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BlackBerry's Unified Communications Push Features Familiar Names

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BlackBerry's Unified Communications Push Features Familiar Names

June 16, 2017
By Steve Anderson
Contributing Writer

Oh BlackBerry (News - Alert), you never say die, do you? Despite asset sales, a trouncing in the market, and more changes than a costume-heavy musical, you're still around and kicking. Now, there's word that BlackBerry is taking a closer focus on the unified communications (UC) market, and pursuing the enterprise user with some familiar names.

The biggest move here is BlackBerry's BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) Enterprise software development kit (SDK), which just recently broke out of beta and now has its sights set on both Android (News - Alert) and iOS. Developers will have access to the SDK, which can be used as part of a larger messaging infrastructure, making it easier to build further parts into apps and improve access to UC systems.

While this move may sound odd coming from a company that built its name around hardware, and promptly lost a lot of that ground not long after the iPhone (News - Alert) first emerged, it's actually in keeping with an ideological shift that turned the company more toward a focus on services and software products. The result is products like BBM, which are designed to give it an edge over potential competitors like Twilio (News - Alert).

With an array of features baked into it, from file sharing to message editing to even read receipts, it's easy to see why a system like BBM would be prized on its own, and therefore make an excellent addition to the UC market. Throw in the impressive BlackBerry security—encryption and cybersecurity are still hot-button topics and likely will be as long as there are data breaches—and its value only increases.

Since cloud systems are increasingly popular for the versatility and scalability these offer, among other points, it's easy to see why UC is part of the picture. UC works well as a means to provide communications within an organization, as well as to those parts of the organization outside of its physical property. A growing mobile workforce needs such means to keep in contact as part of everyday operations, so seeing BBM and the like take advantage of this new and growing market just sort of follows along like a hand in a glove. Offering up its valuable product line in a SDK form also helps here, allowing businesses access to a fairly easy way to add messaging—and good quality messaging too—to its current app suite.

BlackBerry won't want for competitors in this space, however, so it's clear that it will have to keep innovating to stay ahead. It's got a lot to trade on, though, and may well make a big splash in the UC scene, if only temporarily.

Edited by Alicia Young

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