BlackBerry started out as a mobile device maker, but over the years the company has transformed itself into a provider of enterprise software. Today BlackBerry focuses on mobile security and the company enjoys the patronage of a large number of customers.
By shifting its focus from hardware to software, BlackBerry has achieved positive cash flow and profitability. In addition, now the company has $3.27 billion in cash reserves.
BlackBerry registered 24% growth in software sales quarter over quarter to US $67 million. During this period the company earned 2,200 customers. They include Delta Airlines, Tarpon Energy Services, Dignity Health, The Government of Canada, Essar Group in India, Kyocera Mita, Sonora Quest Labs and IMS Health
BlackBerry CEO John Chen is quite happy with the progress the company has made and rightly so. He has played a crucial role in reviving the fortune of the company. Besides winning new customers, BlackBerry has shown signs of momentum in several other areas as well.
Growing interest in BlackBerry Messenger’s enterprise offerings
As many as 400 customers including carriers are trying BlackBerry’s new BBM Meetings collaboration app. Meanwhile BlackBerry has also released its Microsoft Outlook plugin for BBM Meetings. American government’s IRS is now a paying customer of BBM Protected, which is a secure and encrypted version of BBM.
Customer interest in BlackBerry’s enterprise solutions is also on the rise. WorkLife, for example, provides enterprises a ‘soft SIM’ card to reduce the financial burden of managing the fleet of cross platform mobile devices used by their employees. BlackBerry recently also launched its IoT platform in logistics and medical industries. The company is already present in the automotive sector. Their QNX software platform is the market leader in this segment. QNX is being used in 50 million car infotainment systems.
BBM emerges as an advertising platform with huge potential
BBM has reached 100 million installations through the Google Play store. It already handles 20 billion ad requests / month. BlackBerry recently also launched digital services like custom PINs.
A large number of telecom carriers now sell BlackBerry’s software to enterprise customers. In Q4 alone BlackBerry added over 300 reseller partners. For example, both 3 Hong Kong and China Mobile Hong Kong offer Enhanced SIM-Based Licensing (ESBL) solution from BlackBerry. This allows enterprises to have the cost of enterprise server BES12 added to their monthly subscriber’s bill. This eliminates the need to obtain migrating licenses. It also consolidates their cost of operation into one invoice.
Increased investment in vaunted security
BlackBerry has kept itself busy building a team of top-notch security professionals. The company recently hired a new Chief Security Officer.
Improved carrier support
BlackBerry’s latest phones the Passport and the Classic have been huge hits. They have been praised by both consumers and critics. Carriers have also been enthusiastic about these devices. Currently, the Passport and the Classic are being sold in over 7,000 retail shops. In addition they are offered by 160 mobile carriers operating in about 86 countries. This is the best support BlackBerry has received in recent years. Indeed, the company has certainly turned things around.