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BlackBerry's latest moves signal a clear turn to enterprise and security

Blackberry Waterloo, Ontario’s BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ: BBRY; TSX: BB) has unveiled a series of initiatives relating to the enterprise and services aspect of its business, further strengthening its position in the secure software and cybersecurity consultancy fields.
The first announcement involves BlackBerry’s recent acquisition of Encription Limited, a UK-based cybersecurity consultancy, which bolsters the unveiling of BlackBerry’s new Professional Cybersecurity Services practice, aimed at providing tools and best practice cybersecurity at an enterprise level.
“BlackBerry is the gold standard when it comes to security and we’re always evolving to maintain this high standard as the complexity of enterprise mobility and security increases,” said BlackBerry Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen. “We recognize that security vulnerabilities are a top risk concern for public and private sector organizations alike. The creation of our Professional Cybersecurity Services practice and acquisition of Encription reinforces our commitment to providing customers the industry’s most secure mobility solutions and helping them to assess and mitigate risks.”
Encription has been certified according to the British government’s highest security specifications, while BlackBerry of course also has a long-standing reputation for providing secure communication services to all G7 governments, 16 of the G20 governments, 10 out of 10 of the world’s largest banks and law firms, the top five largest managed healthcare companies, along with investment services and oil and gas operations.
The second announcement is that BlackBerry’s Enterprise Solutions and Services will be available to Microsoft users via the Azure cloud platform, offering users of Microsoft’s cloud architecture will have full access to their BES12 licenses without having to build their own IT infrastructure.
Being able to use BES12 through Microsoft Azure should provide users with the power of enterprise cloud computing combined with BlackBerry’s focus on security that is designed to comply with the strictest regulatory environments relating to data.
“We are excited to have customers advance their business while protecting IP and customer data with BlackBerry´s multi-OS EMM platform BES12 on the Microsoft Azure platform,” said Steve Guggenheimer, Corporate Vice President, Developer Experience & Evangelism and Chief Evangelist, Microsoft Corp.
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With enterprise mobility management solutions moving increasingly to the cloud and away from legacy on-site installations, the need for secure systems with high-end capabilities like file management, app stores, single sign-in and data security will only increase, a need that BlackBerry is now well-positioned to supply given its capacity to do so and the trust enterprise users see in its reputation for security.
BlackBerry and Microsoft have agreed to collaborate on integrating more customer-facing solutions in future, including adding the AtHoc crisis communication solution into the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.
The third announcement relates to health care, and sees BlackBerry expanding its partnership with Sharecare, a digital health engagement platform, launching a BBM Sharecare channel to provide consumers with insights into their health.
“Leveraging Sharecare’s rich background and pedigree in the healthcare industry, we’re able to provide an opportunity for consumers to access important health-related information in a safe and secure manner via BBM Protected,” said BlackBerry COO Marty Beard. “We are addressing the privacy concerns consumers may have regarding personal health data and ensuring we’re providing the solutions necessary to thwart anything that could compromise sensitive information.”
These partnerships and announcements signal yet more deepening of BlackBerry’s move towards enterprise services and security solutions from its traditional model as a handset manufacturer.

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