RIM rolls on: New software, acquisition

Hard on the heels of its legal settlement with NTP, Research In Motion is shipping a new release of its server software, and announced the purchase of a software company for voice support on mobile devices.

RIM released BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) 4.1 for wireless messaging, designed for large companies, along with the Small Business Edition of the same software for smaller deployments.

The new version includes a program called BlackBerry Manager, a set of screens for managing a group of BlackBerry Enterprise Servers. Also new is a feature that lets administrators adapt the server configurations and policies for a designated groups of users.

For the first time, BES administrative functions can be subdivided and assigned to different job levels, so that staff on a help desk will not have unrestricted access to all administrative privileges.

A new instant messaging feature lets users set up online chat capabilities, while providing message auditing and access controls with Microsoft and IBM messaging servers.

Both editions of BES work with IBM Lotus Domino Versions 5.0 to 7.0, and with Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5, through the most recent Exchange 2003 Service Pack 2.

By acquiring Ascendent Systems, RIM adds the vendor's Voice Mobility Suite to its line of BlackBerry devices. The Ascendent software works with PBX and IP-PBX servers, to push PBX-based features, including call transfers and call holding and voicemails over cellular or WLAN connections to mobile BlackBerry users. The software supports Session Initiation Protocol for VOIP.

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