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BlackBerry Connection to Nexus (New/Former BIS)

1. Overview

The BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) product allows you to connect a BlackBerry device to the Nexus email environment and allows 2-way synchronisation of your Nexus email and Personal Information Management (PIM) data - Calendar, Contacts, Tasks and Notes.

Email is synchronised almost instantly between the BlackBerry Smartphone and your Nexus mailbox, allowing quick and seamless access to important email information while you are on the go. BES traffic is encrypted in transit, ensuring the security of your emails. Due to the PUSH technology that the BES utilises, the battery life of the Smartphone is not significantly drained by having a constant connection to your University mailbox. When your Nexus account receives an email, the BES pushes it to your Smartphone. There is no need to manually synchronise via the Smartphone itself.

By connecting to the Nexus BES you also receive wireless access to the Nexus Global Address list, as well as the facility to access any email within your mailbox. Email pre-population of your BlackBerry, when activated, is limited to 2 weeks or 750 emails, however should you need to the "Remote Search" feature allows you to search your entire mailbox. (This does require Firmware version 4.5 or greater on your Smartphone).

2. Prerequisites

Prior to being able to connect there are certain prerequisites that are required, both from a Smartphone and from a Data Plan perspective. These include:

  1. You must have a BES-enabled Data Plan
  2. You need to agree to the purchase of a Client Access license (CAL), which allows the connection to the BES; or, supply the CAL code obtained with your Smartphone
  3. Your device must meet the following criteria:
    1. For device models 850, 857, 950, and 957: BlackBerry Device Software Version 2.7 or higher
    2. For all other devices: BlackBerry Device Software Version 4.0 (Java) or higher
  4. It is highly advised that you perform a backup of your BlackBerry Smartphone prior to the start of the activation process
  5. An active GPRS signal on your Smartphone (the activation process needs at least this signal strength for successful wireless activation i.e. if you are in a basement with poor signal strength do not try to activate)

3. Checking the Firmware Version

In order to check the OS version of your BlackBerry Smartphone as well as the Firmware version currently installed, you need to:

  1. Go to the "options" folder on your Smartphone
  2. Go to "the "about" entry
  3. Look for a similar line to the following: V4.6.0.266 (Platform - see line 3 in the image below

Should you need to upgrade your Smartphone to a more recent Operating System or Firmware version (either in order to activate or to get access to additional features provided by the BES), you will need to do the following:

  1. Locate the BlackBerry Desktop manager software that was provided with your device, or download the most recent version
  2. Install the software on your PC\Laptop and connect your BlackBerry via a USB cable
  3. Perform a Backup of your Smartphone (The OS upgrade process should include this anyway)
  4. Use the Desktop Manager "Application Loader" and upgrade your device to most recent available version

4. Security

Due to the nature of mobile devices, we politely request the following of all our BES activated users:

  • Please configure password security on your handheld
  • Please configure the handheld to "lock" when not in use - The default timeout period is 2 minutes (On bold 9000 for instance)

5. BES Configuration

The following defaults are in-place when we activate your BlackBerry Smartphone on the BES service. Some of these are configurable so please request should you wish to have them changed:

  • Pre-population of emails onto device - 750 emails or 2 weeks (This is the maximum)
  • Default Address Book - Contacts (Can be changed)

    You can request that another Address Book is the default one which your BlackBerry uses, but you can only select one. It is not uncommon for BlackBerry users to create another address book within their mailbox called "BlackBerry", and to populate this with relevant contacts. The Nexus Team can then set this to be the default. This often requires the Smartphone to be switched off and back on for a quicker update.

  • Folder list (Allow you to see "new" emails that are sent to your sub-folders) - enabled and can be changed.
    • By default we will enable this when we prepare for activation of your BlackBerry. We will ask which folders you do not want to redirect to your BlackBerry (any subfolders of your Inbox).
    • By default, pre-population gives priority to more recently received emails, irrespective of the folder they are in.
    • If you are at firmware revision 4.5 or higher on your handheld however, you can use the "remote search" feature to populate your Sub-folders.
  • The "BlackBerry Browser" uses the University connection to access the Internet. This is a BES default. If you do not want to use the University Internet connection then you can set the "Internet Browser" on your BlackBerry as the default browser.

6. Pre-Activation

The most important step in the activation process is the provisioning of the BlackBerry Smartphone i.e. the type of plan/contact enabled for the device. You must confirm with your carrier that you either already have a BES data plan (and have not been utilising it until now) or request that they provide you with a BES-enabled data plan (there is generally an increased cost). Having confirmed this, we can proceed with the activation of your BlackBerry Smartphone on the Nexus BES environment.

