BlackBerries gain remote support tools

Research in Motion's BlackBerry Enterprise Server has tons of management and security features for the popular handhelds.

Research in Motion's BlackBerry Enterprise Server has tons of management and security features for the popular handhelds. But it lacks tools to let helpdesk staff remotely troubleshoot user problems.

Odyssey Software is releasing a RIM BES plugin that lets IT helpdesk and administrators access BlackBerries in the field to solve user problems. The new support tools appear as part of the standard BES console, without creating a parallel system for managing BlackBerries.

Odyssey's Athena is a device management application that can stand on its own or complement higher level third-party tools such as Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 or, in this case, RIM's BES. Athena is intended as a toolset to manage remote clients that happen to be mobile. It can be used for such tasks as deploying software updates, monitoring device health, collecting and tracking information on the device's hardware and software, and diagnosing and fixing problems.

4 things RIM PlayBook got right 

The new Athena for BlackBerry Enterprise Server works with the 5.0 versions of both BlackBerry Enterprise Server and the Express version of the BES. With the BES add-on installed, an administrator can directly connect to an enterprise BlackBerry smartphone, and exercise full remote control over the device to retrace the user's problem and fix it.

Help desk staff can see all the installed applications on the handset, as well as all of its wireless connections, such as GSM or CDMA cellular, and Wi-Fi, along with a score of data points for each, such as signal strength, type of service, whether the phone is roaming and radio status.

If the problem is one potentially affecting other enterprise BlackBerries, the administrator can create a standard BlackBerry module, and distribute it through the BES to all users.

The main application plugs into either the main BES server or the server that runs the BES Routing Service, often in the enterprise DMZ. A client-side agent is sent to all phones via a standard BES distribution package, and when activated handles communications with the corresponding server-side Athena code.

There are over a score of vendors that offer full or partial mobile device management, including Good Technology, MobileIron, Sybase and Zenprise.

Athena for BlackBerry Enterprise Server will be available in late October. Pricing is still being finalized but it will be "very, very reasonable," says Mark Gentile, Odyssey's CEO. The company will offer a free, permanent five-user license: this will be a full implementation of the software, with the only limitation being the number of users.

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.

Tags consumer electronicsMicrosoftNetworkingPhonessmartphoneswireless

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Cox

Network World

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest News Articles

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?