Blackberry promises re-focus on enterprise

Until the release of the Blackberry Z10 the company’s main focus had been providing enterprise security

For the past six months BlackBerry has been planning a resurgence in the enterprise space.

Until the release of the BlackBerry Z10 and BB10 mobile OS, the company’s main focus had been providing enterprise software in the form of BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

Markus Mueller, regional managing director for BlackBerry in Europe, explained at an event, discussing BlackBerry’s future earlier in the month, that John Chen’s strategy was to get the firm back on track by focusing on what it does best.

“We still have a very strong enterprise base, specifically when you look at the large enterprises very few of them, almost none actually left BlackBerry entirely," he said.

“The discussion is now shifting away from ‘will you guys be around in a year from now’ toward ‘what’s next?'"

Mueller said the firm will focus on the core capabilities of security, productivity and collaboration. He said the company has already seen a change in public perception and loyalty in the last six months as businesses change their views towards the brand.

At Mobile World Congress earlier this year, John Chen admitted to Computer Weekly that aiming to break into the consumer smartphone market had caused the company to lose sight of its main focus on mobility, business handsets and security software.

Chen was introduced to the company at the end of last year to steer BlackBerry’s strategic direction, organisational goals and strategic relationships following the failed acquisition of BlackBerry by financial firm Fairfax Financial Holdings.

Mueller told Computer Weekly that although a lot of enterprises did make a “plan b” to ensure that they had a strategy should Blackberry “not be around next year” they are now ditching these plans as their confidence in BlackBerry has grown once again.

However, there are now many other companies providing tools similar to BES10, such as VMWare’s AirWatch, Good Technology and MobileIron. However, Mueller claims this will not be a problem for BlackBerry since a lot of large organisations use them as a solution for everything.

“We are pivoting towards enterprise, but we have never left enterprise. Maybe at some point we did step a foot into the consumer market, maybe a little bit too far, and we’re actually maybe pulling back from that a little bit,” he said.

“The larger you are and the more policies you have in place and the more compliance you have to adhere to the more difficult it is to move from one system to another. 

"To switch a device is fairly easy but we are not only a devices, we also have a back end system in place which creates policies, which manages devices and creates a secure server from the tunnel to the device and so there is much more than just a device.

"If we were just a device vendor I agree with you, a lot of companies probably would have moved away. But we’re more of a complete solution, and we actually want to expand that footprint in the company going forward.”

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