Infosec 2014: BlackBerry customers showing “tremendous interest” in new BES migration scheme

By Peter Gothard
30 Apr 2014 View Comments
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BlackBerry has told Computing that its "EZ Pass" BlackBerry Enterprise Server migration scheme is experiencing "tremendous interest" from major customers who are willing to stick with the struggling smartphone maker as it transitions to an enterprise productivity mobile management company.

Vice-president of security product management and research at BlackBerry, Michael K Brown, spoke to Computing at the Infosec conference in London today, saying that the EZ Pass scheme, which launched at the start of this month, had experienced "tremendous interest from customers" before it even launched.

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"I think it's going to be very successful," said Brown.

Batting off statements from companies such as Severn Trent Water, who recently told Computing it is remaining "holistic" about choosing a new MDM solution after being long-term BES customers, Brown insisted that the company is having little trouble retaining business.

"The theme we've been getting from the customers is a loyalty to the product, especially in terms of the multi-platform offering that's there," Brown told Computing.

"Clifford Chance is a good example in the UK that's shown that publicly," he added, referring to the global law firm's rollout of 1,600 devices a year ago.

Brown told Computing that the company is still pitching both devices and platforms when trying to win or retain business, rather than focusing simply on the BES platform.

"The point is that the products work independently of each other - a BlackBerry doesn't need a BES, but works extremely well with a BES," said Brown.

"And BES doesn't need a BlackBerry, but will manage a BlackBerry extremely well. The two of them go together extremely well. But the reality of business is they won't just have BlackBerry devices - they'll have iOS devices, or Windows devices - which incidentally we're supporting soon."

Brown argued that, as an MDM platform, BlackBerry has the edge over rivals like Good Technology or Airwatch because of the firm's long experience in the sector.

"I think what's interesting is that often people forget that BlackBerry is the oldest and largest MDM player in the market already," said Brown.

"We have been here for over a decade and provided our solutions to customers, and over the years we've learned a lot of lessons. For example, it's incredibly important for customers to have control over applications that are going to offer corporate information. This has been a fundamental part of BlackBerry since 2004, and something that's integral to multiplatform solutions we have through BES 10."

Brown said, as a result, BlackBerry will continue focusing its future on government and regulated organisations.

Meanwhile, earlier this year at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spanish start-up Geeksphone and US security company Silent Circle showed Computing their Android-based phone that's intended to offer improved security for mobile users.

See the below video for details.

 

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