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Blackberry Service to be Discontinued April 30, 2013

Posted: March 19, 2013

Considering a new mobile device to connect to the College email and calendaring system (Exchange)? If so, please be aware that Blackberry devices may not be a viable option. When shopping for a new device, look for one that supports ActiveSync technology.

Due to the dwindling number of Blackberry Enterprise users in the College of Ag, and the necessity to upgrade the associated servers and software, it has been determined that it is no longer cost effective to continue to provide the Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) as a service. BES is the mechanism that connects Blackberry devices to our servers to synchronize email, calendar and contacts. We have worked with all current Blackberry users to find alternative solutions that are compatible with the College’s email and calendar system (Exchange). However, it is important to share this information with the entire College to ensure an educated decision can be made as you make your next “smart phone” purchase.

Ag IT will continue to run the BES service through the end of the current contract, which expires April 30, 2013. As you consider your next phone purchase, please know that the majority of our users in the College have had very good experiences with both the Apple and Android platforms. ActiveSync is the magic that allows the synchronization of email, calendar events and contacts to occur behind the scenes and makes the connection to our Exchange Server seamless. Any platform that supports ActiveSync should work fine.

Here are a few links from our "How To" section on our IT site that may be good references:

http://agsci.psu.edu/it/how-to/selecting-mobile-devices

http://agsci.psu.edu/it/how-to/configure-your-iphone

http://agsci.psu.edu/it/how-to/configure-your-android-mobile-phone-to-use-exchange-mail

If you have questions regarding the decommissioning of the Blackberry Server or your next mobile device purchase please feel free to contact the Ag IT Helpdesk and we would be happy to help.