IT managers are increasingly faced with an array of handsets and expected to enable corporate email across disparate devices and mobile operating systems. But BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion takes the pain out of the process with BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express – a free download for Microsoft Exchange or Windows Small Business Server which allows any BlackBerry smartphone to be managed without necessarily requiring the overheads of a dedicated server.

Devices likely to contain sensitive business data can have protocols and permissions appropriated to them, while handsets that simply provide access to the shared office calendar and standard email inboxes can be set up accordingly.

Requiring no additional software or user licence fees, BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express works with any internet-enabled BlackBerry data plan or a BlackBerry enterprise data plan. It can be deployed on the same server as Microsoft Exchange or Windows Small Business Server, supporting up to 75 BlackBerry users. For over 75 users it’s recommended that it be installed on a separate server.

BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express can also co-exist with the regular Blackberry Enterprise Server, thereby allowing IT administrators to offer premium features only to those users that require them, saving businesses money.

BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express features

The BlackBerry administration service console is completely web based, allowing easy access from any PC. It shows the administrator only the relevant tasks based on their role. The console offers administrative features that make it easy for any organisations to enable, support and manage the mobile work force.

With its smart design and straightforward controls, it takes just seconds to add a new user. Managing user options is just as simple. Using the search engine to quickly locate a user saves time and allows the administrator to specify a password and activate a device with a few simple clicks.

With the intuitive new interface, system administrators can create and define subsets based on job responsibilities, or access requirements such as establishing a user group for the help desk.

The BlackBerry administration service console also offers the ability to control settings for entire groups. With group-based administration, user properties are quickly applied across multiple users.

Additionally, when a new user is assigned to the group, they will automatically inherit the appropriate administrative role, policies, and applications.

To seamlessly manage devices at every level of the organisation, IT policies can be created directly from the administrative console. Configuring an IT policy is as easy as assigning a policy name and selecting from the comprehensive list of BlackBerry solution features.

With BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express, over 35 IT polices are available. Pushing an app to users is as simple as creating a software configuration, assigning applications to the configuration, and identifying the applications that should be required, available or unavailable.

Administrators also have the ability to perform software updates wirelessly on thousands of BlackBerry smartphones at once, right from the BlackBerry administration service console. Updates are seamless to the users.

BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express offers job management that allows administrators to review the status of a job and change its schedule, priority and execution for deployment. Distribution settings can also be configured for IT policies, applications, and BlackBerry device software. BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express also enables administrators to fully manage scheduling and throttling settings.

This includes the time and day of the week that app deployments can be sent, as well as the maximum number of simultaneous system-wide deployment and job type tasks.

BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express offers administrative controls to extend the business securely to wherever employees happen to be working. And organisations can use BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express should the need arise in the future for advanced functionality or the desire to deploy add-on servicers such as BlackBerry mobile voice system