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Entries in Blackberry (2)


Blackberry 4 days on.

Well I can't say it has been easy but I am very happy with the Blackberry device. Installation of the Blackberry Enterprise Server was fairly easy and configuring it and testing was pretty straight forward as well.

The catch came when I came to activate my Blackberry Pearl! Basically I spent between last Friday until early today trying and trying.........with no luck. The main problem (that I now know) was the fact that when I got the phone from Telstra they enabled the Blackberry Internet Services for my phone number. Alas what I actually needed was Blackberry Enterprise Services. They did not think I was going to use a Blackberry Enterprise Server and hence they enabled BIS which I now understand to be more for a consumer type service that people want to connect to a pop or imap type email account. After a weekend of frustration I finally called them this morning and asked if they had enabled the phone correctly to use BES and off course they hadn't. They then said they would change my account to use BES and within 2 minutes my phone was talking directly to our Blackberry Enterprise Server and pulling down my email, calendar, tasks, and address book. So lesson is if you want to use Blackberry Enterprise Server make sure your provider enables your phone account correctly and you will save a whole lot of hassle.

Other lesson learnt was that initially I have Notes 8 Beta 3 installed and it seems as thought the Blackberry Desktop Software does not like it. I had to re-install Notes 7.0.2 to get it working and once I had activated the phone I was able to go back to Notes 8.

Things I like:
 - It is just seemless. Emails & Address book synching without having to even think about it.
 - You can do live Address book look ups over the air to your Domino Directory. (I am going to try and see if I can get this connected to our CRM BusinessWorks.
 - The calendar is very intuitive. On most smart phones I have never liked the calendars but using the scrolling capabilities of the Pearl is very easy particularly on the 1 week view of the calendar.
 - The battery life seems to be great. I connected a bluetooth headset on friday and ran it for 4 days (with fairly heavy use as I was still trying to get it connected) and it didn't need a recharge. On my old phone (O2 Atom) Bluetooth would drain the battery within a day.

Things I am not sure about:
 - I am not convinced that I like the 2 letters to a key qwerty keyboard. While it does work well and I would have been happy with it in the past, now that I see how great the email etc is I am sure I will be using it heaps more. So I am going to try out the Blackberry 8800 tomorrow to see if the full qwerty keyboard is worth having a slightly larger device for.

Next up I want to see if I can get Sametime going via the BES server and then I need to figure out what is involved with Synching other Notes databases.

In summary if the ph account had been enabled for BES correctly in the first place I think this would have been a very easy process. For a new Blackberry user I can now understand why people rave. While products like Commontime are excellent as well I think the intuitiveness and seemless synching of the Blackberry is hard to beat. A few years ago the cost was just prohibitive for our business but now it is very reasonable. Already I have a couple of other ISW'ers suggesting they might get one too! 


Blackberry Pearl

Well it is time to upgrade my phone and after considering the Nokia N95 (which appears to have poor battery performance) I have been convinced to give the Blackberry Pearl a try. There are so many positive reviews on the product that I figured I would give it a go. Fortunately Total Communications has offered to loan me a brand new unit for a week so I can trial the Pearl. It certainly has a great form factor and is very small which I like. The key will be how easy to use the Multi-Tap input is with Suretype. If that works well and I can get used to it then I think I will stick with the Pearl due to it's small size. If I think it is a pain then I will need to consider the Blackberry 8800 with the full qwerty keyboard.

Anyway I have got the Blackberry Enterprise Server software ready to rock so the first step will be to install and set that up. I will update my progress as I go.