Q and A: Product VP Tim Choi on Expanding WatchDox’s Cross-Platform and BlackBerry Capabilities

Enterprise

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Today, BlackBerry announced the first release of WatchDox by BlackBerry following our purchase of the document security software in April. It’s an important update, as it starts to integrate WatchDox’s highly-secure solution, rated “Visionary” by Gartner last month in its Magic Quadrant for Enterprise File-Sync-and-Share (EFSS) software for 2015, into the BlackBerry Enterprise Portfolio.

To get more details, I caught up with Tim Choi, vice president of product management at BlackBerry. Choi came from WatchDox, where he was VP of product management and marketing. Choi graciously made time to speak with me, despite his recent return from paternity leave due to the birth of his son, Josiah.

Lai: First off, congratulations on your new baby boy! But if I can bring you back from the land of diapers to the land of business for a moment, please share with us what was the aim in this first post-acquisition update to WatchDox?

Choi: Sure! Our engineering teams in Israel, Silicon Valley and Canada have been working very hard to bring out this update to WatchDox. There are plenty of vendors touting EMM and other mobile solutions, but none are as broad, secure and proven as the BlackBerry Enterprise Portfolio . Similarly, while there are other EFSS solutions promising to secure your documents, we don’t think any of them are as powerful and productivity-enabling as WatchDox’s policy-based document security.

By integrating WatchDox with the BlackBerry Enterprise Portfolio, we are the first vendor to begin offering CIOs and IT managers a true end-to-end platform for securing ALL of your mobile communications: from voice, text, messaging, data, and now documents. And as with the entire BlackBerry enterprise software stack, this update is 100% cross-platform.

Lai: In what way?

Choi: First off, we’ve created a WatchDox mobile app for BlackBerry 10 devices such as the BlackBerry Passport, Q10, or Leap, to go with the mobile apps we already had for iOS and Android devices. This is key: there are millions of workers using BlackBerry 10 devices inside organizations in regulated industries such as government, healthcare, and financial services that may want or be required by law to deploy policy-based document security solutions such as WatchDox.

BlackBerry 10 users can now browse, search, and view WatchDox-protected documents on Windows network drives or SharePoint. Users can easily authenticate via Active Directory, OAuth, SAML or use the newly integrated Enterprise Identity by BlackBerry Integration. And the files are fully protected by WatchDox’s app, meaning it can’t be exported or copied.

Containerization is the ability to separate work and personal content on mobile devices. This, for example, prevents users from accidentally or deliberately e-mailing a work file with their home e-mail address, or uploading it to a consumer cloud drive. It’s an important feature in the BYOD age, with so many employees using personal devices at work.

Our WatchDox app for Android now can run inside the work containers created by Google’s Android for Work, Samsung KNOX and our own BlackBerry Secure Work Space. Our WatchDox app for iOS can also run within the work container created by BlackBerry Secure Work Space. This strengthens WatchDox’s security and further ensures that protected files don’t go where they shouldn’t.

Finally, we’ve added French-language support for all of our WatchDox interfaces – including web, desktop, and mobile apps, based on customer demand.

Lai: Fantastique! And how else are we deepening the integration between WatchDox and the rest of the BlackBerry Enterprise Portfolio?

Choi: WatchDox now integrates with Enterprise Identity by BlackBerry for seamless single-sign-on authentication. For end users, that means one less username and password to remember, and fewer times they need to type these both out. Security remains strong, of course. For IT managers, they get a single console to manage the users authenticating into their system, and the ability to change how users log-in.

Lai: Sounds good. Before we wrap up, any sneak previews of what’s next with WatchDox by BlackBerry?

Choi: We continue to innovate in the areas of productivity and security. These are two areas that bring delight to our WatchDox users who want to work efficiently wherever they are, and bring comfort to IT and Chief Security Officers who want to make sure that their corporate data is not stolen. Stay tuned – our WatchDox team is working hard on a number of cool initiatives that will continue to reinforce our goal to provide the most secure and productive file sharing and mobile productivity solution.

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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