5 Alternatives to BlackBerry Balance: Where BYOD Coexists with IT

Whether you believe BYOD is headed to its death or not, the current market is still investing a great deal into this consumer-driven trend.  The droves of iPads carried into the office, under the arms of executives and sales teams alike, has created quite a nightmare for IT administrators, now forced to deal with a handful of mobile operating systems and a bevy of mobile devices that the company may or may not have provided.  Research In Motion has been bumped to the wayside thanks to BYOD, as companies stopped issuing BlackBerries in lieu of increasingly secure iOS and Android handsets.   So as the adage goes, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

Today RIM unveiled a completely revamped server platform called BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, ahead of the Jan. 30th launch of its long overdue line of BlackBerry 10 devices.  But what makes BES 10 revolutionary for the enterprise is its support of rival platforms, including iOS and Android.  That means RIM is not only providing server-side support for its own devices in the workplace, but also iPhones, iPads, Nexus tablets, LG smartphones and the whole lot.

It’s a necessary step in mobile evolution, as software’s role gains more of the spotlight.  While offering both hardware and software is an ideal strategy for the major players, it’s becoming increasingly important to find a way to support competing platforms through software integration.  Key to this software play is BlackBerry Balance, which enables IT to separate work apps from personal apps on employee devices.  While BlackBerry Balance has been on the market for nearly two years, deeper integration with the fresh BES 10 centralizes management of a range of devices on RIM’s characteristically secure servers.

Just as RIM has been tackling the BYOD issue through separate, manageable profiles for work and play, so too have several others.  Here are some alternatives to BlackBerry Balance, that will work for IT administrators and shared home devices.

First, a brief recap on BlackBerry Balance:

RIM’s BlackBerry Balance Technology

BlackBerry Balance technology separates work from personal data on BYOD devices by restricting the reach of personal apps.  Theses days, a lot of apps that users download often require you to permit them access to personal information, but BlackBerry Balance prevents personal apps from accessing information on work apps and data.  IT departments can also remotely access BB devices that have BB Balance, so those devices will always be updated and secured, and if worse comes to worse, IT can remotely wipe enterprise data from the device altogether.

With more analysis on what BES10 means for RIM’s strategy to re-enter the enterprise market is Senior Managing Editor Kristen Nicole, who appeared on this morning’s NewsDesk program with Kristin Feledy.

Below the clip is our list of 5 alternatives to BlackBerry Balance:

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5 Alternatives to BlackBerry Balance

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Citrix’s ShareFile and Zenprise

ShareFile is a follow-me data solution that enables IT departments to keep work-related files secured.  It has a “poison pill” feature that allows IT departments to put expiration dates on sensitive data so it can only be accessed by certain people at a given time.  It also features a security mechanism that generates a log after a remote swipe, informing the user which files were accessed.

Zenprise is known for their mobile BYOD solutions and was acquired by Citrix last December.  Zenprise MobileManager offers “advanced mobile device management capabilities like geo-fencing, automated compliance, and features that make mobile apps “business-ready” and keep mobile content secure.”

AT&T’s Toggle

AT&T Toggle separates enterprise and personal data on Android and iOS devices on almost any network provider by providing a work and personal mode.  Toggle offers the ability to manage employee access to organization resources, add, update, and delete business apps on employees’ personal devices, and wipe all corporate information stored in work mode if an employee leaves the organization or loses their device.

Aside from that, Toggle allows IT departments to manage work mode by protecting passwords, locking and unlocking work mode, enabling and disabling business apps, and wiping work mode if the device is lost or stolen, or when an employee leaves the organization.  When not working, users can send text messages to friends, watch TV and movies, and play games.  But when work mode is activated, they can access corporate email, apps, calendars and more, just like on a company-owned device.  By limiting access to personal mode while on work mode, businesses can rest assured that their employees are getting paid for working and not using Facebook or playing games during work hours.

VMware Horizon Mobile

VMware Horizon Mobile, previously known as VMware Horizon Mobile Virtualization Platform, allows enterprises to to securely provision and manage a corporate mobile workspace on employees’ Android or iOS smartphones in isolation from their personal environment.

This dual persona allows employees to bring and use their prefered device for work use while maintaining the security, compliance and manageability enterprises require.  Horizon Mobile enhances productivity by creating a purpose-built and pre-configured native mobile workspace based on employee responsibilities that is tied to the user, not the device.

Samsung SAFE

SAFE embodies Samsung Enterprise solutions that would allow people to use their Galaxy SIII or Galaxy Note II at work without the enterprise worrying about the security of sensitive data, while users need not worry about getting a new phone for either personal or work use.

What makes SAFE unique lies in its four components: Advanced Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync features that allows employees to quickly and easily access corporate email, meeting details, contact info and other critical information on the go; State of the art AES 256-bit ODE helps prevent unauthorized access to all data on the device, including the microSD storage card; VPN connectivity; and top-tier, multivendor Mobile Device Management support.

Amazon Kindle FreeTime

This feature in the new Kindle Fire HD tablets allow owners to create different profiles.  It is mainly directed at parents who want to control their kids’ use of the tablet, including how much time they are allowed to use and what sites they can access, but because of the ability to create profiles, the device can be used for the enterprise where shared devices are in use.  Enterprise IT departments can create work profiles on an employee’s Kindle Fire and set which sites can be accessed, how long a person can access it each day, disable personal profile when one is at work, etc.

About Mellisa Tolentino

Mellisa is a staff writer for SiliconAngle, covering social and mobile news. She is fascinated by technology and loves imparting what she learns through her journey as a writer. Got a news story or tip? Send it to mellisa@siliconangle.com