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BlackBerry has released BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) 12.2, which now includes Samsung Knox and Android for Work support in the operating system (OS) BlackBerry's Secure Connect Plus service.
The update also includes support for the Apple Device Enrollment Program (DEP) for iPhones and iPads.
BlackBerry said BES12 version 12.2 aims to provide customers with more choice and flexibility while helping to reduce complexity and create better user experiences for employees. The support for Samsung Knox and Android for Work users means Samsung and Android smartphone users can access enterprise networks without the need for virtual private network (VPN) infrastructure.
Analyst Bob Egan, CEO of Sepharim Research Group, said: "By enhancing its multi-OS capabilities and services with BES12, BlackBerry is creating better user experiences as well as more value for customers looking for flexibility in their mobile environments."
BES12.2 follows on from BlackBerry’s recent collaboration with Android for Work. In February 2015, Rajan Sheth, director of product management, Android and Chrome for Work, said: “People can use their personal apps knowing their employer only manages work data and won’t erase or view their personal content."
In a blog post on the new release, Jeff Murphy, senior product marketing manager for BlackBerry's EMM and ID & Access portfolio, wrote: "With today’s announcement, BlackBerry has shown how it is continuing to expand its multi-OS capabilities while staying committed to the principles of security and simplicity.
"In environments with multiple platforms, devices, apps and content, enterprises want a trusted, secure solution that will help them reduce complexity."
CarePartners, a Canadian company which offers care services for the elderly, is among the early adopters of BES 12.2. Kelly Baechler, manager of organisation change, CarePartners, said: "We chose BlackBerry and BES12 because of the end-to-end security benefits and high level of management and control it affords us.
"We need to ensure that the GPS is always on, for example, and need the ability to block certain apps from being installed on the device. We can manage all of this through IT policies on BES12."
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