RIM has announced BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, a new product for enterprise customers that will allow them to manage multiple types of devices from a single, web-based interface. RIM's move is a big step for a company that had previously only dabbled in supporting competing devices — notably Windows Mobile several years ago. The BlackBerry Enterprise Server, which is currently used to manage corporate BlackBerrys, will become a subset of BlackBerry Mobile Fusion.
The software will apparently be entirely server-side, designed to take advantage of whatever capabilities are built into each platform it manages — including remote lock, remote wipe, and more. That will mean that not every feature supported by the BES will work with iOS or Android, as RIM notes: "Device security, manageability and controls will continue to vary according to the inherent capabilities of the individual device operating systems."
BlackBerry Mobile Fusion should be available in late March, 2012 and is expected to support BlackBerry, iOS, and Android devices. The software comes out of an acquisition RIM made in May: Ubitexx. At that time, RIM said that a "multi-platform BlackBerry Enterprise Solution is planned for general availability later this year." Although it has apparently missed that target, RIM has already engaged in beta testing with BlackBerry Mobile Fusion and bringing in more companies in January. You can sign up to learn more at RIM's website.