Zenprise has introduced a tool to help administrators remotely support BlackBerry smartphones, including the ability to audit devices and even locate lost handsets using GPS.
Available immediately, Device Manager is a new module for Zenprise's existing MobileManager suite that monitors the BlackBerry infrastructure for problems that might lead to service disruptions.
Device Manager is designed to address a number of issues often encountered by administrators, according to the firm. These include lost or stolen handsets, performance issues, and users downloading and running unauthorised applications.
"Customers want the ability to give remote assistance with problems," said Ahmed Datoo, vice president of marketing at Zenprise.
"With BlackBerry, often users are out of the office and travelling, so we enable the IT manager to connect to a device, and see what's running," he added.
There are three main functions of the tool: Device Locator retrieves the GPS data from a BlackBerry to locate it; Device Task Manager monitors the device and diagnoses issues; and Device Auditor shows what applications are running.
"With Task Manager, you can drill down to see the battery level of the device, how much memory is in use, even the signal strength and the temperature of the battery," said Datoo.
Meanwhile, if a device should be reported lost, an administrator can get the device's GPS fix and plug the co-ordinates into Google Maps to see where it is, he suggested.
Device Auditor lets an IT manager see what applications are running. "It can show you if the user has downloaded games or other applications they are not supposed to have," Datoo said.
Device Manager sits on a server and links to an organisation's BlackBerry Enterprise Server. Customers also require a client on each device.
MobileManager costs $35 (£24) per user, while Device Manager is an additional $20 (£14) per user on top of that, for the first year of deployment. After this, customers pay a 40 per cent maintenance charge that includes support and upgrades.
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