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BlackBerry must keep enterprise apps flowing for BlackBerry 10 success

06 Feb 2013
BlackBerry 10 at BlackBerry Jam Americas 2012

AMSTERDAM: BlackBerry must keep developers interested in building for its platform if it's to regain its former status and the firm has been keen to tout its work on this front at its BlackBerry Jam event.

With the touchscreen BlackBerry Z10 now shipping, BlackBerry is keen to keep the app pipeline flowing smoothly, and announced at BlackBerry Jam an updated SDK plus new incentives for developers. Its BlackBerry World app store now has over 70,000 applications, and is seeing a thousand new submissions every week, the firm claimed.

However, in order to keep its core corporate customers happy, the firm needs to convince enterprise software vendors to support tools such as ERP and CRM on BlackBerry 10, support which has long been available for existing devices.

Gregg Ostrowski, BlackBerry's senior direct for Enterprise, told V3 the firm has been working with about 120 pilot customers in the US in order to drive a critical mass of BlackBerry 10 support for those behind-the-firewall apps that large enterprises depend upon.

The firm is also talking to key partners in the enterprise software market, according to Ostrowski.

"The challenge is that enterprises do not roll out new technology on day one of it being released, so this is where we need to get busy now and start the ball rolling," he said.

A vital first step is to get new devices into the hands of enterprise employees, Ostrowski claimed, as this is what will drive demand for new applications.

In addition, customers need to upgrade their corporate BlackBerry server (BES) up to the latest BES 10 version in order to manage the new devices and get the most out of them.

There is also the question of turnkey apps that enterprises develop for internal deployment, and Ostrowski said that BlackBerry's WebWorks platform is being pushed the primary route for development.

"This lets you use web technologies like CSS, HTML5, and JavaScript to build a standalone app, and this approach has been well received in the enterprise because it is cross-platform," Ostrowski said.

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Daniel Robinson

Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.

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