BlackBerry head talks-up turnaround progress, unveils IoT play

BlackBerry head talks-up turnaround progress, unveils IoT play

08 JAN 2015

LIVE FROM CES 2015: John Chen, CEO of BlackBerry, this morning claimed the company is no longer in financial troubles, around a year after he took the helm, as the vendor detailed its push into the Internet of Things (IoT) space.

“We’ve still got a lot of work to do, obviously, but the most important thing is that for the year that has passed, I hope that everybody agrees the company is no longer in financial trouble. We’re here to stay – now the fun part starts,” he told a media briefing.

BlackBerry today launched what it described as a “comprehensive Internet of Things platform”, initially targeting the automotive and asset-tracking industries. The company also touted planned extensions into the smart energy and the healthcare sectors.

It includes technology from its QNX Software Systems arm, which powers “mission-critical embedded systems in cars, industrial applications and medical devices”, alongside BlackBerry’s global secure network and device management technologies.

Sandeep Chennakeshu, president of BlackBerry Technology Solutions, said at the event: “Every IoT platform I’ve seen looks identical. The devil is in the detail. When you look at these platforms, ours is a fairly proven platform, because of the scale that we have already handled.”

“There are three differentiators in my mind. One is our security, and that is proven end-to-end. The second area is that our system is completely scalable. So every node of the system is scalable, across the world. And the third is that our system is based on a very, very efficient messaging system,” he continued.

While much was made of the fact that BlackBerry is able to offer an end-to-end platform, the company is also open to working with partners. “There is an open invitation to others, as long as they don’t sabotage our security,” Chen said.

Chennakeshu continued this theme: “There will always be someone who, for example, is super-good at analytics, much better for a particular vertical industry than I am. And we have connectors to them.”

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Steve Costello

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