Soundbites Gone Wrong: MobileIron’s Bob Tinker

On Wednesday afternoon, MobileIron announced their Q3 2014 earnings and their CEO Bob Tinker added color to the results during a Q&A with investors. So today we need to set the record straight with a #BBFactCheck of a few careless comments by Tinker.

“As the requirements of customers expanded from MDM to mobile application management, mobile content management and data security in motion, the customer requirements expanded. At the same time, the competitive landscape has significantly narrowed.

If you’d asked me six months ago, I’d say the competitive landscape had really narrowed to four. At this point, it’s really narrowed down to two. We don’t see Good very often. We see Citrix fading. The only one we really see competitively is us and VMWare/AirWatch. And again, they tend to be more focused on the SMB side of the business.”

Tinker’s view is myopic. Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) is far from a two-player game. Experts at analyst firms count at least 15 vendors important enough to rank. We agree that the competitive view has changed in six months – back then “BlackBerry migration” was trendy; today it’s tired. It was much easier to go public. And BlackBerry was just beginning to show its full potential by making new investments, delivering on the product roadmap and demonstrating a fighting spirit.

While the EMM landscape continues to evolve, the biggest challenge for MobileIron will be to keep up. With yesterday’s reported cash burn rate and the limited amount of money the company has in the bank, one must call into question their ability to deliver new products and services to keep up with this rapidly changing and demanding market.

Meanwhile, BlackBerry has a comfortable cash position, and we have led and will continue to lead in what matters most for customers: security, multi-platform capabilities and value-added services. Our support footprint for our customers and our channel partners is global, not North American-centric. And, we are connected into over 675 carriers around the world, and in addition to our EMM solution, we operate a secure global network infrastructure that supports the global footprint that our customers require.

“Generally we are seeing less price aggressiveness from the one competitor we see the most, AirWatch. The exception is legacy players we see, like BlackBerry and Microsoft, who try to give their stuff away for free because they have no choice.”

BlackBerry’s EZ Pass migration program was implemented not because we had to, but to give our loyal customers an easy way to upgrade to BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 (BES10). And we do have a choice when it comes to this promotional effort – in fact, EZ Pass has been so successful that we are considering ending the program early.

Even if Tinker disagrees with our current migration program, he can’t deny its effectiveness. More than 3.4 million licenses have been traded in to-date, including 840,000 from competitors including MobileIron. Regardless, BlackBerry has an install base that is many times that of MobileIron.

“BlackBerry migration is alive and well.”

The truth is, some IT executives are experiencing “a nightmare” dealing with competitive platforms and their end users want BlackBerry back. The FUD that Tinker’s marketing team has been pushing is no longer relevant. And, you’ll notice Tinker doesn’t even mention security in his FUD because the industry still regards BlackBerry as the gold standard in that category. We have re-energized our base of customers and supporters and the market is ready for BlackBerry to lead the industry into a new era for enterprise mobility.

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