RIM has announced a free version of BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) Express designed to allow mobile workers to access IBM Lotus Domino functionality via their BlackBerry devices.
BES Express offers 75 of the 500 functions available in the full product, and will be available free of charge to small and medium enterprises of around 1,000 employees or fewer.
RIM said that BES Express allows mobile workers to wirelessly and securely synchronise tools including email, calendar, contacts, notes and tasks between BlackBerry smartphones and Lotus Domino.
Staff can also set out-of-office replies, book and accept meeting requests and access files stored on the company network directly or through mobile applications that go beyond the firewall.
The software is based on the same security architecture as the full BES, and provides a web-based interface to deploy applications, apply usage policies, remotely wipe information and enforce or reset passwords remotely, the firm said.
Ed Brill, director of messaging and collaboration at IBM Software, explained that the partnership aims to meet the rise in mobile working and provide more security and flexibility.
"For a lot of workers, mobile devices are the primary device nowadays and IT staff need more controls but also more flexibility to allow more devices to access the corporate network," he said.
"RIM has identified some 75 key features that companies and employees need to operate more securely while working remotely."
Brill added that the move will also help IBM promote Lotus Domino by offering BlackBerry users more functionality and security.
"We've been updating the Lotus Notes Traveller software for some time to provide secure access to email on the iPhone and Nokia smartphones, and will do so for Android before the end of the year," he said.
RIM unveiled BES Express for BlackBerry to synchronise with Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Windows Small Business Server in February.
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