Day after go-private news, BlackBerry launches good news offensive

The day after embattled smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry stunned observers with a letter of intent to take the company private in a $4.7 billion deal led by Fairfax Financial Holdings, the Waterloo, Ont.-based company launched a news offensive designed to highlight positive developments for the vendor and its BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.

On Friday, Blackberry signaled its intent to move away from the consumer market to focus on the prosumer and enterprise space, and Tuesday’s news is all focused around BlackBerry’s enterprise business. BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 and Secure Work Space for iOS and Android is used by organizations to manage their mobile infrastructure, including non-BlackBerry devices, and the vendor claims more than 25,000 global instillations to date.

South of the border, distributor Tech Data announced it will offer BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 to channel partners in the U.S. The enterprise mobility management offering includes mobile device management, security infrastructure and app management, and the deal with Tech Data opens up a large new distribution channel for BlackBerry with enterprise customers.

“BlackBerry continues to be a an industry-leader in the smartphone and enterprise mobility market, which is why Tech Data sees an advantage in partnering with BlackBerry to offer BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 to our channel partners,” said Heather Murray, director, TDMobility at Tech Data, in a statement. “We’ve talked to many IT Administrators and there is a common theme that emerges – they all count on the security, user experience and total cost of ownership that comes with BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10. Now that BlackBerry is embracing multi-platform environments by extending the same security to iOS and Android devices, this product offering is attractive to our channel of solution providers.”

Across the pond, BlackBerry is highlighting several customer wins in the U.K. with five new enterprise customers, including The Premier League, the organizing body for the world’s top soccer league, who will use BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 to manage a mixed mobile device environment that includes iOS and BlackBerry devices. Law firm Clyde & Co. is upgrading 1,200 existing BlackBerry users to BlackBerry 10, and luxury hotel group Rocco Forte is deploying 200 new BlackBerry 10 devices.

“The Premier League is using BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 to manage its suite of BlackBerry and iOS devices. The organization has long used BlackBerry as their mobile solution of choice,” said Simon Thunder, head of IT for The Premier League, in a statement. “The new platform enables us to extend the tried and tested management and security capabilities of the BlackBerry solution to support other tablet and smartphones used within the organization.”

And in Venezuela, BlackBerry announced that Empresas Polar SA, a food and beverage company, is also upgrading to BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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