The business cloud services space is hotting up big time. Google’s been at it for quite a while with Google Apps and they’ve recently been joined by Microsoft’s Office365… which is getting rather compelling. I’ve checked it out and I found it pretty smart — indeed I remember commenting that if Office365 offered BlackBerry service (i.e. full email, calendar, task sync) then I’d think very, very carefully about possibly swapping to it away from Google Apps.
And whaddya know?
It’s been much rumoured but now it’s here — in beta form. If you’re an Office365 subscriber, you now get BlackBerry services — all that sync goodness — entirely free:
BlackBerry® Business Cloud Services delivers a simple and affordable way for companies to manage BlackBerry smartphones with Microsoft® Office 365.
BlackBerry Business Cloud Services is available at no additional charge to Microsoft Office 365 subscribers. This secure service, hosted by Research In Motion (RIM), directly links Microsoft® Exchange Online with BlackBerry smartphones to offer reliable, mobile access to synchronized email, calendar, contacts, tasks and memo pads.
From almost anywhere, the intuitive, web-based interface provides the tools administrators need to perform common tasks, password reset or find, lock or wipe lost or misplaced devices.
An integrated single sign-on between Office 365 and BlackBerry Business Cloud Services gives end users online self-service options that help make managing devices more efficient than ever.
Highly, highly compelling. You can read all about it here.
I’m going to resurrect my Office365 trial account (if it’s not already been deleted — they did email me to warn me) and see if I can get this working.