In a recent report based on customer surveys from CIOs, Morgan Stanley’s analysts foresee an unfavorable market position for BlackBerry. They indicated that:
“On mobility, MobileIron leads in purchase intentions while BlackBerry continues to see the most in unfavorable results and the fewest number of evaluation opportunities.”
In another report, this time based on their Value Added Reseller (VAR) surveys, Goldman Sachs’ analysts see BlackBerry Software only growing at a rate of 70% year over year instead of BlackBerry’s forecast of 100%.
Are those conclusions right? No. Here are the facts as we see them.
1. Market surveys don’t tell the whole story
As we all know the market is very dynamic, as highlighted in MobileIron’s financial release from last week, and so indicators from customer surveys change over time and don’t always provide a complete picture.
But BlackBerry’s last quarter earnings offered many reasons to be optimistic.
We announced 2,200 customer wins, including many competitive displacements. These include: Delta Air Lines, First Great Western trains, Tarpon Energy Services, the Government of Canada, the Social Service Administration of Colombia, the Australia Transportation Safety Bureau, the ESA Group (one of the largest conglomerates in India), Dignity Health, IMS Health, SAIC, Synova, Quest Labs, and Kyocera-Mita.
In the financial services segment, BlackBerry customers include Citizens Property Insurance, ERGO Insurance in Germany, Credit Cramilia South America, and HSBC, just to name a few.
And this week, we announced that Caprecom EPS chose BlackBerry’s BES12 for highly secured enterprise mobility management.
2. Turns out, security matters
Morgan Stanley surveyed CIOs and found that “security topped the CIO priority list for the third straight survey, expanding its priority lead over all other projects.”
That plays to one of BlackBerry’s core strengths. With a global, secure encrypted network, BlackBerry moves more secure mobile data than any other EMM vendor — 35 petabytes per month on average. And, we have more than 70 security certifications, more than any other vendor.
More importantly, BlackBerry is not resting on its laurels — we’re working hard to extend our leadership. While we have an unparalleled expertise in securing mobile data at rest and in motion, mobile platforms and applications, we have significantly expanded our expertise.
Second, at last week’s 2015 RSA Conference in San Francisco, BlackBerry made a series of security-related announcements, and in particular we have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire WatchDox, a leading data security company that provides the most secure content collaboration and enterprise file-sync-and-share (EFSS) solutions.
In addition, BlackBerry also introduced the BlackBerry Center for High Assurance Computing Excellence (CHACE). According to BlackBerry’s Chief Security Officer Dave Kleidermacher, the Center is “BlackBerry’s initiative to build systems that are clear of security flaws. CHACE will extend our state-of-the-art competencies in vulnerability prevention and enable the application of high assurance security research to real-world products and services.”
And, that wasn’t all. BlackBerry also announced that its subsidiary Certicom will offer a new managed public key infrastructure certificate service for connected devices. This service will help device manufacturers and service providers secure their IoT networks and ecosystems, ensuring that the devices they connect are known and trusted.
Media and analysts applauded the moves to extend BlackBerry’s leadership in security into new — and growing — areas.
3. At BlackBerry, software isn’t just MDM anymore
As clearly articulated by Strategy Analytics in their Top 10 Enterprise Mobility Predictions report for 2015 “MDM is, in essence, the foundation of a broadening functional EMM landscape. MDM solutions are mature and relatively standard, offering features such as remote wipe/locking of devices, basic provisioning and activation services, and diagnostics. Enterprise adoption of more advanced MAM and MCM capabilities significantly trails that of MDM though. Security is the essence of EMM and it is easy to understand why this is the case, and MDM functionality alone is insufficient.”
So – yes, BlackBerry’s software business does include our cross-platform EMM offering, BES12, which builds on BlackBerry’s heritage for security, enabling companies tap into the advantages of mobile productivity while keeping their data secure. But, that’s only part of the story.
BlackBerry has been listening closely to the emerging challenges its customers face and has been busy creating an expanding suite of value-added products and services to meet those challenges. Today, the suite includes: BBM Meetings and BBM Enterprise (formerly known as BBM Protected) to enable secure communications and collaboration; Enterprise Identity by BlackBerry to enable employees to easily and securely access an array of cloud services; VPN Authentication by BlackBerry, which eliminates the need for separate employee passwords or PINs and hardware tokens to access corporate networks; and BlackBerry Blend for Enterprise, which makes it easy for employees to access personal and work data from their BlackBerry smartphone on any device.
Add to that the latest Secusmart solutions and WatchDox’s acquisition and it’s clear: BlackBerry has a lot more to offer to enterprise customers than just mobile device management software.
4. Carrier and channel partners are showing enthusiasm
No matter how great a product is, customers still have to be able to buy it. So we are happy that BlackBerry has added 300 reseller partners since November of last year, such as Orange, Deutsche Telekom, Ingram Micro, Bright Star and Samsung who have committed to offer BlackBerry enterprise software to their customers. At the 2015 Mobile World Congress, we announced that Sprint will also resell our software, and we announced that Vodafone Germany is rolling out our Secusmart technology across platforms, iOS, Windows, as well as Android.
And we are excited to have a total of 10 carriers that have announced they will resell our software using the Enhanced SIM-Based Licensing (ESBL) from BlackBerry, including Vodafone Germany, Hong Kong Telecom, ChungHwa Telecom in Taiwan, China Mobile and Hutchinson in Hong Kong. This provides the opportunity for those carriers to bundle BlackBerry software products within their telecom services for their enterprise customers.
Taken together, it means that it’s getting easier for customers to buy BlackBerry’s growing enterprise portfolio.
Solid Strategy + Hard Work = Confidence
When John Chen said BlackBerry would be cash flow neutral by the end of fiscal year 2015 it seemed like an incredibly ambitious goal. But he achieved that despite previous negative forecasts, and we have many reasons to believe that our 2016 fiscal year goals are similarly realistic.
While surveys are a valuable insight into the past of a company, they are not a good prediction to the future of a company. BlackBerry has a solid strategy, a new product portfolio, a growing customer base, new carrier and channel partners and, last but not least, a passionate employee base. Therefore there is every reason to believe we can — and will — reach our most ambitious goals.