Q and A: EVP Billy Ho on Why Gartner Gives WatchDox by BlackBerry the Top [3.41/5] Score for “High Security” among EFSS Solutions 2nd Year in Row


A few months ago, Gartner recognized WatchDox by BlackBerry as a Visionary in its EFSS Magic Quadrant for the second year in a row[i]. We also found WatchDox’s approach to Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing to be unique and superior – which is why we acquired WatchDox back in May. WatchDox’s data-centric architecture follows files wherever they go, protecting critical enterprise data regardless of how, where, or by whom it’s accessed.

Now the analyst firm has recognized WatchDox again, this time in its annual Critical Capabilities for EFSS report[ii], which analyzes and scores the top 16 EFSS solutions on the market. I had the opportunity to sit down for a brief discussion on the report with Billy Ho, BlackBerry’s Executive Vice President of Enterprise Products and Value Added Solutions. I also got insight on precisely why WatchDox comes so highly recommended by analysts and enterprise customers.

Nick: Let’s dive right in. Can you explain the specific rankings where WatchDox excelled?

Billy HoBilly: Certainly. For the second year in a row, we received the top score (3.41 out of 5) in the “High Security” critical capabilities category, ahead of 15 other vendors, including Box, DropBox, Google, Microsoft, Accellion, Citrix, AirWatch, Intralinks, Egnyte, Syncplicity, Huddle, Ctera Networks, Thru, Acronis, and Varonis. Gartner also gave WatchDox the second-highest score (3.31/5) in the “Mobile Workforce” category behind Citrix (and ahead of the other aforementioned vendors), up from 5th the prior year. And we tied for second-highest score (3.26/5) with Box in the “Extranet” category behind Citrix (and again ahead of the other vendors listed above), up from 3rd a year ago.

What do these mean? “High Security” measures a solution based on how well it actually protects the content it secures – how does it handle endpoints, encrypt information, and control access? “Mobile Workforce” is all about the mobile user experience, and how productive and secure it enables mobile employees to be. “Extranet”, meanwhile, concerns the ease with which a solution enables the sharing and publishing of documents with third parties such as your business partners, customers and suppliers. This includes how well the EFSS solution secures data outside an organization’s security perimeter and what it does to enable collaboration.

Nick: So, about High Security, what is it that makes WatchDox so secure?

Billy: Security has always been WatchDox’s strong point – its rich and flexible Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology allows organizations to secure files wherever they are and wherever they need to go, providing access exclusively to those users that require it. Through a unique, document-centric approach to security, controls and tracking are embedded directly into enterprise files, with permissions that can be set for individuals or groups.

It’s the only EFSS solution that does this, and therefore the only one that keeps an enterprise truly in control of its files, even after they’ve been downloaded, e-mailed, shared, etc.

Nick: Based on the ratings, can you describe some of WatchDox’s other strengths?

Billy: Our top-two Mobile Workforce rating is a recognition of how WatchDox empowers employees both inside the organization and when they are working remotely or on the road, with easy, powerful access to files while reducing the risk, complexity, and cost of sharing information. Workers can safely access even the most-sensitive files from a variety of devices – Mac and Windows PCs, and smartphones and tablets running iOS, Android or BlackBerry 10.

As for our second-place Extranet rating, it’s a known fact that businesses are outsourcing resources more than ever before. They are also doing business with customers, partners and suppliers all over the world. That means companies are regularly sharing intellectual property, negotiating sensitive contracts, passing back and forth manufacturing blueprints, and other documents holding personal or financial data with outside peers. To prevent such important information from being lost or stolen, many enterprises are forced to either use multiple products or make a number of unnecessary concessions. WatchDox eliminates the need for either. It excels in enabling secure file sharing with external parties, allowing stakeholders to safely access, share, sync and collaborate on even the most sensitive files – information which, if leaked or intercepted, could lead to serious financial and reputational repercussions.

Nick: I think that should about wrap this up. Do you have anything else to add?

Billy: Just one more thing. It isn’t just the WatchDox solution’s own features that make it such a high-value choice. It is a key member of our entire Enterprise Portfolio, as well. Security’s something BlackBerry has always done very, very well. By choosing BlackBerry, clients empower themselves with unprecedented control over how employees access corporate resources, share files, and use apps and devices in the workplace.

Gartner’s recognition of WatchDox in this report is yet another win for our EFSS solution, and yet more evidence that pairing its high-quality DRM with BlackBerry’s security DNA was the right choice in all regards.


[i] Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing, Monica Basso | Charles Smulders | Jeffrey Mann, and 22 July 2015

[ii] This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from [BlackBerry here].

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

About Nicholas C. Greene

Nicholas C. Greene is a technology writer based in Calgary, Canada. An English graduate of the University of Calgary, he's written for publications and organizations such as VPN Haus, Streetwise, Northcutt, and The Coolist.

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