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BlackBerry's Makeover Going the Mobile Device Management Route


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January 03, 2014

BlackBerry's Makeover Going the Mobile Device Management Route

By Michelle Amodio, TMCnet Contributor

BlackBerry (News - Alert) has a new boss and he’s convincing the market that the smartphone is about to turnaround from its long-standing slump.

“It’s been easy for competitors to promote negative stories about BlackBerry, focusing on the business of the past,” Chen wrote in a letter published on and the The Globe and Mail website. “But I’m not focused on who BlackBerry used to be – I’m focused on what BlackBerry will be today and in the future.”

Part of the plan is to win back customers in corporations and governments - its prized enterprise customers – and included in its makeover looks to be a mobile device management (MDM) business.

“When it comes to enterprise, we’re still the leader,” Chen wrote. “Don’t be fooled by the competition’s rhetoric claiming to be more secure or having more experience than BlackBerry.”

Chen delivered some tall words to the masses, saying that it has a hold on the industry, bigger than key MDM players, and that its customer base can support this new endeavor.

Mobile device management encompasses several areas, all of which serve the same general goal – making sure gadgets changing the way employees work are a help rather than a liability. MDM seeks to meet the needs of both corporate and employee-owned devices as well as the end-users attached to them instead of just the device itself, offering broad spectrum coverage in an era where security is priority.

Given BlackBerry’s hardships as of late, it’s not news that the company is in need of rising from the ashes. With Apple and Samsung (News - Alert) constantly stealing the top spot in the overall smartphone industry and BlackBerry being pushed further down the list, how the company  chooses to “reawaken” will determine how far it climbs back up the ladder.

Since the consumer market is already flooded with devices that act more like personal computers than productivity devices, it makes sense for BlackBerry to reclaim its former status: a smartphone for the business professional ­– except now it will stand for the companies and organizations that drive those professionals.

The MDM space is estimated to be a $784-million market with about 128 or more firms vying for customers, according to Gartner (News - Alert). Even when backed by a name like BlackBerry, the jump is risky at best, but, given its sullied past, a necessary one for the company to make.

Edited by Blaise McNamee

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