BlackBerry announced a raft of new services as well as a new partnership with Samsung, as it continues to focus on strengthening its enterprise credentials.
The company used its Enterprise Portfolio Launch event in San Francisco yesterday to expand its Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) offering, as well as Identity & Access and Communications & Collaboration services.
The BES12 management technology is at the core of these new services, providing improved management of BlackBerry, iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices and applications.
Vodafone, Rogers and SingTel, along with other mobile operators around the world, will resell BES12.
John Sims, president of global enterprise services at BlackBerry (pictured), claimed BES12 “does so much more than just manage cross-platform devices”, with its ability to provide secure access to corporate data, manage employee identities and enable users to collaborate more securely and conveniently.
BlackBerry also announced a partnership with Samsung, which will see the South Korean company’s KNOX security platform for Android offered in conjunction with BES12 and Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets from early next year.
“BlackBerry has developed a very close partnership with Samsung and we’re committed to deepening the interaction between our engineering and product development teams for the long-term,” Sims explained.
“Old BB wouldn’t have made that move because of stubbornness”
IDC analyst Ryan Reith reflected on the significance of the Samsung announcement. “BlackBerry partnering with Samsung to support Knox is an obvious next move but old BB wouldn’t have made that move because of stubbornness,” he tweeted. He added that the deal “makes sense” as the two companies are “not direct competition anymore.” Reith noted that “it’s clear BlackBerry is focusing on where it can make money. Security and software is it.”
Also introduced was BlackBerry Blend, which allows business users to access personal and work data from their BlackBerry devices as well as any tablet and desktop.
WorkLife by BlackBerry, meanwhile, addresses the bring-your-own-device trend by enabling businesses to add a corporate phone number to personal devices brought in by employees.
Business-related voice, SMS and data will therefore be charged to the company, while personal usage is charged to the device owners.
Other new products included Enterprise Identity by BlackBerry, which provides businesses with a simple way to manage secure access to cloud-based services, and BlackBerry Meetings, which enables voice and video conferences of up to 25 people on BlackBerry 10 or Android devices.
Sims said the announcements “demonstrate that BlackBerry is delivering on our promise to design and develop enterprise solutions that drive secure communications and collaboration for our customers”.