The first step is to contact the help center ( with the following information: 

  1. Your BlackBerry Smartphone Type and Model e.g. Bold 9000
  2. Your BlackBerry Operating System version and Firmware Revision (As described above)
  3. Confirmation that you have a BES enabled data plan with your carrier.
  4. That you, or your unit, agree to cover the cost of a BlackBerry Enterprise Server Client Access license.
  5. Is your BlackBerry Smartphone currently connected to another BlackBerry Enterprise Server Environment? If so, with whom?
  6. Whether your BlackBerry Smartphone previously been connected to another BlackBerry Enterprise Server Environment.
  7. If you want to have access to your Nexus Mailbox sub-folders, which folders do you not wish to see (in your inbox)?
  8. You can only have one default contact list synchronised from your Nexus mailbox to your BlackBerry Smartphone. Please confirm which one this is (This can be changed at a later date).

The activation process to follow is dependent on the answers you provide.

7. Activation Process

If you have just bought your BlackBerry device, or currently have it configured to connect to one or more email accounts using a BIS service (BlackBerry Internet Server), then follow these guidelines. As always, you must at this stage have upgraded your BIS data plan to a BES plan. When connected to the BES, most of the larger carriers allow you to connect up to 10 BIS email accounts alongside the BES connection for other external email accounts.

To activate your BlackBerry with the Nexus BES service please follow the steps below:

  1. Prior to activating your BlackBerry Smartphone, we suggest you delete any BIS connections on your Smartphone which connect to your Nexus mailbox. i.e. if you have used POP, IMAP or OWA to connect to Nexus using your BlackBerry Smartphone, delete the connection prior to proceeding otherwise you will end up getting duplicate deliveries.

    If you do have this configuration then it is advised that you "wipe" the handheld prior to activation as this will remove the emails and any other PIM data (Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, Notes) you may have synchronised using a wired connection. If you do not wipe the handheld, then you will have duplicate copies of emails that are already on the handheld. Please get in touch with us (via your IT Support Officer if you wish) if you have this configuration and we can advise you further.

  2. It is good practise to take a Backup of your BlackBerry Smartphone prior to beginning this process (using Desktop Manager Tool).
  3. You need to have purchased a BES Licence from the IT Services Shop, then email with the details of your request. A BlackBerry Administrator will create an account for you on the system and provide you with an activation password. This password will be active for 48 hours meaning you have some flexibility as to when you initiate the activation.
  4. Ensure you are in an area where you have a strong GPRS signal
  5. On your BlackBerry, perform the following actions:
    1. Browse to options:
    2. Select Advanced options:
    3. Select Enterprise Activation:
    4. Complete the Email and Password fields (Email address being your Primary email address, Password being that provided by your BES administrator):
    5. Select activate and the process should begin. You may receive a prompt to "enable" radio at this stage - turn the radio on when asked:
    6. It will continue if successfully connected:
    7. Eventually, it could take up to 20 minutes; you should receive the message above "Activation Complete":

If there are any problems with the activation process then please retry. If there is still a problem after 2-3 such attempts please contact us and we will assist further. On occasion there can be the need to perform a wired activation at IT Services. However, if a wireless activation will not work it is symptomatic of an issue with the smartphone so wireless activation should be persevered with. The more recent the OS and firmware on the device the greater chance there is of success. Additionally, more features are available with more recent firmware.

8. Device Configuration

  1. Browse to the "messages" folder, open the context menu and select "options":
  2. Select "Email Reconciliation":
  3. Configure the options as follows:
    1. Delete on: Mailbox and Handheld (Ensures Delete syncronization between Smartphone and mailbox) - You do have the option to set this to "prompt", you will then receive an option to Only Delete on handheld
    2. Wireless reconcile (Ensures Mailbox and Smartphone syncronization for email via wireless)
    3. On Conflicts (E-mail integrity is governed by Nexus mailbox)
  4. Browse to the "Browser" tool. Open the context menu and selection "options":
  5. Select the "General Properties" option
  6. Click on the "default Browser" option. You can now set this to Internet browser which "should" mean that you are now using your carrier Internet connection and not the BES Internet connection:

Once the above processes are completed, you will have a fully activated BlackBerry Smartphone. Bear in mind that the Nexus emails will at this point be delivered to the Messages folder along with any BIS email connections you have configured. There are methods to differentiate between the emails (on the Smartphone) but they will nonetheless deliver to the same "messages" folder.


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Written by IT Services. Latest revision 18 October 2017