Written by: Daniel Haurey on 02/22/10

Yes, it’s true!  With the recent release of BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) “Express”, there comes an excellent opportunity for organizations to deploy a robust BlackBerry solution in their organization with little or NO COST.  Yes, you read correctly, the BlackBerry Enterprise Server software and the client access licenses (CALs) are 100% FREE.

BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express is the new, slightly scaled down version of BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0 (BES).  It replaces BlackBerry Professional Server (BPS) which is being phased out.  BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express is a fully functional BES and supports up to (75) users when installed directly on the Microsoft Exchange Server (yes, it’s supported) and up to 2000 or more users when installed on a separate server.  VMware is supported as well and priority technical support can be purchased for a fee.

So, it begs the question:  “if it’s all FREE, what is the trade-off?”  The answer is; for most or virtually all small organizations, there aren’t any.  Generally, the only things missing from BES Express are very advanced IT policies and the ability to install BES in a high-availability failover configuration.  Yes, there are a few other things that you should know about, so if you are not an IT professional or very technically adept, be sure to ask questions.  Also know that there may be carrier related data plan implications with your wireless vendors as well.

Bottom line – this is great news.  If you’re currently using the “desktop redirector” method or some other zany configuration to get your e-mail on your BlackBerry PDA, fear not, there is a better way and it’s FREE!