BlackBerry continued its transformation into an enterprise solutions provider, as software sales – powered by increased customer wins – grew year-over-year for a second straight quarter.
BlackBerry won 2,600 enterprise customers in the quarter, including many wins versus rival mobile management providers. The 2,600 customers is up significantly from the 2,200 wins three months earlier, which CEO John Chen called “rather solid” growth during the Q1 FY16 earnings call on Tuesday. And it contributed strongly to our total Q1 revenue from software and technology licensing sales of $137 million, a year-over-year growth of 150%. BlackBerry’s cash reserve now totals $3.32 billion, up 22% from $2.7 billion a year ago.
Customers in regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services abounded. In healthcare, they included Grand River Hospital, CarePartners, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, Extendicare, Trillium Health Partners, and others.
In financial services, customer wins included ATB Financial, Blackstone, Broadridge, Waha Capital, Mcube Financial, Farmers and Merchants Bank, Financial Technologies Group (India), Dragon Capital (Vietnam) and the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Royal Bank of Scotland is replacing rival software from Mobile Iron and making our BES enterprise mobility management (EMM) software its corporate-wide, cross-platform standard, including for all its BYOD phones running iOS, Android and BlackBerry, said Chen.
Indeed, 45% of new enterprise customers are using our software for cross-platform purposes. Coming cross-platform offerings include the BES12 Android for Work edition, which separates work and business data on Android devices, as well as an upgrade to BBM Enterprise (formerly known as BBM Protected) that brings even stronger, easier-to-use secure communications.
Other enterprise wins in the quarter included NCR (technology), Clifford Chance (UK-based multinational law firm), Magna (leading auto parts supplier), and Japanese telecom conglomerate NTT Docomo, courtesy of recent acquisition, document security provider, WatchDox.
About 60% of the enterprise customer wins came from our EZ-Pass marketing program, said Chen.
Debut of Technology Licensing
Technology licensing is a new and growing aspect of BlackBerry’s business. BlackBerry announced a long-term patent cross-licensing deal with Cisco Systems. The deal, one of the outgrowths of BlackBerry’s vaunted patent portfolio, will result in a license fee paid by Cisco to BlackBerry.
CEO John Chen also noted a second licensing deal during the quarter with a “major technology provider” that for contract reasons he was unable to name.
Meanwhile, Intel is licensing our QNX platform for its next-generation connected car efforts. QNX is the most popular connected car platform today, with 60 million cars on the road today relying on QNX, said Chen.
Besides the Cisco and Intel deals, other wins from BlackBerry’s BTS Division (BlackBerry Technology Solutions) include the licensing of our Certicom encrypted certificates to manage 104 million smart power meters in the UK, and the licensing of Paratek antenna technology to ON Semiconductor.
BlackBerry is also winning friends and partners. 120 partners around the globe are now reselling BlackBerry’s software and services. New enterprise resellers include Rogers, Bell, Orange, Celcom and Maxis (both in Malaysia), and PT XL in Indonesia.
And 5 universities are working with BlackBerry on its Center for High Assurance Computing Excellence (CHACE), including the University of California San Francisco and Santa Barbara campuses, University of Oxford, University of Waterloo, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.