BlackBerry opens its OS to mobile device management companies

BlackBerry is opening its operating system BlackBerry 10 to mobile device management (MDM) companies to get a stronger foothold in the Internet of Things (IoT) market.

New Delhi: Embattled smartphone maker BlackBerry is opening its operating system BlackBerry 10 to mobile device management (MDM) companies to get a stronger foothold in the Internet of Things (IoT) market.

IoT is an evolving space with billions of devices being connected on the go and consumers looking for information from connected devices, equipment and infrastructure.

The "strategic move" by the Canadian firm will enable MDM companies to directly manage devices with BB 10 operating system and is expected to help the company check losses and fund turnaround efforts.

MDM enables management control of mobile devices, like locking and wiping data from them. It is an important part of mobility management and aids firms to be able to effectively deploy and manage work apps.

"AirWatch, Citrix and IBM have expressed their intent to be the first companies to work with BlackBerry to enable a more open mobility ecosystem," it said in a statement.

In doing so, BlackBerry will provide organisations with more options to embrace multi-operating system mobile environments by enabling other MDM companies to manage BlackBerry 10 devices, BlackBerry added.

"BlackBerry is more than just an EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management) provider or a handset provider. We are uniquely positioned to be a major player in the multi-trillion dollar Internet of Things market," head of BlackBerry's global enterprise services business, John Sims said.

The new frontiers are applications, data and the Internet of Things (IoT) and BlackBerry looks to lead in these areas, Sims, who previously led software major SAP's Mobile Services business, added.

"With BES12 planned for late this calendar year, we will continue to support iOS, Android, Windows, BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry OS devices," he said.

In addition, in March 2015, BlackBerry will introduce its multi-tenant cloud version of BES12, which allows more opportunities to win customers and maintain its market leading position, Sims added.

According to research firm Gartner, MDM remains a top priority for IT buyers, and investment levels are growing steadily. Competition among players necessitates the need for quality and flexible management tools.

BlackBerry is working with the companies to offer customers the most flexible solution to support a broader enterprise mobility strategy.

"Offering the end-to-end secure solutions valued by our customers in government and other regulated industries remains central to our strategy," BlackBerry President, Devices and Emerging Solutions, Ron Louks said.

This is a natural next step in the firms' enterprise strategy as it seeks to provide customers with maximum choice in how they will meet the full array of employee mobility needs, he added.

BlackBerry had reported a net loss of USD 423 million in the fourth quarter against a net loss of a whopping USD 4.4 billion in the third quarter ended November 30.

Revenue fell 64 percent to USD 976 million in December-February from USD 2.7 billion in the same quarter a year ago. It fell 18 percent from USD 1.2 billion in the third quarter.