BlackBerry wants to remain No.1 in EMM

As explained by BlackBerry, enterprises will need to move from short-term management solutions and adopt a comprehensive EMM solution.

By Alvin R. Cabral

Published: Sun 28 Jun 2015, 11:24 PM

Last updated: Fri 10 Jul 2015, 6:44 PM

Dubai: Canadian telecommunication and wireless equipment company BlackBerry is determined to keep its lead in enterprise mobility management, or EMM, making sure that customers will have the widest options and top-class solutions possible, a senior official for the region says.

EMM is a growing segment within the enterprise computing industry as more people are increasingly making mobile devices a part of business.

As explained by BlackBerry, enterprises will need to move from short-term management solutions and adopt a comprehensive EMM solution, as businesses have high hopes that advances in enterprise mobility will bring innovation and new levels of end-user productivity, without exposing corporate data to the imminent threat of cyber-attacks.

“We are a mobile solutions company that takes a broader approach to servicing the needs of customers looking for secure technologies that drive productivity, communication and collaboration,” Mike Al Mefleh, BlackBerry’s product management director for the Middle East, told Khaleej Times in an interview.

“We have completed the restructuring phase of the turnaround and are now looking to grow in the last leg of our transformation. Our goal is to remain the number one provider of EMM solutions, and we’re focused on providing our customers with increased choice and flexibility in how they will meet their mobility needs through new devices, messaging and enterprise management technologies.”

Ontario-headquartered BlackBerry, Al Mefleh points out, sees its acquisitions and partnerships as an important factor in pursuing this goal.

“Specifically, the partnerships and acquisitions we’ve made over the past nine months have allowed us to further develop our core strengths of security, productivity, communication and collaboration,” he said. “We are also excited to leverage existing intellectual property to grow BlackBerry’s machine-to-machine communications technologies and drive growth opportunities for the Internet of Things.”

Al Mefleh added that the company has a cash and investment balance of $3.27 billion and is well-positioned to leverage those assets for acquisitions that help deliver value and better position the company move into in growth areas that put a premium on security.

Making a leap

BlackBerry also recently introduced its new Leap smartphone – a follow-up to the pocket-friendly Z3, which, according to Al Mefleh, had the “honour” of being a device dedicated to the Eastern world.

The Leap – with a five-inch HD display, 25 hours of battery life, 16GB of storage and an 8MP camera – is another affordable all-touch smartphone from BlackBerry, which listened to its customers to arrive at such a device.

“To improve upon the BlackBerry Z3, we listened to feedback from our customers,” Al Mefleh says.

He added that the Leap has improved features across the board – from 4G compatibility to a faster processor and improved display, to better cameras and longer battery life.

Asked why another budget-friendly device, Al Mefleh stressed that it’s all about choice.

“From a consumer and enterprise perspective, it’s important to have a well-rounded portfolio that offers choice and caters to different audiences whether they like a keyboard or an all-touch smartphone or an affordable smartphone or a more high-end smartphone,” he said.

“With the BlackBerry Leap we are complementing our portfolio. We set out to create a device that would give users the perfect balance of powerful design and data security and privacy, including a best-in-class typing experience. We are targeting [not only] avid communicators who are career-driven, cost-conscious, oriented towards productivity and prefer an all-touch device, but also businesses who want to renew their mobile fleet on sensitive budgets.”

Security is guaranteed not only on the Leap but across all BlackBerry devices, with Al Mefleh assuring a “superior level” of protection, as the company is “unique” in its end-to-end security approach.

“The BlackBerry platform provides customers a robust and highly-accredited security architecture to help ensure we deliver a unique level of protection, which is trusted by some of the most security conscious organisations in the world,” he added.

On future releases within 2015, Al Mefleh declined to comment, but he did reiterate the announcement of Ron Louks, president of BlackBerry’s devices and emerging solutions, at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that a new and “innovative” slider smartphone will be launched this year.

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