The Suite Life: Good EMM Uptake Propels “Robust” Software Growth for Q1 2017


BlackBerry’s software efforts continued to bear fruit in the first fiscal quarter of 2017, as enterprises embraced our newly-launched suite of enterprise mobility management (EMM) software.

BlackBerry recorded software and services revenue of $166 million in Q1, the highest in company history, said BlackBerry Executive Chairman and CEO, John Chen, during an investor call this morning.

That was up 21% year-over-year – “very robust growth,” noted Chen – and driven in large part by the 526 enterprise customers that purchased one of the Good Secure EMM Suites in Q1.

That figure is also up from 90 customers won in the first 60 days after the January 26th release of Good Secure EMM Suites, which combined existing software such as BES12 with offerings from recent acquisition, Good Technology.

An update to BlackBerry’s enterprise portfolio earlier this month brought further improvements to the Good Secure EMM Suites, including the integration of software from WatchDox and AtHoc. BlackBerry was also named a “Leader” in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) suites and in the Forrester Wave for enterprise file sync and share solutions (WatchDox).

Customers in Every Industry

Besides EMM software, Chen cited strong performance in secure messaging (AtHoc) and our automotive software division, QNX. “I’m very pleased with our momentum,” he said.

All told, BlackBerry recorded orders from 3,300 enterprises and organizations in Q1, including many wins against competitors, said Chen. Recent orders included:

  • The Government of Canada, which purchased multiple enterprise software products including EMM, and secure communications offerings, BBM Enterprise (formerly known as BBM Protected) and Secusmart;
  • Buckeye Partners, one of the largest independent liquid petroleum operators in the U.S.;
  • Intercontinental Exchange, a leading network of regulated exchanges and clearing houses for financial and commodity markets;
  • Legal firms, including Reed Smith, Sullivan and Cromwell and Clifford Chance;

Multiple organizations across various industries bought our secure emergency communications solution, AtHoc. They included Macquarie University of Australia, transportation firms Great Western Railways and Salt Lake City Airport, and government agencies including the U.S. Senate, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, the California Department of Justice and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Leveraging Partners

The Q1 results continue BlackBerry’s enterprise momentum from the prior fiscal year. In FY16 ending February 29, 2016, BlackBerry won more than 10,000 enterprise customers and hit $527 million in software and sales revenue for the year, topping its publicly-announced target of $500 million (and up 113% from FY15). Chen expects software revenue to grow 30% in FY17 over the prior year.

To boost our reach, BlackBerry also re-launched its global enterprise partner program. During Q1, BlackBerry signed 107 new partners, an increase of 10% of its global partner count. This includes a major software distribution agreement with HCL in India.

BlackBerry also introduced the BlackBerry Radar end-to-end asset tracking system aimed at trucking companies and private fleet operators looking to use secure IoT technology to their advantage. Chen said there are two proof of concept trials going on with enterprises today.

About Eric Lai

I have written about technology and mobility for Computerworld, ZDNet, Forbes and others. I oversee the blogs and social content here at BlackBerry and continue to track and opine about the latest news and trends in enterprise mobility. Follow me on Twitter (ericylai)

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