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BlackBerry claims a victory in NSW’s Mobility Solutions Framework as Samsung’s Knox is snubbed

Smartphone giant BlackBerry has claimed a victory with the NSW state government endorsing the company’s BlackBerry Enterprise Sector mobile device management platform, as a new report points to a boom for mobile devices in the public sector.

Late last week, the NSW government released its Mobility Solutions Framework, which outlines the state government’s policies on smartphone and tablet use and procurement.

The document, drawn up by the ICT Procurement and Technical Standards Working Group, advises government departments to use a mobile device management platform to manage sensitive information on government smartphones and tablets.

While the document leaves open the possibility of using any agency sourced MDM platform, the only platform mentioned by name is BlackBerry Enterprise Server, to the exclusion of competitors such as Samsung Knox.

“Agencies are strongly advised to leverage MDM platforms to allow for centralised management of agency data regardless of who owns the device,” the document states.

“MDM software secures, monitors, manages and supports mobile devices deployed in Agencies.

“All tablets and smartphone devices, whether agency provided or BYOD used to connect to NSW Government will be supported by one of the following: [An] agency sourced MDM platform, Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) [or] other solutions as they are developed and agreed by government from time to time.

“MDM platforms are capable of wiping information from agency and BYOD devices upon their deregistration.”

In a statement to SmartCompany, BlackBerry Australia New Zealand managing director Matt Ball welcomes the company gaining NSW government approval.

“Many think of BlackBerry as a device, when in fact we are in a unique position to offer it all: enterprise management, services, devices and the secured network that it all runs on.

“It is critical for government agencies to strike the right balance between user flexibility and full productivity – without the threat of things like accidental data-leakage. That is why we welcome the approval of BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) in the New South Wales Government ‘Mobility Standards Framework’ as a platform to securely and effectively support BYOD or tablets and smartphone devices in its agencies.”

News of the announcement comes as IDC released a report suggesting strong potential growth for smartphones and tablet sales in the public sector.

According to the report, Business Strategy: Government Mobility Forecast, 2014–2017, smartphones, tablets and eReaders make up just 5% of the government IT market in the US.

“Over the past few years, mobile hardware and associated mobile solutions have been some of the fastest growing areas within government computing. However, mobile growth is starting to level out,” says IDC government insights research director Shawn McCarthy.

“The one bright spot by 2017 will be state governments, where we expect to see growth of near 8% for eReaders in 2017, thanks to revived tax bases, planned equipment replacement cycles and more workers who conduct their job functions out of the office.”

While the report does not quote figures for the Australian market, it predicts tablets will see double-digit growth in the public sector through 2016, along with wireless data services.

Andrew Sadauskas

TechCompany editor

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