BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 will also act as a front end to a third RIM management server for iOS and Android: Universal Device Service, currently on the market under the name Mobile Fusion. Essentially, UDS will get merged into BDS when BlackBerry 10 comes out, not remain as a separate server.
Today, UDS gives you a console to manage the iOS's native policies and to manage policies installed on Android devices via a RIM client app. (On iOS, UDS supports the delivery of iOS's native management certificates, comparable to what OS X Server or the Apple Configuration Utility do, but using the RIM console instead for simpler integration with other device management capabilities.) The client apps for iOS and Android also allow device auditing and controls over business-delivered apps. Essentially, it offers the capabilities of most MDM tools.
If you choose not to deploy BDS, BlackBerry 10 smartphones and PlayBook 2.0 tablets can be managed via a server that supports Exchange ActiveSync, as they support the core EAS policies. Such servers include Microsoft Exchange, System Center 2012, Google Apps for Enterprise, and a whole cottage industry of cloud-based EAS-based MDM services. RIM says BDS will offer more management capabilities for its devices than EAS provides.
It's clear that RIM is hoping organizations will sweep out their existing -- and aging -- BlackBerry devices in favor of an all-BlackBerry 10 fleet. That's an ambitious hope, as it will require from IT the same effort as sweeping out BlackBerrys in favor of an iOS or multiple-device environment managed by one of the leading MDM tools -- after all, most organizations have already deployed an MDM tool, so replacing it with UDS would cost money and time for no additional capabilities, and deploying BDS to support BlackBerry 10 à la BES would mean a whole new deployment for an unproven platform.
It's hard to understand why an IT organization would go through the effort to introduce a BlackBerry 10 environment rather than simply use the change in technology to wind down the aging BlackBerry infrastructure. If BlackBerry 10 is an amazing product, then IT may embrace the effort of essentially adding a whole new mobile ecosystem. After all, IT organizations have largely done so in the last year to support iOS and later Android through the adoption of MDM tools. But that MDM adoption happened largely under protest, as users forced the issue onto a recalcitrant segment. Today, there are few BlackBerry huggers in most organizations, and IT organizations have made peace at least with iOS.
If you are planning for BlackBerry 10 adoption, or least its possibility, now you know what the management pieces are and how they work -- and don't work -- together.
This article, "The BlackBerry 10 and BES confusion untangled," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Galen Gruman's Mobile Edge blog and follow the latest developments in mobile technology at InfoWorld.com. Follow Galen's mobile musings on Twitter at MobileGalen. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.