Blackberry Looks to the Channel for Reinvention
Although Blackberry is a long way from recapturing its former glory the one thing that is becoming apparent is that any of its future success is going to be heavily dependent on the cloud and the channel.
Via several acquisitions over the last year, including a deal this week involving AtHoc, a provider of communication services for emergency services professionals, it’s clear that Blackberry is now squarely focused on building out a secure global communications platform in the cloud.
At a Blackberry Security Summit this week, Blackberry COO Marty Beard said that now that Blackberry as its financial house in relative order next big step for the company as part of its recovery will be to build partnerships in the channel with solution providers that have expertise in vertical markets that are heavily regulated.
Valued at about $14 billion, Beard said the total market opportunity for solutions than connect both humans and machines represents a significant growth market for both Blackberry and its partners. To that end Blackberry is investing in both security technologies for machine-to-machine (M2M) environments that are core to any Internet of Things (IoT) applications as well as file synchronization and collaboration services in the form WatchDox, which Blackberry acquired earlier this year.
That doesn’t mean that Blackberry is abandoning its core smartphone business. But in terms of expanding its base of services and market reach, investment in services that revolve around a Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) running in the cloud that provides a framework for managing and securing not only devices and applications, but also the workflow that extends out to those devices is where the future of company primarily lies. In essence. Blackberry is trying to position BES as a “bouncer in the sky” that secures workflow and communications by offloading the management of them from traditional enterprise IT.
In effect, Blackberry is looking to a combination of the cloud, managed services and the channel to drive its reinvention. To help drive that transition Blackberry earlier this month announced it has recruited Carl Wiese to be its new head of sales. Prior to joining Blackberry, Wiese was responsible for driving sales of advanced and emerging technologies as Cisco.
Obviously, it will take a little while to determine whether Blackberry can actually transform itself. But given enough time and money in the bank, that transformation just might represent a significant new opportunity for channel partners looking for new streams of revenue in the cloud.