Minimising risks of Blackberry

We are running BES 5.0.4 - one of the biggest fears of our management is another NOC outage similar to 2011 that would knock out the service to our VIP users and also the company itself falling down.

Is there any way that we can can configure the devices to connect directly to our DMZ as a fail back?

As for the second point, any comments?
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
There is no way that legacy Blackberry devices can connect directly to your Exchange server without third party utilities - if they still exist. Astrosync I think it was called.
There is the BIS service, but that requires a consumer Blackberry plan, rather than Enterprise, and is effectively a screen scraping tool. Plus it runs on the Blackberry network.

If you are concerned with Blackberry's health (which is in pretty good shape, despite what the IT press might try to say) then you need to switch to Blackberry OS 10. They can connect directly to Exchange with ActiveSync if you want to bypass the BES and the Blackberry network.

I also think that there are too many vested interests in Blackberry to allow it to fail or their network to go away. Blackberry is still heavily used by Governments and the defence industry which require the security it provides.

It should also be noted that the Blackberry handset side is a very small part of the company. Blackberry is in a lot of cars and other critical places, which isn't known by most people - as embedded software. They are also making a big push on the MDM side.

From a risk point of view, staying on BES 5.x with legacy devices is a bigger risk. They are getting older and there is less attention to them.


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Rodney BarnhardtServer AdministratorCommented:
For any users who happen to be in one of your locations, there is the option to connect via Wi-Fi to the network. Outside of that, the "private" network that Blackberry uses is the key to its security. We have moved from the 5.4 devices to the Q and Z10's. I believe they work much better and are faster than the old legacy devices. There is also the ability for them to directly connect via Active sync rather than go through the BES server in the event the company would go under. However, I really do not think that will be an issue. As Simon pointed out, they have moved to other areas. For instance, Ford is replacing Microsoft with the Blackberry QNX software in all of its automobiles. The company is also profitable again and I believe it has stabilized. They reported a profit of $28 million in March of this year, and have over $3 Billion in cash.
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