Enterprise customers should stick with BlackBerry and not be tempted away by third-party device management services, the company’s new CEO, John Chen, has said in an open letter. Despite recent business woes, Chen is keen to reiterate the claim that BlackBerry moves more secure mobile data than any other company and is well-placed to manage smartphones of any stripe in the workplace.
Chen’s letter acknowledges that other companies are trying to woo BlackBerry Enterprise Services (BES) customers away with promises of secure, managed email across smartphone platforms, but he says BlackBerry still has a strong future. “We are very much alive, thank you”, is Chen’s key message to existing customers worried by talks of BlackBerry’s decline and possible buyout.
On the contrary, says Chen, BlackBerry is going back to its roots in enterprise-grade, end-to-end secure messaging. Far from just being about BlackBerry handsets, says Chen, the company is well-placed to manage any smartphone or tablet. “BYOD users may be able to bring any device to work, but it’s our job to ensure the risk doesn’t follow them in,” says Chen.
Having lost market share to Apple and Android devices as workers ignored company directives and brought their own handsets to work, BlackBerry is now hoping to convince business owners that it’s the best choice of platform for securely managing handsets that are used to access the corporate network. “We’re serious about multi-platform MDM (mobile device management)”, says Chen’s letter before going on to state that 2012’s switch to BES10 was part of a strategic move to improve BlackBerry’s ability to manage handsets running any mobile operating system.
To help convince business customers to use its MDM services BlackBerry offers a 60-day trial of BES10 that can securely manage the email and network access of up to 100 users in an enterprise. After the trial BES10 costs £13 per device per year to use.