Internet Newsletter for Lawyers
The BlackBerry, which includes a built-in wireless modem, can be used on most mobile phone networks including Vodafone, O2 and T-Mobile. To integrate with the main firm's system, a "BlackBerry Enterprise Service " (BES) is run on the network and this enables emails received whilst people are "on the move" to be integrated and synchronised with the office system.
A Blackberry typically costs around £200 although there are also additional costs in the software and server needed on the network. In many cases, a Blackberry can replace a user's laptop computer (which is much larger, heavier and more expensive) as well as a mobile phone.
Firms already using Blackberry devices in a serious way include Clifford Chance, Kennedys, Mishcon De Reya and Thorntons WS. The devices are also used by a number of local authorities, for their professional staff who are "out and about" a lot of their time (and thus away from their normal email) including Cambridge and Westminster.
The key provider of BlackBerry devices in the UK and the infrastructure to go with them is a company called Isis Telecommunications, (www.isistelecom.com), 0845 277 1000. Isis are marketing BlackBerry devices very strongly at the moment and there is a free business user trial available. Software is also available (called MoBill) to manage the billing of mobile phone costs, a major problem for many firms.
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