Dell: a BlackBerry-Free Enterprise?

Dell plans to transition its 25,000 employees from BlackBerry smartphones to Windows 7-running Dell smartphones, a move it says will cut 25 percent from the company's mobile communications costs .

Dell, a relative newcomer to the exploding smartphone market, will replace employees' Research In Motion BlackBerry handsets with new Dell smartphones. Dell plans to transition its 25,000 employees from BlackBerry devices to its new line of smartphones based on the Windows 7 platform. The company also will begin marketing a service to help other businesses do the same, a Dell spokesperson confirmed to CIO Insight sister publication eWEEK.com.

Dell makes the Android OS-based Aero smartphone, as well as the 5-inch, Android-running Streak -- which it considers a tablet. During the coming holiday season will launch the Microsoft Windows 7-based Venue Pro.

According to the Wall Street Journal, employees who currently carry a BlackBerry handset can exchange it for a Venue Pro with voice and data plans; other employees will also receive Dell phones, but without data plans, and will instead rely on WiFi to check e-mail. According to the Wall Street Journal, Dell expects to cut 25 percent from its mobile communications expenses by eliminating the RIM devices and accompanying BlackBerry Enterprise Servers. Dell has a strong server business of its own.

From an enterprise services perspective, having Microsoft on its side bodes well for Dell, says analyst Roger Kay, with Endpoint Technologies. "I'm sure Dell's CIO will be standing up in conferences talking about how well it works for them," he notes.

However, Kay adds, RIM's secure back-end is its particular strength -- as was recently highlighted in the news when governments in the Middle East expressed frustration over their inability to intercept e-mail messages. When it comes to security, "RIM has the high ground there." says Kay.

For more, see the eWeek article Dell Replacing BlackBerry Smartphones with Dell Handsets.

This article was originally published on 11-05-2010
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