BlackBerry bolsters IoT security consultancy focus, says it’s still committed to hardware

Patrick O'Rourke

February 25, 2016 9:58am

BlackBerry seems to be finally conceding to the fact that it’s no longer the smartphone powerhouse it once was, as it continues to try to solidify its position as a company focused on enterprise security services.

The company announced plans this week to launch new cybersecurity services, further expanding its already established security portfolio by offering enterprise consulting.

Despite the obvious but gradual move at the Kitchener-Waterloo-based company toward software and security focused services, at a recent roundtable interview at Mobile World Congress 2016, Marty Beard, BlackBerry’s COO, David Kleidermacher, the company’s chief security officer, as well as several other executives, emphasized that BlackBerry still has significant interest in hardware. 

When asked about the possibility of BlackBerry further shifting its focus away from hardware should the company’s new security consulting services prove successful, Beard steadfast denied the prospect.

“No, I think if you look at it, we have hardware solutions, we have software solutions and we have services. We’re bringing all that together based on what we talked about during this meeting…” said Beard. “It’s not a preference so much, it’s a demand from our customer base and an opportunity to grow revenue.”

As BlackBerry continues to struggle to sell hardware, the company believes the growing Internet of Things (IoT) industry, which increasingly includes cars, as well as connected home products, is a potential area of growth.

In order to bolster its already established cybersecurity practises, BlackBerry announced the acquisition of U.K.-based company Encryption Unlimited, which the company says brings needed cybersecurity consulting experience to the organization. Terms of the deal, which reportedly closed on February 19th, were not revealed.

“We’re increasingly an enterprise and software company… our goal is to provide a cross-platform security solution for all devices: Android, iOS and BB10,” said Beard during the presentation.

During the close-door roundtable discussion, Kleidermacher emphasized that BlackBerry still holds approximately 70 government certifications and approvals, a number that is the highest among any mobile phone manufacturer.

While BlackBerry is losing ground in the enterprise market thanks to Samsung’s Knox Android security software, as well as Apple increasingly competitive iOS security offerings, the company continues to maintain a significant hold on governments and organizations that require stringent regulatory compliance.

Hitting home this point, Kleidermacher emphasized that 10 out of 10 of the largest global banks and law firms, the top five largest healthcare organizations, investment services, oil and gas companies, and even 16 of the G20 governments, continue to utilize BlackBerry’s security platform offerings.

The company’s regulatory ties are still linked to its own smartphones, but given BlackBerry’s recent efforts to bring BES12 to Android with the Priv, and with future plans to expand its security offerings to Apple’s iOS platform, the company says it wants to be able to work with companies and governments regardless of which handset they utilize.

According to BlackBerry, estimates indicate that the global security business will grow from $16.5 billion USD annually in 2016 to a forecasted growth of $23 billion USD annually by 2019. To date, BlackBerry has made 29 acquisitions, with five over the last 15 months being security firms, including Good Technology for $425 million USD, as well as Watchdox in 2015, at a price of approximately $150 million USD.

BlackBerry did not discuss devices during the event as the company says it’s in its “quiet period” following CES and the release of upcoming financial reports.

 Related readingBlackBerry Priv review

  • Techguru86

    Android is the better direction hardware wise, but they need to bring an affordable device to market as high end phones aren’t selling well. And software there’s far more money to be made so if they can take what they do best and make money, all to them

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      10-4

    • Heatfan316

      “10-4” What a fuckass dork????????????????

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      Says the loser who wakes up with “the smell of p••p on my d•ck..”

      You’re the one to boast.

  • Andrew English

    Hardware still makes BBRY money, I agree with them dropping BB10 because they have spent too much money in R&D of BB10 that it’s not progressed to the point its a serious contender as it doesn’t resemble anything. Like Apple, Android, and Windows OS phones do.

    • Rumble and Sway

      It doesn’t make them money as far as profits go. It’s just additional revenue but at some point they need to wean themselves off it because it’ll never be a profitable enterprise. The handset wars are over and have been for some time.

    • Jonah Emery

      Doubtful. As of last quarter Blackberry earned $154 million from their services, $214 million from hardware. Your asking for Blackberry to shave off 58% of their revenue just because its unprofitable right now. That’s a big ask for a public corporation.

    • Rumble and Sway

      Then shareholders will continue to suffer because they aren’t going to be rewarded sticking with tactile keys and slider phones.

