In a move aimed at shoring up its place in the Enterprise Mobility Management space, BlackBerry (TSX:BB) today said it will acquire Palo Alto-based mobile security firm Watchdox. Although financial terms were not disclosed, the price tag is rumoured to be about $70-million.
“BlackBerry is constantly expanding the potential of data security so that it enables more collaboration and sharing rather than creating limitations,” said CEO John Chen. “This acquisition represents another key step forward as we transition BlackBerry into the premiere platform for secure mobile communications software and applications, supporting all devices and operating systems. Together with last year’s Secusmart acquisition, Samsung partnership, our own internal development efforts, and now the acquisition of WatchDox, we now have capabilities to secure communications end-to-end from voice, text, messaging, data and now enterprise file sync and share.”
WatchDox enables enterprises to securely sync files, share documents and work with files on the go. The deal falls on the heels of last July’s acquisition of Secusmart, a German company that made anti-eavesdropping technology for mobile devices, and the pickup of BYOD security specialist Movirtu last September.
Once a weighty brand in the consumer space, BlackBerry’s share of the global smartphone market has fallen to less than one per cent.
CEO John Chen, who has gained respect for stabilizing the once floundering Canadian device maker, says the company’s “core strength” is the enterprise space.
Cormark analyst Richard Tse says no clear leader has emerged in the Mobile device management/Enterprise mobility management space (MDM/EMM), with companies like MobileIron, AirWatch, and Good Technologies all weighing in at a less than 25% market share. Tse thinks the opportunity for BlackBerry in this space is real, and notes that research firm Radicati thinks it will grow to $5.75-billion by 2018.
At press time, shares of BlackBerry on the TSX were up .2% to $12.28.