Today, we take another big step on delivering the industry’s leading mobile technology — we have acquired Movirtu, a provider of multiple identity solutions for mobile operators that allows multiple numbers to be active on a single device. This enables split billing and the use of personal and corporate profiles.
This acquisition gives BlackBerry a unique edge in providing improved management and services of iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices used in BYOD and COPE environments.
Inside BlackBerry for Business sat down with BlackBerry’s Enterprise President John Sims and Movirtu’s CEO Carsten Brinkschulte to discuss what this acquisition means for our two companies.
Inside BlackBerry for Business: Carsten, the first question goes to you as many of our readers may not be familiar with Movirtu. Can you tell us a little about the company?
Carsten Brinkschulte: Today is a very big day for us and we’re thrilled to join the BlackBerry team. Movirtu provides virtual identity solutions for mobile operators that allow multiple numbers to be active on a single device. Simply put, with the Movirtu Virtual SIM platform, we enable employees to have two phone numbers that splits between corporate and personal use. Our technology is unique and is based on a number of patents, with many applications that can be used to build flexible and powerful solutions for customers and end users.
Inside BlackBerry for Business: John, tell us why BlackBerry has acquired Movirtu. What does this mean for your current enterprise strategy, and how will our technologies integrate?
Our strategy is to broaden BlackBerry’s solutions and services that enable our customers to fully embrace the potential of enterprise mobility. As we move to a BYOD and COPE world, there remain a number of policy, efficiency and convenience challenges facing enterprises, mobile operators, and consumers alike. By acquiring Movirtu, our aim is to improve BYOD and COPE policy management and billing, increasing efficiency and convenience.
Enterprise customers will now be able to provision a single device for corporate and personal use; allow discrete enterprise policies to be applied to only the work side of the device, while allowing full usability of the personal portion of the device; split bills for voice, data and messaging; and provide the ability to switch between profiles easily.
Inside BlackBerry for Business: What’s the history between BlackBerry and Movirtu – have the companies partnered in the past?
John Sims: We have not partnered together in the past, but we have been closely following the sector and recognized Movirtu as having the broadest and most seamless solution available in the market.
Carsten Brinkschulte: Moreover, we both agreed that Movirtu and BlackBerry shared a vision to redefine the mobile experience by introducing virtual identities and addressing a critical challenge faced by enterprises, mobile operators and employees throughout BYOD and COPE environments.
Inside BlackBerry for Business: This past month in California, an Appeals Court ruled in a class-action lawsuit that companies with employees in California are now responsible for reimbursing employees for business-related calls on corporate devices. This type of ruling may set precedence for BYOD and COPE programs throughout the country. Does this solution help prepare companies that may need to deal with this ruling?
John Sims: BYOD and COPE have created a number of challenges for enterprises, employees and mobile operators. The California ruling may seem focused on just the employee’s rights, but it’s important to remember that dividing usage of mobile devices between an employer and employee is meant to provide a fair allocation of accounting and cost for everyone. It also protects ownership of personal and corporate numbers for both the business and their employee should they depart the company.
Inside BlackBerry for Business: Carsten, how were you convinced that BlackBerry was the right company for Movirtu?
Carsten Brinkschulte: I knew, as many in the industry, how deep BlackBerry’s enterprise experience and knowledge goes. I also knew that we were tackling something unique that would soon become high in demand as BYOD and COPE proliferates. BlackBerry’s global infrastructure, also known as “the NOC,” is unprecedented and is already connected directly to hundreds of mobile operators worldwide. Leveraging these existing connections would be the best way to offer quick and reliable deployment of the Movirtu Virtual SIM solution with minimal effort for the operator. Additionally, BlackBerry will help bring the solution to market through their wide network of mobile operators.
Our solution also complements BlackBerry’s Secure Work Space, BlackBerry Balance and other partitioning technologies, which gives employees the freedom and privacy they want for their personal use while delivering the security and management needed for business use. With Movirtu, employees can now switch between profiles for calls, data and messages expanding the functionality of partitioning technologies.
Inside BlackBerry for Business: Thanks again for taking the time to speak with us, Carsten and John.
To our readers, we hope you’re as excited about this news as we are. The new Virtual SIM capabilities will be offered by BlackBerry through our mobile operators, which will provide customers with multiple identity based service offerings. We plan to support the deployment of Movirtu technology by mobile operators and all major smartphone operating systems.