Why You May Be Buying BlackBerry again

BlackBerry? Are those guys still around?

Yes they are and in a big way. The company, which reported a record $4.4 billion loss for the quarter ended in November, is definitely on a rebound. A new CEO is in place and focusing on revamping the company’s device offerings while renewing focus on its enterprise customers. New products were just announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Big companies like Ford Motor F +0.99% are considering switching from Microsoft MSFT +1.46% Windows to BlackBerry software for its next generation Sync System. Shares of the company have risen from a low of $5.44 in December to around $11.00. Some analysts believe that the stock could rise another 50% in the coming months.

BlackBerry 10 Launch
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AFP/Getty ImagesBefore the BlackBerry 10 event
Before the BlackBerry 10 event
Members of the media wait for Research in Motion (RIM) CEO Thorsten Heins to officially unveil the BlackBerry 10 mobile platform as well as two new devices January 30, 2013 at the New York City Launch at Pier 36. Blckberry is hoping to make a comeback with the release of its lonng overdue BlackBerry 10, a new operating system that many analysts believe is RIM’s last chance to become relevant again.

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That’s because BlackBerry is no longer just about devices. The company is focusing on the one hot thing that’s on the minds of so many business managers nowadays: security. Every client of mine is struggling with Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) issues. Every other technology news item seems to be about security breaches, privacy concerns and information lost to hackers. Microsoft wants us to buy their unpopular CE phones. Samsung’s line runs on Android. Apple AAPL +0.32% is iOS. No one plays nicely with each other. Everyone is battling for market share. But our employees want choice. And we want them to use the devices that they feel are most productive. But we need security. What’s a business owner, manager or IT director to do?

Enter BlackBerry.

Sure, you can buy one of their devices. Early reports about their new Q20 smartphone are favorable, particularly if you’re a fan of the physical keyboard, old-school trackpad and menus. But I love my Samsung S4 and can’t wait to get my hands on the S5. My marketing person loves her Motorola. And you’d have more luck taking away my project manager’s youngest son than prying his iPhone out of his hands. People want their devices, their apps, their personalized toys. And that’s OK with BlackBerry too.

So instead of pushing their devices on the business community the company is instead emphasizing its main strength: security. And this is something that few, even Apple and Google lovers can argue: BlackBerry’s security services are among the best of breed. It’s based around COPE, or company-owned-personally-enabled devices which one report explains as a “a hybrid that sits between free-for-all BYOD and traditional company-owned computers that forbade personal use and held zero expectations of privacy for employees.” The COPE vs. BYOD debate is described well in this 2013 blog by Robert Sheldon. The decision as to which security model is better is yours. BlackBerry has already made theirs: it’s COPE.

BlackBerry is effectively telling us this: “Go ahead, use any device you want. We’ll secure it for you.” They’ve got plenty of competition – big companies like AT&T, Citrix, VMWare and Symantec as well as excellent niche players like Nitrodesk, MobileIron, Mocana and many others who offer great alternatives. But BlackBerry has the name recognition, the media attention and a list of big international clients like Daimler AG, Airbus and Tokheim, not to mention most of the U.S. Government as its references. Even the President has a BlackBerry. He’d love to use an iPhone. But he’s not allowed to. Enough said?

So, if you can believe it, you might be buying BlackBerry for your business sometime in the next few years. But don’t worry. You’re not the President of the United States. You can still keep using your iPhone.

Culled from Forbes

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