BlackBerry believes it has now turned the company around, and is focusing on becoming the leading provider of enterprise mobility services across multiple platforms with the launch of BES 12 and a new portfolio of services to improve productivity on mobile devices.
The company announced the availability of BES 12 earlier this month, along with a strategic partnership with Samsung for its Knox security technology.
Blackberry has also unveiled new enterprise services, including the BBM Meetings mobile conferencing tool; WorkLife, which offers separate personal and work numbers on a user device; voice encryption tools; and software to enable a smartphone to serve as a token for two-factor authentication.
John Sims, president of global enterprise services at BlackBerry, said at an event in London attended by V3 that the firm's mission is now to deliver "serious mobility for serious business".
"Everything we're doing is underpinned by BlackBerry's focus around two things, security first of all. No-one argues with the fact that we have the best security in the industry," he added.
"And secondly, we've always had this focus on helping people get things done, so everything in BES 12 or the value-added services is focused on this."
Sims also claimed that the company's future is much more secure than it was last year, when many openly questioned how long BlackBerry could survive.
"We began transforming the company about a year ago, and in the following three months we burned through $1bn of cash. At that point, the most asked question was: 'Are you guys going to be around?'," Sims said.
However, BlackBerry has substantially changed the situation in the quarter just finished, increasing its cash balance to the point where "questions about whether the company will be here in the long term are not ones we get asked any longer", he claimed.
BlackBerry is now making a concerted cross-platform effort with its new portfolio to emphasise a desire to become the enterprise mobility leader.
As part of this, the firm is naming the latest version of its mobile management platform simply BES 12 in a bid to avoid the perception that a product called BlackBerry Enterprise Service is only for managing BlackBerry devices.
As if to illustrate this, BlackBerry has partnered with Samsung to manage devices operating the Knox security platform using BES 12.
The combination delivers a comparable end-to-end solution to BlackBerry's Balance technology, which partitions a BlackBerry device into separate work and personal spaces, but running on Android.
"In Knox-enabled devices, at the silicon level, [Samsung] enables a secure boot and a secure container, while we have the secure infrastructure and BES 12 as a secure management platform," Sims explained.
Likewise, all of the value-add services BlackBerry announced are also cross-platform, typically running on Android and iOS devices as well as BlackBerry's own smartphones.
These are targeting perceived enterprise requirements, such as the WorkLife tool which provides a separate work and personal phone number on a single iPhone, Android or BlackBerry smartphone to simplify billing.
This 'virtual SIM' capability is delivered through BlackBerry's acquisition of Movirtu earlier this year.
In the pipeline is VPN Authentication by BlackBerry, a tool that enables workers to use an iOS, Android or BlackBerry smartphone for two-factor authentication when signing into a corporate VPN on a laptop.
This works by sending a secure message to the user's device asking them to confirm it is them requesting access, and is being supported by common VPNs such as Cisco AnyConnect.
Also coming is Enterprise Identity by BlackBerry, which is designed to let BlackBerry customers take advantage of the platform's identity services to manage access to external cloud services using the same credentials, somewhat similar to Microsoft's Azure Active Directory service.
At the same time as BES 12, BlackBerry launched the BBM Meetings service, a cross-platform video conferencing tool optimised for mobile workers with an iPhone, BlackBerry or Android phone, but which also supports Windows and Mac users.
It enables companies to manage meetings with up to 25 participants at a price of $12.50 (£8) per host per month.
Meanwhile, BlackBerry's acquisition of German security firm Secusmart is still pending. Secusmart offers secure voice technology to defeat snooping on mobile phone calls.
"The intent with Secusmart is for us to take it from a capability largely directed towards governments and bring it into the mainstream of the enterprise," Sims said.
Organisations such as financial services companies have spent a lot of time and money securing data access, but are totally exposed when it comes to voice, he added.
"Companies that have their executives travel into China know that their calls are being listened to. They want to protect their information, and we want to help them with that," he explained.
In fact, security appears to be the attribute BlackBerry is counting on to bring the company back from the brink.
As mobility has been rolled out across the enterprise, organisations have unwittingly become exposed to threats through trends such as bring your own device, Sims claimed.
"There have been some pretty high-profile breaches involving mobile technology recently, so awareness of the business risks has gone up significantly," he said.
Only a third of companies think they have all the risks from mobile technology covered, he claimed. "That gap is the opportunity that Blackberry is targeted at," he said.
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