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BES/Blackberry employment
 
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-2011, 05:02 AM
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Default BES/Blackberry employment

Firstly, sorry if I'm in the wrong forum, couldn't really decide where this question fits.

So here goes, in your job, are you fully dedicated to managing or maintaining part of the Blackberry solution (not just BES)?

Reason I'm asking is I'm trying to determine what the actual job market within the blackberry ecosystem looks like across the world.

I live in South Africa, I'm a total Blackberry NUT! But i'm a Microsoft SCCM administrator as day job. I have tried countless times to move my career to the Blackberry direction, and at this stage I'm starting to wonder if that is a realistic dream. Closest I've come was interviewing at RIM for a sales job (I'm a techy!). The local "mobile solutions" providers all tell me they can have me work on BES partially, but mostly I will have to be an exchange admin.

What should I do???
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-2011, 11:19 AM
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In our company you are an exchange admin and work partially on the BES, I think that's the way most of the places go
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manofice View Post
In our company you are an exchange admin and work partially on the BES, I think that's the way most of the places go
Sounds like me here, I do it all.
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Old 01-07-2011, 04:43 AM
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I'm starting to get that idea, very few people work on BES all the time. Was hoping to hear something else.

Think I might need to either consider a compromise or something.

Thanks for the response!
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:56 AM
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Unless you are working with 1000+ BlackBerries connected to a BES you won't find many who only deal with BlackBerries and BES.
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:27 PM
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Blackberry is all that I do. I work for an IT outsourcing company so I manage a number of Blackberry system for different companies.
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Old 02-02-2011, 02:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gibbyoh View Post
Blackberry is all that I do. I work for an IT outsourcing company so I manage a number of Blackberry system for different companies.
I work for a large IT company, I'm also in the outsourcing department. We definitely don't have any Blackberry resources, almost off of our clients thus far to have BES, with from what I can gather between 20 and 50 users per BES, so our exchange admins do the minor admin required. Did your company start the same? It would be nice to know if your company grew into a full-time BES admin or if it was a service from the start. If my own employer wont grow that direction then I will take matters into my own hands and make it happen in my own company or something.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:16 PM
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I only do BES as a contractor for a company that has a 1100+ users. Go the way of contract work and you should find BES work.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 02-12-2011, 05:49 PM
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I work for company with +1800 HandHeld and I'm support BES, HandHelds and mail. Sometimes I support servers too
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Old 02-15-2011, 12:07 AM
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I work for a company that has 1100+ users. I do everything server related. Until recently I was also handling most of the support inquires, some sales, and office management.

I think unless you're managing BES with 10,000+ users, are contracted for setups, or are managing multiple BES servers, you will usually need to manage at least BES/mail together.
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:00 AM
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Since 2001 I have worked alternately as a "do it all" Engineer and as a "BES only" Engineer. It's a double-edged sword when you get stove-piped into BES only. It's great because you get to do what you want to do, but...you can lose skills in other vital areas if you don't make a concious effort to stay current. I left a great position as a BES Admin at a major Georgetown law firm in 2003 for just that reason.

All the posters have hit the population figure on the head. You very likely "won't" find a BES Admin position at a firm with less than 1k users, it's just not practical.

My advice is to become the best that you can be, look for firms with > 1k users with multiple BESs if possible. And during the interview(s) establish whether or not the firm considers the BES as mission critical. And I mean "really" mission critical, not just a nice to have. If you can find that situation, you will likely find a firm that requires a dedicated BES Admin.

Look for institutions that live and die by their BlackBerries like law firms (not always pleasant to work for), medical and government agencies.

Good luck and if you're successful, look forward to being always on call.

--BESMstr
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Old 04-23-2011, 01:44 PM
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There are a number of places that I know with specific BlackBerry administration and support groups, but these engineers are typically interfacing with end-users for support, wireless acquisitions, deployment, etc.

The truth of the matter is that BlackBerry server administration is not overly difficult and is not a full-time position for 99% of corporate deployments.

There are some "unique" deployments, such as large insurance firms (StateFarm, as an example), large banks (CitiGroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo), healthcare, and government sectors, that require full-time BlackBerry server administrators. These environments have tens of thousands of users (or in some cases, hundreds of thousands) across hundreds of servers and it is a challege to have both the skills necessary to manage these environments, in addition to pushing the technology to its limits (many times without vendor experience with or knowledge about these types of large-scale deployments).

For my job, I am with the messaging team, so we oversee Exchange, Enterprise Vault, RightFax, BoxTone, and all mobility platforms. I also assist with the overall Windows server administration goals and tend to be well-versed and very much involved across all of our environments. We have 5,000-plus BlackBerry devices and around 4,000 ActiveSync devices.

The best advice I could give to a BES specialist in my type of environment is to ensure that you have designed your environment to be extremely stable (not withstanding the connection points, such as the messaging environment and the network, of course) and implement monitoring to some degree. The ease of mastering BlackBerry server administration (which doesn't necessarily account for random bugs that pop-up from version to version) is perhaps one of the quickest trades to learn in the entire IT industry. With a stable platform, you can focus your time elsewhere ... and that additional and broader experience can equate to one hell of a personal portfolio.

My environment has had 1 hour of unexpected downtime in the last 15 months. This involved a single messaging agent that simply stopped processing and this was not a condition that our monitoring was configured to detect (even RIM said they had never seen it). This affected was a couple hundred users in late evening hours, so the total impact was minimal at best. Aside from security updates, basic user clean-up (which I should script), and review of incidents/requests generated to my team's queues, there's simply no involvement on my part.

Prior to my arrival at my company, we had over 5,000 tickets relating to BlackBerry sent to us in the prior year (1:3 ratio for requests to incidents). In the year of my arrival, the ratio of requests to incidents reversed (3:1). Last year (three full years into my project), we had 22 tickets sent to us (only 3 of which were incidents). This year, we have had 6 tickets sent to our queue (1 incident). The foundation of how productive you can be as a holistic IT person is directly related to the design and architecture of your environment. Just keep that in mind.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 04-30-2011, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto View Post
Prior to my arrival at my company, we had over 5,000 tickets relating to BlackBerry sent to us in the prior year (1:3 ratio for requests to incidents). In the year of my arrival, the ratio of requests to incidents reversed (3:1). Last year (three full years into my project), we had 22 tickets sent to us (only 3 of which were incidents). This year, we have had 6 tickets sent to our queue (1 incident). The foundation of how productive you can be as a holistic IT person is directly related to the design and architecture of your environment. Just keep that in mind.
I'm not sure I've seen a better example of why you should spend the time upfront designing your environment, putting proactive monitoring in place, and ensuring you have good escalation procedures. Spending a little more time and money up front really saves a huge amount in the long run both financially and drastically improves end user satisfaction

Good job Otto!
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