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BlackBerry® wireless platform by Research in Motion (RIM) has steadily maintained its leading position since it was originally introduced in 1999. By November 2004 there were over 2 million Blackberry subscribers, and popularity is still increasing as smaller businesses are seeing the advantages of having their employees stay in touch.

If you are considering BlackBerry for your growing business, the first thing you need to do is decide how emails will get to your device(s). As you may expect, some piece of software must be there to cause your messages to be sent from wherever they are to your handheld. This process is referred to as "redirecting your messages."

There are three ways to accomplish the redirection of messages:

  • BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES)
  • BlackBerry Web Client
  • BlackBerry Desktop Redirector

There’s likely to be only one solution for you and your business, but choosing the right method can be difficult if you are not familiar with why there are three ways and what the differences are.

BlackBerry Enterprise Server

The BlackBerry Enterprise Server is a server component that is purchased separately from your handheld. It provides tight integration between BlackBerry handhelds and your corporate email server. It is installed on a server at your office and allows you to manage administrative features. Redirection of your email is done by the server.

Companies that want to give BlackBerry handhelds to many employees (at least ten) often have a BlackBerry Enterprise Server installed. It only works with Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes Email servers, and users have to use either Microsoft Outlook or the Lotus Notes Client to access their email.

BlackBerry Web Client

Another common choice is the BlackBerry Web Client. The Web Client is basically a BlackBerry Enterprise Server that is run by an ISP or your wireless provider. You will typically be given an email address from that provider to be used with your BlackBerry, and that address will most likely be different than the email address that you use on your desktop PC currently.

NOTE: Your handheld can be used with both a BlackBerry Web Client and the BlackBerry Enterprise Server. If you want to do this, configure the Desktop Manager to use the BlackBerry Enterprise Server first, then use the BlackBerry Web Client to configure your handheld to use that also.

Desktop Redirector

If you use Microsoft Outlook as your email client and do not have a BlackBerry Enterprise Server or Microsoft Exchange server, then the BlackBerry Desktop Redirector is your redirection method. Unlike the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, which does redirection at an email server, the Desktop Redirector does it at your desktop PC. The Desktop Redirector is a separate program that runs on your desktop PC and integrates with Microsoft Outlook to redirect email messages that the email client retrieves.

Because the Desktop Redirector runs on your desktop PC, the desktop PC must be on and connected to the Internet for you to receive emails on your handheld. If your desktop PC is a laptop that you take with you, then this method will not work and you need to look at setting up a dedicated system to run the Desktop Redirector or consider installing a BlackBerry Enterprise Server. Setting up a dedicated system can be as simple as setting up an old PC or purchasing an inexpensive PC to run the Desktop Redirector on.

We have helped many of our clients select and set up BlackBerry systems. We know the technology inside and out. In fact we use it ourselves! Let us show you how we can help you. Give us a call.

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