Looming Blackberry End of Support Has Office 365 Implications
Back in the early 2000s, I had just been promoted to my first Enterprise level job. The position was managing email for a national energy company, part of which included energy trading. Business was booming and the traders pushed the technology envelope at the company. We were one of the first companies to adopt RIM’s Blackberry pagers (yes, I said pagers).
I’ve been dealing with Blackberries off and on since that point, across various positions, until we unwound them (as phones) at an international semiconductor in the early 2010s. Despite their popularity and the argument that they ushered in the age of the smartphone, the Blackberry model ultimately was too cumbersome. Now its days may be numbered.
If you have end users who still love their aging BlackBerry devices, be warned, come August 26, BlackBerry’s Business Cloud Services offering will go offline for good. When Cloud Services goes, it will take with it many of those aforementioned devices’ ability to provide business value. Once Business Cloud Services goes end of support, legacy BlackBerry devices will cease being able to sync with Office 365. Legacy, in this case, is defined as any BlackBerry device that doesn’t support the Exchange ActiveSync protocol. Without this support, devices will be unable to connect to Office 365, severely limiting users’ mobility.
The August 26th deadline is simply the final mile marker on Business Cloud Services’ long journey towards termination. The previous major milestone on this trip came in May 2016 when the offering’s “end of sale” date hit. At that point, BlackBerry stopped accepting new tenant subscriptions to the service. However, businesses with already-existing BlackBerry Business Cloud Services subscriptions have been able to continue adding new users to their standing tenants. This practice will reach its own end following the late August cutoff.
The overwhelming majority of smartphones on the market will be unaffected by this shift. All current (and even most not-so-current) versions of iOS, Android, and BlackBerry operating systems support the Exchange ActiveSync protocol and Office 365 connectivity. As a result, users have plenty of options available to them in terms of upgrades. The key will be for IT to identify which users, if any, need to upgrade and then ensure they do so prior to August 26th. Otherwise, the folks on the Help Desk could find themselves dealing with the fallout once the deadline has passed.
Help prevent Office 365 compatibility headaches
Need help addressing your business’ mobility concerns? Have additional questions surrounding Office 365 compatibility? The Arraya Solutions team is your one stop solution for each of those issues and much more. Our team has compiled the knowledge and experience needed to help organizations of all shapes, sizes and verticals achieve their IT goals.
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