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Is BlackBerry emerging from the woods?

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With the recent changes and announcements at BlackBerry I’ve been watching its refocus of the enterprise market with some excitement. It certainly came as no surprise when John Chen dropped ‘interim’ from his job title and was announced as CEO of BlackBerry earlier this month, and this in my opinion can only be seen as a positive step. His upfront and honest approach is restoring confidence in the brand and this is reflected in the share price rise of circa 30 percent since November.

Although BES10 has possibly not been met with the same degree of excitement as perhaps Blackberry had anticipated, there is no denying that it is starting to gain momentum within the marketplace. The consumer market is dominated by iOS and Android, and I think that it comes as no great surprise that Blackberry have chosen to focus on where their loyal base resides – which is in business rather than consumer. However through a recently signed 5 year deal with the manufacturer Foxconn, BlackBerry aim to offer new low cost devices for emerging markets, which in turn could have a positive impact on the consumer market too.

BlackBerry are also looking to monetise their BBM service moving forward. Chen has stated that BBM could be a useful secure tool for enterprises, boasting over 40 million users on its multi-platform over iOS and Android. Even Chen has stated that he hopes that the company will become profitable by 2016, which has been met in the industry by both criticism and optimism.

Following the increased business demand for BYOD a number of businesses have been looking to move away from BES5 into a BYOD strategy, however a recent survey*indicates that BES5 & BES10 definitely still have their place within the corporate space. By playing to their strengths, BlackBerry has responded to the rising challenges of mobile device diversity within the enterprise with the launch of BES10. This extends their Mobile Device Management (MDM) capabilities to Android and iOS devices, stating that they are better positioned than any other company to handle the security needs of large corporations with their current enterprise customer base exceeding 80,000.

So through their refocus on the enterprise market it’s not only myself that has confidence in the resurgence of BlackBerry, but with Fairfax investing another £250m in BlackBerry to add to their $3.2bn in cash reserves, BlackBerry is very much here to stay and I’ll continue to watch this unfold with eager anticipation.

*BES10: Enterprise Mobility Management for a Multi-Platform World by J.Gold Associates

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