Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Free BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express Days Are Over Thanks To BlackBerry Professional!

The good old days of free BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express are officially over (well, they actually ended a couple of months ago). For those of you that may have tried using BESExpress in the past, you may have realized that it was possible to register multiple BlackBerries for individual BES accounts, and use the BESCAL license key in the existing installation. Thereby, an office could get up to 15 free BESCAL licenses for their use. The licenses were available for purchase (for about $100) but no one bothered as it only took a few minutes to get the free ones. Apparently that practice was frowned upon by Research In Motion, which took a very dramatic step in preventing that from happening.

They rebranded the product as BlackBerry Professional (BPS). It operates just like BESExpress did except that it will not allow the use of the “initial” BESCAL keys on an existing install. This means that an office can get 1 (ONE) free BPS license but the rest are subject to the ~$100 purchase price.

The latest service pack for BESExpress (or BPS) allows admins to upgrade the software to the BES Professional version. Fortunately, it does not impact existing blackberry licenses – if you got away with it in the past you can continue to do so with the existing licenses. However, if you choose to add new BlackBerries - you have to pay. Since the old registration keys are no longer available for the previous install, even without the upgrade the users have to pay the fee.

Comparison between Small Business Edition BES Vs. BlackBerry Professional Software BPS

Author: Karl J