BlackBerry is best known for its namesake smartphone devices, but the company also backs these up with the BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) 10, a management and security platform for large organisations that secured the prize for best mobile management software at the 2013 V3 Technology Awards.
Mike Gibson, head of Enterprise Sales for BlackBerry in the UK, said his firm was exceptionally pleased to have won recognition for its business mobility platform in what has turned out to be a difficult year for the company.
"We're overjoyed to have won, and it's a testament to the amount of work we're putting in to deliver a cross-platform management system with BES," he told V3.
BlackBerry accepting its award with V3 editor Madeline Bennett
The awards are voted for by the V3 readership of IT professionals, and Gibson attributed BlackBerry's success to the capabilities the firm has included in BES 10, which not only offers the traditional security and behind-the-firewall connectivity for BlackBerry devices, but also extends this to other mobile platforms as well.
"What you're seeing now is that customers appreciate that we're bringing that same capability onto iOS and Android devices, so I believe it's the security and control framework that we are now delivering to help them manage their mobile estates that won it," he said.
Looking to the future, BlackBerry is aiming to extend these capabilities and in 2014 will introduce a cloud-based version of BES that gives customers all the benefits of the platform but without having to deploy servers themselves.
A preview of this was made available at the start of December, which customers can try out for free for the next three months while BlackBerry works to commercialise it, Gibson said.
This fits in with Gibson's view of the challenges and priorities for IT chiefs in 2014, which includes taking greater advantage of the opportunities offered by cloud services and trying to adapt to an ever more mobile world.
"There are more and more mobile devices in the enterprise, so the challenge is how do you move from communication type applications like email and IM [instant messaging] to real business applications that transform the way the business operates?" he said.
BlackBerry believes that its BES platform can make a difference here, serving as a secure conduit for mobile devices to connect back to enterprise applications such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) running inside the firewall.
"What we're trying to do is make it easy by taking care of the connectivity and the security elements of mobilising applications. You don't have to worry about security – we take care of it. That's probably the biggest thing that BES 10 does as far as customers are concerned," he claimed.
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.