  • Rumble and Sway

    They’re in the “quiet period”? LMAO. They’ve been in that phase for a long time now.
    The problem with this company is that it doesn’t get it that their hardware fantasies are precisely that. Maybe if Chen came out and categorically stated they are winding down hardware in favour of software and security solutions they’d be given more credit and possibly even a higher share price. As it stands these guys want to have their cake and eat it too and they just aren’t very good stretching resources in this fashion.

    • Nate650

      I don’t think they are fantasies. The Priv is a remarkable first effort at an Android phone. What bugs me is their lack of transparency regarding sales figures. I personally have not seen one in the wild yet which is disappointing.

    • Rumble and Sway

      There is nothing remarkable about tactile keys and slider designs. They tried that shît 6 years ago and it bombed for good reasons. There is nothing original about BB phones anymore that is except to the diehard loyalist.
      That said I’ve seen 2 of the Privs out there but since November that ain’t impressive. The device has all the makings of another flop just like every other phone they’ve released the past few years v

    • Nate650

      Including a physical keyboard into such a compact form factor is pretty remarkable. Not to mention said keyboard is touch-enabled (it acts like a trackpad). Also, don’t overlook these:

      1. BlackBerry Hub, Calendar, Contacts.
      2. BB10 virtual keyboard.
      3. DTEK.
      4. Popup widgets.

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      5. Stickers

    • Nate650

      As in BBM Stickers? I don’t think that’s worthy of the list (partly because it’s not specific to the Priv), though I admit I’ve purchased a few myself. 🙂

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      They’re a game changer

    • Nate650

      Sarcasm of course, right?

    • xBURK

      I’m not sure Rumble? Every time I cruise through a carrier store, it’s actually the BlackBerry Priv that offers something different than the hundreds of identical slabs being displayed. I can’t think of a better way to launch BlackBerry’s first Android device?

    • Techguru86

      Plus it gives people the option of using both physical and full touch abilities plus the best of bb10 communication abilities and the extra security Android has lacked in the business world and all together

    • Guevara Dennis

      There are goverments and other industries clients who relies in BlackBerry Services and hardware so they cant wind down the hardware división. They are doing adquiscions targeting software Services and solution but it will be imposible to wind down hardware

    • Whaaa Whaaaa Flagging Cowards

      Awwww… this tool is back bashing BBRY.

    • Shilly

      What’s a Blackberri?

    • Whaaa Whaaaa Flagging Cowards

      Cuddlydoooshbag, is that you?

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      P
      O
      S

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      0.5% says it all

      JokeBerrys, built off 2008 technology, yet obsolete in 2010

    • Effilya De

      >> built off 2008 technology, yet obsolete in 2010

      sounds a lot more like iOS to me…except it was obsolete in 2009,,,you missed that by a year

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      Yup and 300 zillion sales later… Who is the clear leader?

    • Effilya De

      Ah….i believe that would be Android/Google

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      You’re damn right it is..

    • dc2000

      You dedicate not only an image but a username to BlackBerry, lmao. Oh man, you either have no life or you’re an ex-BB employee who got fired/laid off. Awesome. lolol.

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      Naw.. But keep trying bro

    • dc2000

      Then big homie you got way to much hate for something that’s probably so irrelevant from your life. For real guy, concentrate some of that hate to something positive in your life. I rock a Berry or two, and let me tell you.. I know a lot of people that are going back to ‘Berry. Priv is gaining the attention of a lot of people, the only thing that is unfortunate is the $399/$899 (or $799 @ Rogers) price. $399 on term is ridiculous, and if it was $49.99 or even $0, a lot of people would cop the Priv in a heartbeat. Unfortunately BlackBerry will never learn. $699 outright is what the price should be, unlocked(Like a Nexus).

      Shm… but back to your ish, do you boo boo.

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      I want one now..

    • dc2000

      Guy you deserve a whoopin… Get back in your lane to hating ‘Berry’s.

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      You upset DC?

    • Heatfan316

      ….#aDickInYourMouth?

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      You mad all new ChokeBerrys will be Google?

    • Heatfan316

      Your brain keeps trying…..Stupid FUQ!

    • Heatfan316

      Your mom…..????

