Research In Motion is expanding its cloud services and later this year will roll out BlackBerry Protect, a cloud-based solution to secure and protect smartphones and their content, BlackBerry Management Center, a cloud-based management system aimed at small businesses, and Blackberry Enterprise Service for larger companies seeking to move into the cloud.
RIM (NASDAQ: RIMM) is also collaborating with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) to port Office 365 to BlackBerrys and the upcoming PlayBook tablet PC.
For RIM, the move is a defense against any further loss of dominance in the enterprise. Though BlackBerrys have long been the handset of choice for businesses, recent improvements to Apple’s mobile operating system iOS and Google’s Android OS have propelled iPhones and Android devices into the workplace. Nielsen Wire and comScore both recently reported that in January Android ranked No. 1 in U.S. mobile OS market share.
Also, allowing for the PlayBook to sync with Microsoft’s Exchange cloud will help RIM in the hotly contested tablet PC sector. There’s a slew of Android tablets due out soon that are aimed at the enterprise, so RIM is likely positioning the PlayBook as a formidable competitor.