otasl.JPGA few of us have been trying to get our heads round some of the new updates to BES 4.1 SP5 this week. While we have covered the unknown territory that is HTML email, one of the other highly anticipated updates has been OTASL (Over The Air Software Loading).

For those that don’t know, this is the devices ability to receive firmware updates remotely rather than an IT department having to collect users devices to perform the upgrades centrally (as currently happens). According to RIM’s documentation you need to have Service Pack 5 on your BES and you need the latest 4.3/4.5 device firmware. What’s odd is that there’s nowhere on the BES to configure OTASL, leaving us wondering if this is purely an update which happens between the device and RIM’s own servers. Not ideal (unless you’re a BIS user) as this takes ownership away from the IT department, but it is early days and perhaps they’ll be a separate ‘device management’ console (as used to be in BES 4.0) to install which will deal with this. In the meantime, have a guess!