BlackBerry’s Survival Strategy—Enterprise Mobility




At long last, there seems to be some clarity and plausible strategy at the protractedly plagued BlackBerry. The company’s new chairman and interim chief executive officer (CEO) John Chen, the erstwhile CEO of mobility stalwart Sybase (now owned by SAP), recently published an open letter stating that the company is going back to its heritage and roots—“delivering enterprise-grade, end-to-end mobile solutions.” The letter came shortly after he carried out a major executive shakeup.
 
While pundits have been widely expected Chen to focus his BlackBerry turnaround efforts on strengthening the company's enterprise stronghold, the letter formally confirms this strategy. Chen also stated that BlackBerry's "'for sale' sign has been taken down" and he also promised concerned business clients that their existing investments in "BlackBerry infrastructure and solutions" were safe. He reiterated the company's commitment to offering multi-platform mobile device management (MDM) solutions, such as BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 (BES10) and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).
 
While BlackBerry faces competition in this space from major enterprise software vendors, such as IBM (after recently acquiring Fiberlink Communications), SAP, Oracle (with its recent related acquisition), Citrix, as well as private upstarts such as AirWatch, Verivo Software, and Good Technology, it stands a better chance here than in the consumer space, where Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft have eaten its lunch.
 
BlackBerry has a set of loyal corporate customers for whom the cost of switching is not low and there is no real compelling alternative. Some pundits think that the company should get out of the hardware/handset business and focus solely on software. Even with this plausible strategy, I don't see any real growth prospects, but the company could at least have a nice business with solid cash flow.

 
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