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In a previous article I explained the benefits of BlackBerry Enterprise Servers, the protection they offer, and their ability to competently handle everything and anything email related. What I didn't mention is that BES capabilities are also available on other Mobile Operating Systems including the Palm OS, Symbian, and for this article the Windows Mobile Operating system.
With BlackBerry Connect users can integrate existing email accounts, view attachments, use remote address lookup, and take advantage of other popular BlackBerry Server abilities, such as centralized IT management and better control over what emails are accessed.
In this article I'm going to go over some of the abilities offered via BlackBerry Connect with Windows Mobile devices, then I'll provide a quick guide for determining whether or not your carrier and device are compatible.
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What BlackBerry Connect Offers to Windows Mobile Users
Integration with existing accounts — With BlackBerry Connect users can integrate a variety of email addresses including personal and work supported addresses. The application uses the ability of push email technology and separates each account into their own inbox, meaning you can truly separate work from pleasure.
Attachment viewing — Viewing email attachments is also a breeze thanks to BlackBerry Connect's support for a ton of attachment types including Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint, along with Adobe PDF, Corel, Wordperfect, HTML,and ASCII formats.
Wireless email synchronization — Just as users can with ActiveSync they also receive the ability to sync between their devices and with their desktop inbox.
Advanced security features — With BlackBerry Connect users also receive complete security via some of the strongest encryption standards available in the industry.
Wireless calendar synchronization — You can also sync to your desktop and device calendars which will allow you to keep up to date with changes made on both hardware applications.
Remote address lookup — This is a feature that is also available with Windows Mobile 6.1 with Remote Address Lookup users can search their company directories via BES and find all of the contact information they could possible need.
Centralized management and IT control — Users can use different applications yet management can occur from a simple interface that is run by the IT team.
Those are some of the main advantages that are offered via BlackBerry Connect. With this technology users don't necessarily have to use BlackBerry devices, yet they can be offered the same technologies, while allowing tech teams the ability to control every device with the same software. This is great for scalability and in circumstances in which the company may need to use Windows Mobile applications but still want to keep their BES up and running without operating multiple servers and going through the trouble of integrating them to operate cohesively.
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Determining if Your Windows Mobile Device is Compatible with BlackBerry Connect
There really is no easy solution for this question. Certain Windows Mobile devices are compatible, while others are not.
To determine compatibility you can visit the BlackBerry website (check the link in the References section). However, you will also need to contact your wireless carrier to determine if they offer BlackBerry Connect.
You'll find that most of the major carriers offer the ability. Once determined the installation is only an install file away.
You'll need to know your server login credentials and server location information which you can find from your network administrator or whoever handles your BES.
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BlackBerry Connect offers not only high levels of security, and the ability to take advantage of many popular email functions, it also allows users to choose their own devices outside of the BlackBerry offerings which oftentimes don't offer the same technological based advances as Windows Mobile devices.
One more bit of advice, remember that BlackBerry Connect carries a monthly fee that is charged by your wireless carrier, it's another consideration you may want to examine before choosing a Windows Mobile device for use with your business servers.
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