Do you need a Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES)?

Have you ever wished that when you entered an appointment or contact into your Blackberry it would automatically appear in Outlook without having to plug it in and do a manual sync?  Welcome to the power of the Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES). 

The Blackberry Enterprise Server is a software server that wirelessly tethers the Blackberry device to a messaging and collaboration server such as Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino, or Novell GroupWise.  It allows you to wirelessly sync e-mail (including subfolders), Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, Notes, etc. without ever having to plug your Blackberry in.  If you only use POP email or don’t have your own in-house mail server, then you unfortunately won’t be able to enjoy the benefits of the BES.

Until recently, the dream of complete wireless synchronization was only for mid to large companies because of the cost and time involved in implementing the BES server.  Fortunately, Research in Motion (RIM), the company who owns the Blackberry platform, has provided a great solution for small businesses that may only have a few Blackberries – the Blackberry Professional Software (BPS). 

Most IT people still refer to the BPS as a BES.  BPS is based on the BES but has “simplified features”, or is a slimmed down version of the BES.  Never fear though – you won’t miss out on a thing.  The slimmed down version actually provides serveral huge benefits.

  • Quicker and easier to install.  It still takes a couple of hours if all goes well.  The install wizards definitely help.
  • Can be installed on your existing Exchange server.  The full BES requires it’s own server adding major costs.
  • No major upfront costs for licensing.  After it’s installed, licenses can be added for $99 each allowing you to pay as you grow.  Licenses can also be transfered between Blackberries.

I have been using the Blackberry Professional Software with my Exchange server for about a year and a half now and absolutely love it.  I’ve also rolled out many other BPSs to clients with 1 Blackberry up to 15 Blackberries and they absolutely love the BPS as well.  It’s rock-solid software, lowers Blackberry support costs, and gives employees a major productivity boost.  You can’t beat that!

Adding Blackberries are easy and can be done remotely.  After the license is installed on the server and associated with the person who will be using it, BES Activation is performed on the Blackberry wirelessly and 10 minutes later or so, that phone is fully sync’ing wirelessly.  The only time you might want to plug your Blackberry into yor computer is to charge it. 

When it’s all said and done you can expect to pay somewhere between $400-$500 for to have a Blackberry Expert such as myself come to your office and install the Blackberry Professional Software (BPS or BES – call it what you will).  That includes everything – software, licensing (1 BPS server and 1 Blackberry license), my time, Blackberry Activation, etc.

So do you need a Blackberry Enterprise Server in your organization?  Do you have a Blackberry and an Exchange Server?  Then you probably need one.


6 responses to “Do you need a Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES)?

  1. Does BPS work as a redirect solution or am I thinking of something different? If I work at a large corporation that won’t allow a BES, is BPS a possible solution for me? If I load it on a computer that talks to my exchange server, do I have to keep that computer on in order to receive my email on my BB? Thanks!

  2. blackberryexpert

    Unfortunately what you are wanting to do is not possible with the BPS. The BPS is made to run on only on a Windows server. It will not run on Windows XP or Vista. Any yes – the server that is running the BES/BPS always has to be on in order for it the sync the Exchange Server with your Blackberry. It functions similarly to the Blackberry Desktop Redirector except it interfaces directly with Exchange and syncs everything in Exchange with your BB vs. just Outlook Email with your BB. I hope that helps clarify.

  3. So I am right in thinking this can be installed over the top of an existing exchange server, with no effect on how the exchange server performs? Or does it require its own server to run on.

    • blackberryexpert

      Yes you can install it on top of an existing Exchange Server – as long as you have a server that can handle a little extra load. If you only have a few BES users you will be fine. I have installed it on a Windows 2003 SBS server that is at least 4 years old with 4 BES users. We upgraded the memory in the server and no problems!

  4. I am trying to get our IT Department to purchase Blackberry Professional Software for our exchange server. Beyond the purchase of the CALS, is there any other software needed? The IT people are saying that they would also need an additional windows license in order to install?

  5. Hi there.
    Thank you for a great post. It was very helpfull.
    Anyone reading this post should bookmark this guys contents.

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