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      So original

    • Heatfan316

      Yup! 0.5% of men who haven’t lost their virginity by the age 40 stay that way for the rest of their life, you’re living proof of that….Congrats????????????????

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      Nice try little man

  • fruvous

    Is this hardware commitment anything like their commitment to BB10? or commitment to get BB10 on the Playbook?

    • Nate650

      Ouch.

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      Don’t worry, the world hates that puke.

    • Whaaa Whaaaa Flagging Cowards

      My Q10 works just fine and is getting OS10.3.3 and 10.3.4 this year… and BB10 wouldn’t work well on the PB… it was 5 years ago, time to move on.. you sound like an Apple user crying that his original iPad won’t run iOS9.

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      Yeah can’t wait to see BB0 on that FailBook.

  • Jonah Emery

    Blackberry will stay with Android phones until their software and services revenue grows to a point where it generates most of the revenue for the company. As of last quarter Blackberry earned $154 million from their services, $214 million from hardware. Your asking for Blackberry to shave off 58% of their revenue. That’s a big ask for a public corporation.

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      Don’t tell that to WAHH WAHH WAHH, he says BB0 is the future.

  • xBURK

    Thank God!!!!!

  • Whaaa Whaaaa Flagging Cowards

    My Passport SE should be delivered tomorrow.. can’t wait.

    • Shilly

      The only thing getting delivered is Chin’s unit, to your mouth!

    • Trac Mila

      What’s a Chin Unit?

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      Ha ha, true story.

    • Trac Mila

      Congratulations, good choice. Best fone ever. Enjoy!

    • Whaaa Whaaaa Flagging Cowards

      Keyboard layout is different than Q10 and i’m still trying to get used to it…but it has been great so far.

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      JokePort SE can make you even a more efficient troll czar.. Your parents must be so proud

    • Whaaa Whaaaa Flagging Cowards

      Pffffft…..mirror biiiiitch…..MIRROR!!

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      Pressed AstroTurfer

    • Whaaa Whaaaa Flagging Cowards

      Pathetic dumb fuq

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      You’re one to talk.

    • Whaaa Whaaaa Flagging Cowards

      Awwww…you’re crying

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      Someone is upset.

    • Whaaa Whaaaa Flagging Cowards

      You???

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      That’s you trash man

    • Whaaa Whaaaa Flagging Cowards

      Your mom?

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      Anyone care?

    • Whaaa Whaaaa Flagging Cowards

      Awwwww you jealous fuqstain?

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      Yes, can I have the Q10?

    • Whaaa Whaaaa Flagging Cowards

      Naaaw…. too advanced for you..plus, you’d be lost without the home button.

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      I’m sure someday I’ll be work some serious cash.. Seeing how TrashBerry will be 100% Google soon enough.

    • Whaaa Whaaaa Flagging Cowards

      Awwww…. someone is mad

  • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

    ShitBerrys, built off 2008 technology, yet obsolete in 2010

    • dc2000

      You’ve said this how many times? lol. I use a Berry, actually have three… lol.

    • Rumble and Sway

      Yeah. Three devices and that says a lot about you. None of it flattering I can assure you.

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      Wish I had three GarbageBerrys.

    • Whaaa Whaaaa Flagging Cowards

      You also wish you had a life doooooshbag

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      Boy you pressed

    • Whaaa Whaaaa Flagging Cowards

      Boy you pathetic

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      AstroTurfer

    • Whaaa Whaaaa Flagging Cowards

      Pathetic iT@rd

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      Awwwww, you mad?

    • Whaaa Whaaaa Flagging Cowards

      You…aren’t ya doooosh?

    • Mike

      Are you just naturally butthurt or did you wipe your cornhole with sandpaper this morning?

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      That’s amazing.. Cool story bro

    • Canuck Sixtyseven

      You seem to be a broken record. Much like BGR. The click bait site. Maybe you are just sexually frustrated being in you parents basement for your entire life. But each to their own. Remember that the phone is a tool, not a friend it is nothing other than an inanimate object incapable of returning your love. So why don’t you get up, climb the stairs, go outside and get some sun. Then get a job, move out of your parents basement. Perhaps then you won’t have so much free time to think about how you have wasted your life thus far worshiping a phone. Good luck to you.

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      Cool story bro

  • dc2000

    “Mobile World Congress 20126” Man, that’s way out there in the future. I won’t be alive to be around then, which is rather unfortunate.