Company also makes mobile security solutions available on AWS, Azure
BlackBerry, the erstwhile mobile device leader that has since turned its focus to security software and services aimed at the Internet of Things (IoT), is expanding its channel program to enable partners to take better advantage of the cloud.
The Lowdown: At the same time, the company also announced this week that some of its security solutions are now available from the world’s two largest public cloud providers, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.
The Details: BlackBerry, whose position among the world’s leading mobile phone makers began to deteriorate when Apple launched its iPhone in 2007, is now focusing on creating solutions to secure mobile communications and offering embedded software.
The company is revamping its BlackBerry Enterprise Partner Program (BEPP) with a new Silver tier that’s aimed at enabling partners to expand their cloud offerings for customers. BlackBerry expects much of the IoT security opportunities to come from cloud-based deployments and is expanding the channel program after updating its Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) Cloud solution. Silver tier partners will get the skills and support needed to offer the UEM platform to customers.
BlackBerry already offers Authorized, Gold, and Platinum tiers. Silver Tier partners will get virtual training, the chance to test products before they’re released, proposal-based marketing funds to drive demand generation, sales support, case studies, and trial UEM Cloud deployments within a virtual sandbox environment.
In keeping with its focus on the cloud, BlackBerry is making its offerings available on the public cloud. Its UEM Platform – which includes CylanceProtect, an artificial intelligence (AI)-based endpoint protection solution – is now in the AWS Marketplace. In addition, solutions like UEM, BlackBerry Workspaces, BlackBerry AtHoc, and BlackBerry Spark Communications Services are now available via the Azure Marketplace.
Background: BlackBerry began its transformation in 2013 when Barry Chen, the one-time CEO of database company Sybase, took over as CEO and determined its future was in security software and the cloud rather than in mobile devices. According to CNBC, the company is now cash-flow-positive, but the numbers are significantly different than in BlackBerry’s mobile device heyday, when annual sales came in at almost $20 billion and the stock hit $146. Now the hope is to exceed $1 billion in revenue this fiscal year, and the stock is at about $7 a share. BlackBerry made a significant step into IoT and AI-based security with the acquisition of Cylance earlier this year.
The Buzz: “With the addition of the Silver tier, we’re able to support partners as they respond to the increasing demand for cloud services from customers,” said Richard McLeod, global vice president of enterprise software channels at BlackBerry. “This, along with the other new enhancements to the program, came as a direct result from the channel’s feedback, and we’re confident that now having listened and taken action, partners will be able to gain increased value from our partnership.”
“This offering gives customers a solution for simplifying the way they manage their growing and evolving environments,” said Eric Gales, director of AWS Canada. “Customers are looking for secure applications and ease of use, and this new Blackberry solution, now on the AWS Marketplace, hits the mark.”
“For our customers, nothing is more important than securing and managing their most critical data. However, with the size of IT infrastructures growing rapidly, this is becoming an increasingly difficult task for many organizations,” said Joel Lipkin, COO of Four Points Technology. “BlackBerry’s focus on security and management, paired with the depth and breadth of AWS services, is a very attractive offering for our customers looking to easily view and intelligently adapt policy controls across their entire endpoint infrastructure.”
“As Unified Endpoint Management continues to be a critical pillar of an organization’s overall cybersecurity strategy, our customers require solutions that support existing architectures and effectively manage all devices and endpoints,” said Mike Gersten, global director of channels and alliances at SoftwareONE. “BlackBerry’s expertise, along with AWS reliability and services reputation, empowers our global customers with the confidence that their assets will be well managed, secure, and properly regulated.”
“Through Microsoft Azure Marketplace, customers around the world can easily find, buy, and deploy partner solutions they can trust, all certified and optimized to run on Azure,” said Sajan Parihar, senior director of Microsoft Azure Platform. “We’re happy to welcome Blackberry’s cybersecurity solutions to the growing Azure Marketplace ecosystem.”