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BlackBerry Extends WatchDox Functionality With Salesforce And Rights Management

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

This week BlackBerry announced updates to its WatchDox mobile enterprise file synchronization and sharing (EFSS) solution. The updates focus on integration with critical business applications and a further enhancement to enterprise security.

WatchDox by BlackBerry Email Protector is a new offering that applies digital rights management (DRM) to files attached to emails exiting the organization. This is something that customers have been asking for and it aligns with BlackBerry's enterprise mission as well. 

As with any DRM solution, recipients need a viewer and rights to open attachments, which will require re-training users and ongoing policy management. This is not a zero overhead solution, but it does remove the need to switch between solutions to manage email, mobility management and file encryption. The benefits of the client include watermarking, annotations, preventing screenshots and full rights management restrictions which prevent save, share, copy and delete capabilities.

The only downside is the requirement to be a BlackBerry and WatchDox customer. Over the past two years, the independent DRM solutions have been gaining momentum and customers, while the suite offerings (EMC Authentica and similar) have languished.

Additional improvements include an integration with business critical applications, notably BlackBerry has customers who want to expose WatchDox file sharing, supported by rights management, directly within a Salesforce frame. This allows people to associate opportunities, records and accounts with files.

Two great reference examples provided by Tim Choi, Vice President of Product Management at WatchDox, include an insurance provider who manages a file-heavy relationship with brokers, and a manufacturer who collaborates with retailers and distributors using numerous files.

Since WatchDox is available as both a cloud and on-premises offering (as an appliance), BlackBerry provides flexibility for many environments. Both options are FIPS 140-2 Level 1 certified.

The next update is around security workflows. WatchDox has a new "role builder," that can be used to checkbox configurations to segment users by their permissions. Roles can be inherited from enterprise directories.

The final enhancement is a new Outlook plug-in for sending files with rights management, directly within Outlook. There is a simplified attachment management process and file version management, which ties with the Office 365 online editing experience. Again, this is not zero-configuration, as removing the ability to locally attach files from Outlook requires policies on computers.

WatchDox by BlackBerry Email Protector and WatchDox for Salesforce are available immediately, while the enhanced Outlook plug-in will be available by mid-July.