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Interview with John Sims: Why We Decided to Open Our BlackBerry 10 Operating System

BlackBerry announced today that we will enable mobile device management (MDM) companies to directly manage the BlackBerry 10 operating system devices. AirWatch, Citrix and IBM will be the first companies to work with BlackBerry to manage our BlackBerry 10 devices.

Biz Blog: Why is BlackBerry making this move?
John Sims, BlackBerry, BES 10, BlackBerry Enterprise

John Sims: We’re making this strategic move to continue providing the most open and flexible mobile environments for our customers. We’ve expanded our BES10 and BBM messaging platform to include iOS and Android, and later this year we will add Windows Phone. And, with the help of our partners we hope to continue to provide customers increased flexibility and choice in their mobile device environments.

MDM has become table stakes; it is no longer a meaningful point of differentiation. The differentiation for BlackBerry in the future will be our ability to enable secure, productive mobile communications, collaboration and other applications. Additionally, we remain the only company who can provide customers the flexibility to choose between any of the popular policy models such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and Corporate Owned Personally Enabled (COPE).

Biz Blog: Which MDM providers are we working with and why?

John Sims: AirWatch, Citrix and IBM will be the first companies to work with BlackBerry to enable a more open mobility ecosystem. We’re doing this to provide our customers with choices in how they will meet the full array of employee mobility needs as the demand to manage multiple operating systems rises within IT organizations. Like BlackBerry, these MDM providers understand that customers come first, and that providing the market with a range of options of both devices and MDM platforms is beneficial for everyone.

Biz Blog: How does this fit into the longer term BlackBerry strategy?

John Sims: BlackBerry is more than just an EMM provider or a handset provider. We are uniquely positioned to be a major player in the multi-trillion dollar Internet of Things market. To do so, we will not only create and support open and flexible environments, but will also help our customers meet challenges brought on by platform driven mobility infrastructures (e.g. BYOD, COPE, etc.), data proliferation and more. The new frontiers are applications, data and the Internet of Things – we look to lead in these areas.

Biz Blog: Is this move going to entice companies to move away from BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 (BES10)?

John Sims: It’s important to clarify that our goal is to remain number one in EMM. And BlackBerry continues to be the leading multi-platform provider with more customers than the top three competitors combined. With BES12 planned for late this calendar year, we will continue to support iOS, Android, Windows, BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry OS devices. This means BlackBerry is the only company that can support the full range of an organization’s mobility management requirements.

In addition, in March 2015, we will introduce our multi-tenant cloud version of BES12, which allow us even more opportunities to win customers and continue our market leading position.

However, while we are supplying the market with increased choice, some enterprises will always have more stringent security requirements than others. Enterprises, such as those in the regulated industries, will choose to remain end-to-end BlackBerry for the unparalleled security and management capabilities we offer. BlackBerry simply provides a level of security that is incomparable with any other enterprise mobility provider.

Biz Blog: Should customers be concerned about the security of their BlackBerry 10 device?

John Sims: Nothing is more secure than a BlackBerry device managed by a BlackBerry server, because we secure end-to-end from the device, server and network level. However, customer can rest assured that the security of BlackBerry 10 is built into the architecture of the device platform itself.

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