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Looking Beyond Gartner’s EMM Magic Quadrant

06.09.15 / Marty Beard

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant report for Enterprise Mobility Management came out yesterday. Here at the new BlackBerry, we were a little disappointed by the limitations of the influential annual vendor survey. As BlackBerry races to serve quickly-evolving customer needs, the MQ feels slightly stuck in the past.

Technology decision makers, especially time-pressed CIOs that share our interest in where the mobile management market is heading, should be aware of these issues.

(Editor’s note: for another view on this topic, read analyst Rob Enderle’s article in TG Daily.)

For one, the EMM MQ was literally outdated before it was published, based on information gathered by Gartner in early 2015. This methodological shortcoming may be a moot point for slower-moving EMM vendors, but it fails to keep pace with fast movers such as BlackBerry that are rapidly releasing new products and services.

For instance, the just-published EMM MQ ignores two important moves by BlackBerry in the last three months: our release of the powerful, cost-effective and easy-to-manage BES12 Cloud, and BlackBerry’s highly-praised acquisition of mobile content management provider, WatchDox. WatchDox, I should note, is ranked a ‘Visionary’ in Gartner’s most-recent MQ for Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS). Those two elements alone account for a significant percentage of the EMM MQ’s scoring criteria.

Gartner’s EMM MQ also did not take into account BES12’s enhanced Android support with Samsung KNOX and Android for Work capabilities, both also announced in the last 3 months. BlackBerry is now able to provide true end-to-end security for Android devices.

The EMM MQ criteria is also no longer able to keep up with the enhancements that vendors like BlackBerry are making. Instead, it’s weighted towards MDM features that have long been commoditized, and fails to consider cutting-edge services that address EMM needs now and in the future.

These needs include secure voice, secure mobile messaging, mobile collaboration and split billing – all of which BlackBerry has addressed in the past year by releasing or acquiring compelling services – think Secusmart, BBM Enterprise (formerly known as BBM Protected), and BBM Meetings. These services enable new flavors of secure connectivity so that workers can be as productive as possible. Yet, Gartner doesn’t include any of them in its EMM MQ.

But enterprise customers do care – BlackBerry invested in these services because of feedback from our EMM customer base, which remains larger than several of our leading competitors combined. The size of our customer base comes from more than a decade-long legacy of helping enterprises take advantage of the power of mobile – securely.

Yet, Garter’s EMM MQ overlooks the substantial base of BlackBerry customers who are still using earlier versions of BES. Ironically, even though their methodology ignores these customers, Gartner recommends that they take a close look at BES12 as they consider upgrading. BlackBerry’s ambitious roadmap for enterprise products and services — and our proven ability to quickly deliver on them today – is a direct response to enterprise needs.

BlackBerry respects the work Gartner has done over the years with the EMM Magic Quadrant. However, its narrow, dated methodology is a poor fit to rank a dynamic, fast-evolving vendor like BlackBerry who is rapidly introducing new products and services that help enterprises gain a productivity edge over competitors and futureproof their businesses for years to come.

Combine that with the significant abilities of BES12, our still-sizeable installed base of BlackBerry enterprise customers (especially in regulated industries such as financial services, healthcare and government – ask President Obama and his fellow Federal workers in Washington D.C.), and the cash reserves that guarantees that BlackBerry is in it for the long haul, and BlackBerry deserves to be considered a Leader in EMM today.

Marty Beard

About Marty Beard

Marty Beard (martyjbeard @ Twitter) is Chief Operating Officer at BlackBerry. He is responsible for leading cross-functional operations, including Marketing, Strategic and Application Partnering, Pricing, Corporate Support and Quality, eCommerce Sales and Security Evangelism. Marty previously served as Chairman and CEO of LiveOps, Inc., a software and services provider of cloud applications for customer service. He was also President of Sybase 365, a mobile messaging and mobile commerce unit of Sybase, Inc., and Vice President for eCommerce at Oracle Corp. He has a B.A. from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Georgetown University.