device groups, so this is a very important feature for me, because it allows me to separate different vendor devices and be able to report on them and control how we manage them.

In terms of flexibility, it is another level of functionality which you can provide for addressing a variety of business requirements, from managing mobile devices to pulling applications. It does support hardware and operating system configurations from every angle: How the business wants to use it, how it is installed by technical teams, and how it is supported. It is flexible. There is a cloud offering, as well, which we have not tried.

What needs improvement?

I would like more support for Google Chromebook operating system, so I could manage it. Also, I would like more management support for Apple computers.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were some issues during the upgrades in the past, but that was far in the past. Recently, I can't say that I have had any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability seems to be working well. We have not had any of our UEM servers peak. We have around 1200 user managed devices, and we have never had any issues with that scaling option. It seems to scale well with that amount.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is great. We have an advanced support agreement, and we go to the Level 2 support. They are knowledgeable and know the product well. They are able to deal with our issues quickly and effectively.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were on a competing product called BoxTone, but that was acquired by BlackBerry. 

That is as far back as we go in terms of competing products.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward. However, I have been through the setup many times. If I was a new user or new IT staff setting up a server, it would still be very straightforward and intuitive, since there is not a lot of clicking. 

You just click next, next, and you install the software. You can figure out what it needs, so it is very straightforward.

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

That is where it is a bit challenging for us, because there is a lot of value-add in the product with a lot of different features. With the new licensing model, there seems to be a significant increase in cost, which makes it difficult to push forward and talk with the business to say, “Here are all these other features that we can leverage. By the way, here is the increase in the cost." 

That is where there are some difficulties, trying to get budget for some of the new features. Then again, the business also comes back wanting to use those new features. I am specifically referring to the good integration points. For now, the business is happy with just mobile device management. We did get a cost for those newer licenses, and the price is up there.

It seems like the licensing costs are somewhat justifiable just because of all the extra features that you are getting. If there was a licensing option with MDM only explaining its cost and spell that out in their licensing model, which is user-based, that would probably help customers more. This way they understand what the costs are and why some costs are more and some are less.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have been a BlackBerry shop for a very long time. We did look at another option a while back, which was BoxTone, but we went back to Blackberry because of the simple pane of glass capability. 

However, we are looking at Microsoft Intune, which is a competing product. We have not moved to it, but we are investigating it.

What other advice do I have?

You should do a proper architecture assessment and know how the product will scale and fit in your environment. Will you need more than one server, or just the one server, for all your usage? 

Definitely do some planning from a disaster recovery perspective about where you want to have your UEM servers running in the event of a disaster. 

Do some thorough planning on licensing. Pick the pieces that you need carefully, because there is a significant licensing cost.

**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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