Direction on Migration to BlackBerry Messenger Enterprise (BBME): IT Policy Implementation Notice (ITPIN)

From: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Note to readers

The Direction on Migration to BlackBerry Messenger Enterprise ITPIN is no longer in effect as of May 04, 2022. Technology has shifted and text and chat functionality are now part of a suite of collaborative services. Office 365 should be viewed as the solution for collaboration, including secure messaging capabilities as specified in Appendix E: Standard on Information Technology Provisions.

ITPIN No.: 2018-04


On this page

1. Purpose

The purpose of this ITPIN is to direct departments to migrate to BlackBerry Messenger Enterprise (BBME) and replace the use of PIN-to-PIN communication on cellular devices by

2. Effective date

This ITPIN is effective immediately.

3. Application

This ITPIN applies to all departments that are subject to the Policy on Management of Information Technology.

Departments, agencies and organizations in the Government of Canada not subject to the Policy on Management of Information Technology are encouraged to abide by this ITPIN.

The heads of the following organizations are solely responsible for monitoring and ensuring compliance with this ITPIN within their organizations:

  • Office of the Auditor General
  • Office of the Chief Electoral Officer
  • Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada
  • Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages
  • Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada
  • Offices of the Information and Privacy Commissioners of Canada

4. Context

The Government of Canada (GC) strives to be an innovative organization that provides its employees with modern technology that supports mobility. The GC is implementing changes to smartphone devices and services, including a migration from Blackberry to iOS and Android devices.

With the transition away from BlackBerry devices there is a requirement to replace the PIN-to-PIN functionality as it no longer exists on the new smartphones. BlackBerry Messenger Enterprise (BBME) has been selected as the secure form of mobile communication at or below the Protected B level. It adds many features beyond PIN-to-PIN, including user-to-user specific encryption, resulting in a higher level of secure communications. BBME licensing has been acquired for all GC smartphone users with a Government Cellular Services (GCS) vendor service plan.

PIN-to-PIN has been widely used across the GC for many years. To maintain efficient and secure mobile communication across the GC, it is critical that departments expedite the adoption of BBME within their organizations.

BBME is compatible with BlackBerry smartphones independently of migrations to new Android or iOS smartphones.

5. Direction

Effective Immediately:

  1. As per Section 6.16 of the Policy on Management of Information Technology, Deputy heads are responsible for ensuring the use of enterprise or shared IT assets and services.  The use of BlackBerry Messenger Enterprise (BBME) has been established as the enterprise service for mobile communication at or below the Protected B level. This service meets the requirement for encrypting Protected B information before transmitting it across the Internet or a wireless network, as per Section 16.4.4 of the Operational Security Standard: Management of Information Technology Security (MITS) and uses supported cryptographic algorithms and certificates, as outlined in the Communication Security Establishment of Canada (CSE)’ s
    1. ITSP.40.062 Guidance on Securely Configuring Network Protocols, Section 3.1 for AES cipher suites
    2. ITSP.40.111 Cryptographic Algorithms for Unclassified, Protected A, and Protected B Information.
  1. Departments which have not yet commenced the BMME migration process must contact for direction and guidance on migration.

By :

  1. Departments are directed to migrate to BBME for all corporate smartphone users. 
  2. Departments can find onboarding details on the BBME Enterprise Onboarding page (accessible only on the Government of Canada network).  Once onboarding is complete and the department has reached Application Deployed stage, SSC will push, to SSC partner departments, the software to the departmental devices (iOS and Android).  The compatibility matrix for BlackBerry, iPhone, and Android devices can be found in Appendix A.  For installation of the BBM Enterprise software on devices, for Blackberry devices, follow the steps in Appendix B.  For non-SSC partner departments, follow the steps in Appendix C for iOS or Android.
  3. Departments which cannot implement BBME by must apply to the Government of Canada Enterprise Architecture Review Board (GCEARB) for an exception.  Departments should contact the Office of the Chief Information Officer of Canada (OCIO) for requirements for submitting an exception request.  Exceptions will only be approved as a temporary measure as departments complete their migrations.  OCIO may additionally request status updates on BBME migration progress.

Departments are strongly encouraged to participate in the BBME Working Group.  Departments can contact for details on joining the working group.

Useful links to aid in migration can be found in Appendix E.

6. Enquiries

  • 6.1 For interpretation of any aspect of this ITPIN, contact the Office of the Chief Information Officer of Canada (OCIO).
  • 6.2 Individuals at departments should contact their departmental information technology group for any questions regarding this ITPIN.
  • 6.3 Individuals from a departmental information technology group may contact the for support in the implementation of this ITPIN.

Marc Brouillard

Chief Technology Officer of the Government of Canada
Office of the Chief Information Officer
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

7. References

Additional information may be found in the following resources:

Appendix A — Compatibility matrix

Compatibility Matrix
Device Minimum Compatible Version
BlackBerry OS Device BBM 8.5.3 with minimal functionality. Recommended to upgrade to BlackBerry 10 OS if possible or replace device.
BlackBerry 10 Device BBM Enterprise 20.0
iOS Device BBM Enterprise 1.0
Android Device BBM Enterprise 1.0
Desktop Device BBM Enterprise 1.0

Appendix B — Switching from BBM Consumer to BBM Enterprise on BlackBerry 10

Before switching to BBM Enterprise, users should make sure that they’ re using the latest version of BBM. To check that they have the latest  version of BBM installed, users should open BlackBerry World. After opening Blackberry World, they should tap the three horizontal lines, then  My World > My Apps & Games. At the top of the screen, they would then tap  the Updates tab.

If BBM appears in the Updates tab, they should tap the Update icon.

Here are the specific steps to switch from BBM Consumer to BBM Enterprise on BlackBerry 10:

  1. In the BBM app, swipe down from the top of the screen.
  2. Tap the gear icon.
  3. Tap Switch to BBM Enterprise.
  4. If prompted, download the latest version of BlackBerry World by completing the following steps.
    1. On the prompt to download BlackBerry World, tap Download.
    2. On the BlackBerry World download screen, tap Update.
  5. Once you updated BlackBerry World, open the BBM app again and tap Continue to download the BBM Enterprise app.
  6. After BBM Enterprise is downloaded, open the BBM Enterprise app.
  7. Tap Switch BBM.

The following video also addresses this subject: BBME Enterprise for BB10 – Switching from Consumer to Enterprise   

In the event that you encounter difficulties with this installation, please see the 6. Enquiries section for contact information.

Appendix C — Deploying BlackBerry Messenger Enterprise on iOS and Android Devices

For iOS devices, refer to this guide: iOS BBME Installation (accessible only on the Government of Canada network)

For Android devices, refer to this web page: Android BBME Installation

Appendix D — Definitions

Government of Canada Enterprise Architecture Review Board (GCEARB) (accessible only on the Government of Canada network)

The Government of Canada Enterprise Architecture Review Board (GC EARB) furthers “the ‘whole of government as one enterprise’ vision. It is integrated into the larger GC governance structure and looks at alignment of initiatives, system and solution gaps and overlaps, development of new digital capabilities and innovation opportunities, setting technology standards and providing IM-IT investment directionFootnote 1”.

GCEARB has a mandate to prescribe government-wide architecture expectations and defining current and target architecture standards for the Government of Canada, and reviewing departmental plans to ensure alignmentFootnote 2.

Appendix E — Useful Links for BBME 10 Migration

External Public Links

Government of Canada Internal Links

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