Thursday, October 4, 2007

Free BlackBerry Collaboration Tool for Small Groups

Telefónica and Research In Motion are introducing BlackBerry Unite!, a free PC-based software offering that will allow small groups, such as a family or small office, to stay connected and enhance communications and coordination. It's a combination of collaboration and remote PC access tools.

In addition to providing wireless email and web browsing, BlackBerry Unite! software will provide groups of up to five users with mobile access to shared calendars, pictures, music, documents and other desktop content.

The software provides five supported email accounts per user, with shared contact lists and Web browsing. Members of each user group can check each others’ availability, set up or modify appointments and send reminders.

Users can remotely download pictures, music, documents and other content on their desktop PC directly from their BlackBerry. Users also can share photos and files with other group members directly from their BlackBerries.

Users can remotely erase information on a lost or stolen handset as well. Contacts, pictures and other data on the BlackBerry can be backed up automatically over the air (via a cellular or Wi-Fi® network) to the desktop PC as well.

The BlackBerry Unite! software will be provided as a free download and, with the help of an easy-to-follow setup wizard, can be installed in minutes on a desktop PC, RIM says.

It's very cool. Not every company, and certainly not consumers, can afford to buy, set up and maintain their own BlackBerry enterprise servers. One can only hope the software will be made widely available in North America as well.

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