BlackBerry Exec Sets the Record Straight

By Lori Castle, Editor in Chief — June 11, 2014

John Sims, now President of Enterprise Services at BlackBerry, has a long history in mobile, so he is very familiar with Gartner’s Magic Quadrants (MQ). These reports are not just a refresher in geometry, but defined by Gartner as: “a culmination of research in a specific market, giving you a wide-angle view of the relative positions of the market's competitors. By applying a graphical treatment and a uniform set of evaluation criteria, a Gartner Magic Quadrant quickly helps you digest how well technology providers are executing against their stated vision.”
 
Sims, however, on the Inside BlackBerry Blog, defined the recently released Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Suites MQ as “a disconnect between the market perception about BlackBerry and the reality of our capabilities today and in the near future.”
 
What is EMM
Among the plethora of acronyms out there, each seemingly having an objective meaning, Gartner says that EMM Suites must provide the following core functions:

  • Hardware inventory
  • Application inventory
  • OS configuration management
  • Mobile app deployment, updating and removal
  • Mobile app configuration and policy management
  • Remote view and control for troubleshooting
  • Execute remote actions, such as remote wipe
  • Mobile content management
 

To that end, BlackBerry was placed as the leader in the “niche” quadrant. That is, BlackBerry is great at managing BlackBerries. The company is given credit for having “potential for a differentiated EMM offering leveraging assets such as QNX, and identity and access management (IAM) to control access to Web applications,”  but caution is advised in  that BlackBerry lacks support and mobile content management for multi-platform environments.  
 
Ergo, the disconnect. Sims said, “The misperception here is that BlackBerry has a small user base that only caters to a narrow segment of the market with minimal productivity capabilities.”
 
He believes that in the recent months since John Chen took the helm as CEO, “decisive and swift changes” in redefining  BlackBerry’s enterprise strategy will undoubtedly turn the company around. The gap, he said, lies in Gartner’s MQ process, which has been unable to keep up with this speed of change and innovation at BlackBerry.
 
Setting the Record Straight
In the meantime, Sims wants to clear up a few BlackBerry myths, or as he put it: “a sea of outdated assumptions and misperceptions.” He lists out common perceptions and the contrary reality, including BlackBerry’s position as a “market leader.”
 
He also emphasized the fact that BlackBerry can manage other devices and that the BES10 solution is being widely adopted, especially compared to the competition. “BlackBerry is seeing significant penetration of its BES10 multi-platform solution with nearly 33,000 commercial and test servers installed to date. With the new BlackBerry EZ Pass migration program, we have also issued more than 800,000 new BES10 licenses since launching the program in March. Migrations to BES10 include customers trading in licenses from other MDM vendors such as AirWatch, MobileIron and Good Technology,” he stated.
 
He went on to further debunk the sagas of Good Technology and MobileIron, commenting on each company’s financial situation, and their lack of vision for “extending our proven mobility leadership into the hyper-connected world being created by the Internet of Things.”
 
Say It’s So
Sims also believes that BlackBerry deserves a vote of confidence because its customers say so. That goes for new leadership, the new approach and the legacy of security and productivity “above all else.”
 
He concluded, “We may have navigated through some treacherous patches, but the bold changes we have made in the past six months have given BlackBerry a solid path to continue our success.”
 
As for Gartner’s conclusion: “The lack of mature alternatives that offer similar security capabilities has given the company [BlackBerry] a little bit of extra breathing room.”

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