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We are considering rolling it out, but we've read of some bad experiences.

Do people consider that overall it has made a positive contribution to their organisation?

Are there any gotchas we should look out for?

Are there some best-practises we should be aware of?

Any other feedback / advice would be much appreciated.

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6 Answers 6

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The BES is great for syncing of emails however it is overly dependant on RIM. Any hickup on their end and everything stops. Very hard to explain to non technical users who think because Outlook works and their phone works that their blackberry should work.

One of the best features we have found is that the BES stores all the user settings from the blackberry. When my own blackberry died, all I had to do was active a new device and all the settings, notes, memos, calendar, saved emails, backgrounds, alarm settings, ringtones etc all came on to the new device.

The remote wipe is another very good setting for protecting email.

If you are the BES admin, it is safe to ignore most of the warnings that it puts in the event log. RIM don't know how to do logging properly.

Also regarding the problems with those in the domain admin group. http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/912918 contains all the information you need to fix it. The problem is not only restricted to Blackberry.

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Agreeing with everyone above, I would also like to add that it works great with Novell GroupWise 6.5. Previously we used NotifyLink to sync GroupWise with multiple phones, and while it worked well for emails, it was a bit quirky for attachments.

BES is pretty seamless in integrating it with GroupWise and the power to brick a phone if one becomes lost or stolen can prove valuable, along with them setting up the user with a new phone.

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Each BES user generates about 3.8x as much I/O load as the same user running Outlook. This isn't a big deal for a few dozen users, but that multiplier makes I/O loads, well, multiply pretty quickly in larger environments. However, the BES software offers some pretty nifty device management, inventory, update, and security features, and many users are accustomed to the end-user experience of RIM's hardware.

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The good thing about the BES is that it allows full access to all resources on the internal network, i.e. it provides a kind of VPN with full access to e.g. internal web pages and servers.

(I am also not a BES administrator, only a user)

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I like BES. The biggest problem we've had with it is that if you are a domain administrator, you can't send email. There's no real documentation on that from BB, so it drove us nuts until we finally found some BB forums discussing it, like this one.

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(I'm not the admin of BES, but I'm a BB user)

The BB's are good. I have a BB Bold 9000 and previously an old "Fisher Price" 7320(?) and getting your corporate email directly is neat.

BES also allows the admins to set the security policies (password on holstering, 10 wrong passwords and Zap!!). Having it set up with BES meant the switch over from the old phone to the new was seamless with many of my preferences carried over.

BES is (or has been) a bit flakey but seems better now. If your with a good provider (we use the same chap as sponsors F1 Lewis Hamilton's work car) it seems to work well.

YMMV

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