Tuesday, 20 March 2018 09:01

BlackBerry, Microsoft build secure bridge Featured

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BlackBerry and Microsoft have developed software allowing the secure use of Microsoft's mobile apps from the BlackBerry Dynamics secure enterprise mobility software.

BlackBerry Enterprise Bridge provides a secure connection between the BlackBerry Dynamics and Microsoft Intune containers, BlackBerry senior vice-president for product management Frank Cotter told iTWire.

BlackBerry Dynamics is widely used to provide employees with a secure mobile environment, particularly by organisations in regulated industries, he said, pointing out that thousands of custom apps have been developed for use within Dynamics.

The growing use of larger-format tablets and widespread use of Microsoft Office have driven demand for launching native Microsoft apps from within Dynamics.

There are already some Office-compatible apps such as Docs To Go and Polaris Office that work within Dynamics, observed Cotter. But it has not previously been possible to use Microsoft's native apps in this way.

Enterprise Bridge provides a secure mechanism for passing a document from Dynamics (eg, a Word file attached to an email) to the corresponding Office app and back again.

It basically works by making each container an permitted 'save as' destination for apps running in the other, passing DRM and other policies along with the document.

Connecting two secure containers in this way is thought to be an industry first, said Cotter. "This is something customers are very excited about," he said, especially for use on tablets.

"BlackBerry has always led the market with new and innovative ways to protect corporate data on mobile devices," said BlackBerry president of global sales Carl Wiese.

"We saw a need for a hyper-secure way for our joint customers to use native Office 365 mobile apps. BlackBerry Enterprise Bridge addresses this need and is a great example of how BlackBerry and Microsoft continue to securely enable workforces to be highly productive in today's connected world."

Microsoft executive vice-president of worldwide commercial business Judson Althoff said "In an era when digital technology is driving rapid transformation, customers are looking for a trusted partner.

"Our customers choose Microsoft 365 for productivity and collaboration tools that deliver continuous innovation, and do so securely. Together with BlackBerry, we will take this to the next level and provide enterprises with a new standard for secure productivity."

In related news, BlackBerry UEM Cloud, BlackBerry Workspaces, BlackBerry Dynamics, and BlackBerry AtHoc are now available on Microsoft Azure.


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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