Blackberry email system is very popular with it's secured and trusted system for corporate users. This is one best feature available to big corporations. And most of them rely their email server to Microsoft Exchange Server.
Blackberry provides synchronization to Exchange Server only via Blackberry Enterprise Service (BES). You can access email, calender, notes, tasks that you set in your Outlook from your Blackberry. However this basic need is not available in BIS (Blackberry Internet Service) subscription. Since BIS cost is cheaper, BIS is more popular than BES.
You are lucky if you use Android or iPhone. There is no additional cost for you. The active sync feature is available as default in Android and iPhone/iPad device for free.
There are many ways to access to Exchange Server from Blackberry device for BIS users. But they all ask you additional price. Although those are cheaper than BES price with similar features, and some features even better. Read comparisons detail in this blog.
This solution is actually accessing to the web based Outlook service available in Exchange Server. But you only can access email, and you cannot get other information on your device. Another problem is this option have to be activated on the Exchange server. Forget it if your company policy doesn't activate the service.
Third party's Active Sync
Using Active Sync is the best option for BIS users. You can get everything from Exchange server as if you have BES subscription. It costs about $50 a year, cheaper than BES subscription, but still cost you money. There are two popular active sync tools available in the market: Astrasync ($50 a year), and Notifysync ($120).
This solution is a workaround solution. The idea is to activate forwarding email to third party email server or public email server like Yahoo, Hotmail or Google Mail. Set your account manually to use company's email as reply-to-address. Add the email account at your Blackberry, so you can read, write, and reply email as if you do it from your office. This is not an option if email forwarding is prohibited by your company policy.
There is a rumor that active sync will be available in the Blackberry 10 OS device. If you really a big fan of Blackberry, may be this is a hope for you. It probably won't work on your current device, so you have to trade your current Blackberry to the new one.
Blackberry has been well known for secured mobile messaging for many years in the past. That is one of the reasons many users loyal to Blackberry. Another thing is, it's Blackberry messenger is still the best in the market.
But today mobile market is changing very fast. Android and iPhone are the two in the top list. The coming Windows 8 from Microsoft is joining the battle. These all new mobile add all features to users for free, all basic things you need become standard feature and are included in the package. If RIM doesn't provide more options and flexibilities to users, for sure it will be easily out of the game.