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How You Should Set Up Your BlackBerry Environment Now

How You Should Set Up Your BlackBerry Environment Now

The benefits of a dual BlackBerry environment are impossible to ignore

It now makes sense for most organizations to create a dual BlackBerry® environment and move at least some users to BlackBerry® Enterprise Server Express—a free, slimmed-down version of its larger cousin. The extra effort is minimal, the essential features and security are nearly identical, and the benefits are impossible to ignore.

The fact is most businesses that give employees BlackBerry® smartphones can save money and get the benefits from more employees having real-time access to mobile information, while still retaining essential security.

How can you save money and add more users? Start by thinking about your current BlackBerry smartphone configuration. If your business runs your BlackBerry smartphones on BlackBerry® Enterprise Server and enterprise-level data plans from your carrier, you have a terrific set up, with advanced features, rock-solid security, and generous data allowances.

Switch some users to BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express

But you could probably switch some employees to BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express. These users can then be put into lower-cost entry-level data plans with your carrier, and you can then use the savings to give more of your employees BlackBerry smartphones—with all of the productivity benefits that follow.

Note: Your carrier agreement may restrict when you can switch to lower-cost entry-level data plans. Check with your carrier for more information.

BlackBerry Enterprise Server and BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express can run in the same environment, with a few tweaks. Little additional training is required for your IT team; if they know BlackBerry Enterprise Server, they know BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express. Also, BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express will support up to 75 users when installed on an existing Microsoft Exchange or Windows Small Business Server so you may not need to purchase additional server hardware. (For greater than 75 users, it can be installed on a separate server and support up to 2,000 users.)

Table. Features comparison chart

Feature BlackBerry Enterprise Server BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express
Per user license fee Yes Free
Carrier data plan Enterprise level Lower-cost entry level
or enterprise level
IT department control Advanced Essential
Support for company email, calendar, contacts, apps Yes Yes
Full security features Yes Yes
Remote data wipe Yes Yes
BlackBerry® Mobile Voice System—PBX integration and desk phone features on BlackBerry smartphones Yes No
Chalk Pushcast Software support Yes No
Support for enterprise IM and social networking Yes No
Support for enterprise collaboration Yes No
HA, 24/7 uptime support Yes No

Step 1: Identify employees who need advanced functionality and features

The key is to identify employees who require advanced functionality and features. Examples include those who need:

Also include users whom IT identifies as needing more stringent control over their BlackBerry smartphones. For example, some employees may need access to extremely sensitive data from their BlackBerry smartphones. To have additional options for managing these smartphones you may want the full range of more than 450 IT policies found in BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

Saving money by splitting users into two groups is surprisingly easy. And you keep the essential mobility of the BlackBerry smartphone.            
- Ajay Malhan, Technical Account Manager for Research In Motion® (RIM)

Step 2: Move some employees to BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express and lower-cost plans

By making this move, two things happen. First, you've just freed BlackBerry Enterprise Server licenses that you can now allocate to employees who do not yet have company BlackBerry smartphones (see step 3 next). And second, you can save money on your monthly data costs. BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express is free to install and has no license fees.

Step 3: Use the savings to add more BlackBerry smartphone users

Savings in hand, you can now add additional BlackBerry smartphone users with little additional monthly costs.

Step 4: Bring employee-owned BlackBerry smartphones into BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express and IT's security umbrella

This step is easy: Add employee-owned BlackBerry smartphones to your BlackBerry Enterprise Server deployment just as you would company-owned smartphones.

You should think through such issues as who will pay for data plans, support levels, and IT policies. To get started see Yes You Can Connect Employees' Personal Smartphones.

Example: Red Tiger Hand Tools

Let's look at a hypothetical example. We will call our fictional company Red Tiger Hand Tools, a manufacturer of hand and power tools. (Note that for simplicity's sake this example does not consider additional costs, such as for purchasing BlackBerry smartphones, accessories, apps, and so on.)

Red Tiger has 700 employees, of whom 472 have BlackBerry smartphones—all running on its BlackBerry Enterprise Server environment. And let's say Red Tiger pays $44.99/month per smartphone for enterprise-level data plans from its carrier.

Red Tiger's CIO Robert Fredrick read this article about moving some employees to BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express and entry-level data plans. So his team divided up employees into those with a mission-critical need for advanced functionality and features, and those who do not.

They broke down the list like this:

BlackBerry Smartphones
currently deployed
472
Employees who need
advanced functionality
Field reps 91
C-level executives 5
Warehouse and inventory 47
Plant managers and other staff 22
Other roles 83
Total advanced functionality: 248
Not advanced functionality
employees
472 –248 = 224

As you can see, Red Tiger can move 224 employees to BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express. The company will save by lowering its monthly data plan costs from $44.99 to $29.99 for each of those 224 employees.

Monthly savings
Drop to entry-level data plan (per month) ($44.99-$29.99) x 224 = $3,360
Total savings per month $3,360

In the final step, Red Tiger calculated that it could give BlackBerry smartphones—with full enterprise-data plans—to 74 additional employees who require advanced functionality from BlackBerry Server Express.

Adding additional employees
Monthly savings $3,360
Cost per enterprise data plan $44.99
Additional employees given BlackBerry smartphones $3,360/$44.99 = 74

In addition to the 74 additional employees added to BlackBerry Enterprise Server, with BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express Red Tiger can now also connect employees who own their own BlackBerry smartphones at no additional cost. Read the Business Case for Connecting Employees' Personal Smartphones for more information.

Calculate how many extra employees you can give BlackBerry smartphones

1. Total BlackBerry employees
Employees who need advanced functionality
Employees who do not need advanced functionality
2. How much can we save per month?
Drop to entry-level data plan (per month)
Total monthly savings
3. From the savings, how many extra employees can we give BlackBerry smartphones?
Mission-critical roles
Non-mission critical roles

How to set up a dual environment

BlackBerry Enterprise Server and BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express can coexist and support the same Microsoft® Exchange organization, but you must install them in their own BlackBerry domains (with separate configuration databases). See the nearby network diagram for an example.

HOW TO SET UP A DUAL ENVIRONMENT

How to move a BlackBerry smartphone from one product to another

The trick to moving a BlackBerry smartphone from BlackBerry Enterprise Server to BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express is to completely wipe the smartphone first. You must do this because you are moving the smartphone to a new environment.

Follow these steps:

  1. Remove user from BlackBerry Enterprise Server
  2. Do a security wipe on the BlackBerry smartphone (do a backup first)
  3. Switch user from enterprise data plan to an entry-level plan
  4. Activate the BlackBerry smartphone on BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express

For more on creating a dual environment, watch Deploying BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express.

Where to go next

Guide to Installing BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express »

Tutorial: Installing BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express »

BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express

Support Forums

The BlackBerry® Support Community Forums are a great place for your BlackBerry device users to get help—and a place for you to connect with other IT administrators. Do you have questions about BlackBerry Enterprise Solutions? Are you looking for support on devices or accessories? Visit the BlackBerry Support Community Forums.