BlackBerry Enterprise Launch Recap: Partnerships and Solutions that Meet Today’s Definition of Security [Photos]

Enterprise

john sims greg wade
BlackBerry on Thursday announced a portfolio of enterprise software and services that leverage our market-leading expertise in mobile security to launch related solutions for securing employees’ use of the cloud, managing their phone bills, and helping them collaborate in a mobile-first, cost-effective manner.

BlackBerry also announced several key alliances, including a partnership with traditional handset rival Samsung to enable our new BES12 enterprise mobility management platform to manage Samsung Galaxy devices running its secure flavor of Android, Samsung KNOX. BlackBerry Enterprise President John Sims (above left) discussed the deal with Samsung Vice-President of its KNOX Business Group, Greg Wade.

We also announced a partnership with Salesforce.com to promote productivity among government agencies.

Salesforce.com Executive Vice-President Vivek Kundra, who was a Federal CIO in the Obama administration, helped promote our alliance (below on left, with BlackBerry COO Marty Beard on the right).

vivek kundra and marty beard
The launch was heavily covered by the press, including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, CNET, Reuters, Computerworld, CNBC and many others.

As the New York Times put it in their headline: Samsung turns to BlackBerry for better security.”

All told, there are six new solutions discussed tailored at helping CIOs do much, much more than just deploy devices for BYOD, as most current Mobile Device Management (MDM) software does today. They provide new capabilities or augment existing ones for enterprise workers all while providing the same level of security users have long expected from BlackBerry.

The first is BES12, our security platform, rebuilt from the ground up on modern services-based architecture for unprecedented scalability, with powerful new features available for devices running on any of the major mobile platforms, and the ability to deploy on-premise as well as from any type of cloud that a company may prefer (private, public or hybrid).

John Sims and Samsung’s Wade discussed emerging security trends along with an enterprise customer, Bloomberg’s Chris Behringer (second from right), and Forrester Research analyst Christian Kane (far right).

sims wade behringer kane

“It’s pretty exciting stuff,” Rick Jordan, Director of Mobility Sales at Tenet Computer Group, a Toronto-based solution provider, told tech publication CRN. “People were writing them off, but you can almost hear the thunder in the distance because eventually they’ll be a force to reckon with, especially by partnering with Samsung. I think it’s absolutely fantastic for BlackBerry to focus on their roots, and I think they’re on the right path.”

 chen classic photoBES12 gets a running start, what with the momentum from its EZ-Pass program for its predecessor, BES10. According to CEO John Chen (right, holding the coming BlackBerry Classic which you can pre-order today), BlackBerry had, as of the end of October, issued 5.1 million EZ-Pass licenses, up from 3.4 million announced just a month earlier. About a third of those licenses were exchanged from competing MDM platforms.

BES12 may also benefit from the fact that enterprises themselves admit that they have overlooked mobile security. According to a survey of 800 enterprise IT leaders sponsored by BlackBerry:

  • Just 1 in 3 (35%) organizations are very confident that their organization’s data assets are fully protected from unauthorized access via mobile devices.
  • Nearly 2 in 3 (59%) report the number of data breaches their organization has experienced via mobile devices has increased in the last year.
  • More than two-thirds (68%) believe that mobile devices are the weakest link in their enterprise security framework.
  • 70% of respondents know they are more tolerant of risk than they should be (76% of respondents if they allow BYOD in their workplace).

View the SlideShare with an infographic showing all of the data below.

Without saying so outright, enterprises are admitting that they “have become too lax in assessing and guarding against risk,” said COO Marty Beard (below). For organizations to avoid waking up and ‘finding themselves on the front page of a newspaper from some data breach,” they need to “close the gap” between the perceptions of their risk and how exposed they really are, he said.

marty beard bes12 launch

Besides BES12 BlackBerry is introducing a handful of new enterprise solutions on the premise that reducing your security risk is no longer about “restricting end users,” said Beard. “Today, security is about enabling people to do more – no matter where they are – by giving users and their employees trust that they can access corporate data anywhere without compromising it.”

The new solutions include:

–          BBM Meetings, a secure conferencing service that undercuts today’s legacy services on price by 75% while providing mobile-first connectivity and features. It runs on iPhone, Android, BlackBerry smartphones as well as Windows and Mac computers. Here’s a demo by marketing director, Jeff Gadway.

gadway demo

  • Enterprise Identity, a new solution from BlackBerry that helps companies securely manage employees logging into cloud services such as Box, Dropbox and more.

As BlackBerry Enterprise President John Sims noted, BlackBerry is “already one of the largest identity management companies in the world,” managing more than 200 million user identities and performing over 120 million identity transactions a day.

  • VPN Authentication, a new way to connect mobile professionals to corporate data when and where they need it. Employees using iPhones, Android devices or BlackBerry 10 smartphones can enjoy strong two-factor authentication without the need for clumsy hardware tokens or easy-to-forget PINs. And it’s more secure than hardware tokens because it uses Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and your existing enterprise credentials (i.e. Windows username and password) to essentially turn your managed smartphone “into a security token.” Users can continue to use their existing VPN client.
  • WorkLife, a service to be offered via your company’s mobile carrier that lets your employees manage telecommunications expenses, including, voice, text messages and data, incurred on their mobile devices. That’s more accurate and saves time compared to the cycle of filing expense reports, says Sims. WorkLife works on iPhones, Android and BlackBerry 10 smartphones.

IT officials and interested business and boardroom leaders who want to learn more about our solutions or check out how much security risk they face today can use our mobility assessment tool. Visit www.blackberry.com/mobilityready

About Eric Lai

I have written about technology and mobility for Computerworld, ZDNet, Forbes and others. I oversee the blogs and social content here at BlackBerry and continue to track and opine about the latest news and trends in enterprise mobility. Follow me on Twitter (ericylai)

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