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BlackBerry turns to Channel to save business

Brian Karlovsky | June 5, 2014
Blackberry Australia is pinning its hopes on a pivot to enterprise mobility, security and the Internet of Things in a bid to save the company after a dramatic fall from grace.

Blackberry Australia is pinning its hopes on a pivot to enterprise mobility, security and the Internet of Things in a bid to save the company after a dramatic fall from grace.

In January, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners found the once dominant Canadian smartphone maker accounted for zero per cent of all smartphone activations in the fourth quarter of 2013 in the US.

This followed the release of the BlackBerry 10 platform at the beginning of 2013 to revive flagging handset sales.

Despite the foreboding US handset figures, Blackberry Australia managing director, Matt Ball, told ARN he remained optimistic about the position of BlackBerry in Australia and pointed to a number of recent customer wins, and its dominance in the Australian mobility market.

"To limit ourselves just on handset shipments is setting ourselves up for failure," he said.

"Blackberry had a pretty tough year towards the end of last year, but from an Australian perspective we have some really solid wins and a huge amount of success has been through our channel partners.

Telsyte, found that BlackBerry was the most widely implemented MDM (Mobile Device Management) solution in Australia in 2013 and that one in five businesses (with 20 or more employees) with an MDM solution in place, used BlackBerry.

According to a company statement, BlackBerry has seen 65 per cent of its Australia's customer base migrate to or trial BES10 since its launch, including verticals such as government, finance, mining and professional services.

Blackberry has won contracts with the Australian National Audit Office, a specialist federal government department that provides auditing services for the Australian Parliament, and professional services company, Questas.

Both of these contracts were won on the basis of security, he said.

Ball said there had been some pretty solid uptake in the Australian since the company opened its platform to Android and iOS devices.

"We are listed as the NSW goverment's preferred MDM of choice," he said.

Read more:Good Technology shows Blackberry customers the exit

"We are going to be truly offering customers choice and we are working pretty deeply with our channel partners who are driving home what the unique proposition is.

"They key to our competitive advantage relies on security."

AirWatch, Citrix, IBM and SAP have expressed their intent to be the first companies to work with BlackBerry to enable a more open mobility ecosystem.

Ball said the company had also picked up a number of strategic system integrator partners including Imei, SI Partners and Symmetry.

He said the company hoped to take a leading role in the Internet of Things through its Project Ion, which aims to help businesses easily connect people, devices and machines, and derive value from these connections.

 

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