BlackBerry Ltd. has shifted its focus from hardware to software in recent years, wanting to be known for its security and “enterprise of things” technology instead of its flagship mobile phones and keyboards.
The company has placed a new emphasis on making sure these services create opportunities for its partners and vendors in the channel, according to Richard McLeod, vice president of global channel at BlackBerry, during his workshop at CDN’s own Top 100 Solution Provider awards ceremony on Apr. 25.
“The market is changing so drastically – we’ve gone from a network of computers to networks of people, devices, processes, and systems, “ McLeod tells the crowd. “We’ve seen a significant decline in desktop computers with everything moving to mobile and an explosion of wireless connected devices. It’s an interesting dynamic and smart businesses will be looking at how to take advantage of these technologies.”
But with these increased connections and mobile-first mentalities comes the need for more fluid security. McLeod says that cyber attacks cost companies around the world approximately $400 billion annually, and 50 per cent of CEOs don’t feel prepared to deal with one.
“The definition of security has changed dramatically as well,” he explains. “Enterprises now require security for their networks, operating systems, communication systems – both traditional emails and instant messaging – as well desktop and mobile apps. And what about security for voice-activated services or instant imaging like Snapchat? A firewall simply doesn’t do it anymore.”
BlackBerry has always been strong in the security sphere, McLeod adds, pointing to its legions of dedicated users within governments, and plans to continue leading.
“BlackBerry’s mission is to secure, connect and mobilize the enterprise. We offer security solutions that are on-premise based, software as a service (SaaS), or a hybrid of the two, as well as on any device. We’re platform-agnostic, so both Apple and Android users are supported.”
The company has expanded its software business 30 per cent year-over-year, and seen its number of partners go up 65 per cent in the last 12 months. As the channel comes to know BlackBerry as a software company, McLeod says it will continue to leverage its security mantra and expand its reach into broader verticals and industries.
“BlackBerry is iconic for its keyboard and secure phone, and we want people to understand that the secret sauce that made our products so great lives on in BlackBerry’s cloud and security offerings,” McLeod concludes.