Any first-year journalism student knows that the gulf between a trend and an isolated event or two is substantial. Unfortunately, that doesn’t prevent members of the blogosphere from leaping that chasm from time to time.
Though the frequency is decreasing, I still come across the occasional headline proclaiming the IT industry’s collective rejection of BlackBerry. The supporting evidence is almost always the recent – or sometimes not so recent – defection of a BlackBerry customer or two to an enterprise mobility management (EMM) alternative.
Don’t think for a second we’re cavalier about losing a customer. We hate it. It’s undergoing root canal while watching our favorite World Cup teams get bounced in the group stage.
But it happens. No organization that I know of, with the possible exception of those in the mortuary industry, can boast a 100% retention rate. And given the size of our installed base, which includes tens of thousands of organizations, digging up a defector or two isn’t going to win anybody a Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism.
The reality, though, is that the overwhelming and woefully underreported trend involving BlackBerry is the significant progress the company has made since the end of 2013. We are righting our financial ship, migrating current and new customers to the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 (BES10) platform and delivering a flurry of new devices, platforms and services designed to transform your business through mobility.
BlackBerry’ revitalization reached a new milestone last week when the company reported earnings that exceeded Wall Street’s expectations and signaled a potential acceleration of the company’s timetable for reaching profitability.
There’s plenty of additional evidence to be found, for those who care to look, of BlackBerry’s continued and widespread support by the IT community:
- BES10 Adoption
Since it was introduced just a few months ago, our EZ Pass program, which gives customers a simple and free migration path to the BES10 EMM server, has attracted more than 1.2 million users from roughly 2,600 organizations. More than 10% of those licenses were trade-ins from competing Mobile Device Management (MDM) platforms such as Good Technology and Mobile Iron.
- Largest Installed Base
The strongest refutation of spurious claims of customer dissatisfaction is our installed base. BlackBerry’s global client roster exceeds the combined customer counts of our three closest competitors.
- Lowest TCO
A recent total cost of ownership (TCO) study conducted by market research firm Strategy Analytics found BES10 to be less than half the cost of our nearest competitor over a five-year period. The report, Enterprise Mobility Management: A review of Total cost of Ownership, compares BES10 against offerings from five other EMM vendors — Citrix, IBM, VMWare, Mobile Iron and Good Technology.
- Customer Testimonials
As far as I know, no gun was held to the head of the IT specialist who made the following comment to Strategy Analytics during the course of its TCO evaluation:
“We needed to meet the requirements set down by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD)…we had already met the criteria in BES5, so the shift to BES10 was straightforward. All our users are happy with the new functionality of the BlackBerry Z10 and Z30 devices and we can meet the requirements set down.”
- Financial Stability
While some of our MDM pure play competitors are desperately seeking life-sustaining funding through public offerings, BlackBerry has more than $3 billion in the bank, as of June 19, 2014.
- Unequaled Mobile Security
Our customers recognize that mobile security is in BlackBerry’s DNA. Only BlackBerry can protect your data across all components — device, operating system, server and network – of an end-to-end connection. With more security certifications than any other competitor, BlackBerry is in some cases the exclusive option for many of the most security conscious organizations in the world.
(As of February 2015, BlackBerry holds 70+ security certifications and approvals from governments.)
- Right Sized
Enterprises also recognize that BlackBerry is the only EMM player possessing the perfect balance of heft and agility to meet their future needs. While our smaller competitors lack the resources to maintain the required excellence in security and other mobility disciplines, others have made EMM an appendage of bloated and diverse product and service portfolios. Does the CEO of IBM, Microsoft or even VMWare spend every waking moment concentrating exclusively on enterprise mobility? Ours does.
- Product Pipeline
BlackBerry’s product development teams have been pounding the Red Bull for the past few months, churning out a flurry of products that have shipped – or will ship before the end of the year –including multiple devices, next-gen EMM and Internet of Things (IoT) platforms and, just this month, a hyper-secure mobile enterprise messaging app.
- Full-Spectrum EMM
Though BES10 was designed to meet the security and mobility management requirements of the most risk-conscious organizations on the planet, its ability to support the full spectrum of enterprise mobility scenarios – from business-only to loosely managed BYOD – makes it the ideal platform for organizations of all sizes with all types of enterprise mobility requirements.
10. Customer Wins
The final proof point of BlackBerry’s good standing with IT is a steady stream of customer announcements, like this one.
The inertia of bandwagon reporting almost always means that a narrative, especially a negative one, outlasts reality. I’m looking forward to the few lingering segments of the blogosphere finally catching up with what’s really going on at BlackBerry.