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US General Services Administration shifting some employees away from BlackBerry

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The US General Services Administration says it will be moving some of its 17,000 employees away from BlackBerrys, but has no plans to shut down its RIM email and data servers.

BlackBerry logo stock (1020)
BlackBerry logo stock (1020)

RIM's loss of favor among US government agencies continues as the General Services Administration, which procures goods for other agencies, has announced that it plans to move some of its 17,000 employees from BlackBerrys to iOS or Android devices. The GSA is also testing a program to allow employees to use personal smartphones or tablets on its secure servers. Because the agency is often emulated by other groups, any move away from the BlackBerry platform could augur a larger governmental trend.

Unlike with NOAA, however, the news for RIM isn't all bad. The GSA says it has no plans to get rid of its RIM email servers, which are a major source of revenue for the company. And it isn't planning on phasing out BlackBerrys for most users. In fact, the GSA's chief information officer told Reuters that less than 5 percent of phones at the agency currently run Android or iOS, and that personal devices won't be replacing BlackBerrys any time soon. Still, it's another sign that agencies are no longer dependent on the services that RIM provides.