Rogers to offer companies alternative to BlackBerry

Tue Oct 4, 2011 10:28am EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's Rogers Communications is teaming with a mobile device management company to enable corporate customers to use Apple and Google Android devices to send secure business email.

In a blow to Research In Motion's BlackBerry, Canada's largest wireless company said on Tuesday it is partnering with Montreal-based Trellia to give more options to businesses that once relied exclusively on Blackberry's security features to protect employee email.

The Trellia service will adapt the growing number of non-BlackBerry devices turning up in the hands of employees so they can handle business communications securely.

IT departments will be able to configure devices remotely, enforce company policies, control international roaming costs and manage corporate applications.

The move by Rogers is a response to a broad shift by consumers to Apple's iPhone and iPad or devices using Google's Android software. Rogers wants to ensure its corporate clients can use these devices for business as well.

"This is driven by customer demand," said Mansell Nelson, vice-president for Rogers' machine-to-machine business, which also covers smart metering, fleet and home management.

RIM's BlackBerry has long been dominant in boardrooms due to the speed and security of its email and other messaging, superior keypads and long battery life.

As touchscreen devices such as the iPhone grow more popular with consumers, employees want to hook them up to corporate systems.   Continued...

<p>A Blackberry smartphone on the Rogers wireless network is seen in Montreal, October 26, 2010. REUTERS/Shaun Best</p>