The Nexus Blackberry Enterprise server is licensed for 378 BlackBerry devices. And, back in 2010, we needed every last one of those licences. Today things are very different. After a lengthy process contacting users and removing those who had given up their BlackBerries, there are now only 27 people still registered on the server. Of those, only 25 have made contact during the last month. This means that active usage has more than halved just since July 2016, when we counted sixty active users.
Nexus’ BlackBerry server software does not support the current range of BlackBerry handsets. In order to support these newer devices our server software would have to be upgraded. More importantly the version change requires users’ devices to be re-licensed (at cost). The expense and effort required to do this does not make good financial sense for a system hosting so few users. The service requires two BlackBerry Enterprise Servers, for redundancy, and a back-end SQL database. All of these need monitoring, updating, backup, and general fettling. For 25 people this routine upkeep doesn’t represent a good return on the effort required. The department would struggle to justify provision of any new service from which fewer than thirty University members would benefit and which only supports obsolete devices.
The intention is that Nexus’ BES service will be retired ahead of the migration to Office 365. All current BlackBerry server users (i.e. anyone who bought a licence and has gone through the server activation process) should plan to replace those devices as soon as possible. New Blackberry handsets can still be used to connect to Nexus but should be configured to connect only via the ActiveSync protocol. If you are a BlackBerry user who use BIS, or ActiveSync, to connect to Nexus you will be unaffected regardless of whether we maintain a Nexus BlackBerry Enterprise Service.
- 81% are using a device that’s over five years old.
- The other 19% have 9720 devices (which were first introduced in the summer of 2013).
- The oldest devices in use – an 8310 and an 8800 model – date from 2007.