Canadian Tire forgoes BYOD, issues BlackBerries to workers

Bucking the BYOD trend, Canadian Tire is issuing BlackBerry Q10 and Z10 smartphones to its corporate employees.

An overwhelming majority of the Toronto-based company's 3,000 corporate users requested the Q10, which features a physical qwerty keyboard, as a replacement for older Bold or Curve devices, said CTO Eugene Roman. But some said they preferred the Z10, which has a touchscreen keyboard. Canadian Tire made BlackBerry Z10s available to employees several weeks ago and began issuing Q10s early this month.

The company isn't convinced that a bring-your-own-device model is secure. "An email can send a virus into your core infrastructure," Roman said. "Right now, we think BYOD is interesting but not ready for the mainstream."

So far, the biggest selling point of the new Z10 and Q10 smartphones is their long battery life, said Roman, noting that the BlackBerry devices last 10 to 12 hours on a single charge.

Canadian Tire uses BlackBerry Balance, a feature of the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 mobile device management system, to keep the work and personal data of Q10 and Z10 users in separate areas on the BlackBerry 10 operating system. If necessary, IT can wipe the work data from a lost or stolen device and leave the personal data intact.

Canadian Tire offers its customers a BlackBerry mobile app that lets users browse the company's products online, find stores and check product availability. The app received 20 million mobile visits last year.

This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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