Will This Be BlackBerry's Game-Changer?

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With half of all companies expected to employ a bring-your-own-device, or BYOD, program by 2017, there's about to be a growing need to secure employee mobile computing devices in a streamlined manner. To that end, BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY  ) recently introduced its Secure Work Space solution for Google Android and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) iOS devices, allowing organizations to secure and manage non-BlackBerry devices through its BlackBerry Enterprise 10 service. For users, Secure Work Space will separate work apps and data from personal data by keeping everything work-related contained behind a secured firewall. For BlackBerry, Secure Work Space opens up a tremendous opportunity to monetize non-BlackBerry devices when it becomes available in the coming months.

A multi-platform solution
According to Forrester Research, 350 million employees will use smartphones in 2016, and of those, 200 million will opt into a BYOD plan. From a technology management standpoint, it's a nightmare to manage a stable of differing employee devices because it's costly, inefficient, and difficult to deploy. With BlackBerry's end-to-end multi-platform solution, which covers 95% of smartphones shipped in the first quarter, it streamlines the enterprise IT administration process by eliminating the need to manage multiple network infrastructures. For the first time in what feels like ages, BlackBerry could have a competitive edge against Apple and Google.

Not the only game in town
As Apple works to further the iPhone's momentum in the enterprise market, it will be introducing a host of business-friendly features within the release of iOS 7. Enterprise customers will soon be able to benefit from enhanced virtual private network features, improved security management, employee app licensing, single sign-on authentication, and third-party data encryption.

Through Samsung's SAFE initiative, the South Korean smartphone maker hopes it can increase Android's enterprise market share, which stood at less than 25% in the first quarter, according to Good Technology. Like Apple, the SAFE initiative focuses on business security and scalability, but it also aims to ease concerns about Android's vulnerability stemming from its open-source nature, through implementing industry-leading AES 256-bit on-device encryption.

Despite these competitive threats, BlackBerry has the edge among BYOD-friendly companies because its Secure Work Space solution embraces a multi-platform approach. It's a nearly perfect fit for the spirit of BYOD, which is largely motivated by increasing employee productivity through catering to individual preferences.

Massive potential
Assuming Forrester Research has an accurate gauge that 200 million employees will opt into a BYOD program in 2016, BlackBerry's addressable market for its Secure Work Space solution could be quite massive. If IDC's latest smartphone market share figures are any indication, BlackBerry's BYOD addressable market would be 95% of smartphones shipped in the first quarter. Out of the 200 million devices, that's 190 million potential devices BlackBerry could seemingly tap into. With a cost of $99 per year per device, BlackBerry has a tremendous opportunity to drive absurd levels of service revenue growth, which happens to be company's most profitable segment.

Ultimately, the biggest challenge for BlackBerry will be how well it can convince potential customers that it has the staying power to remain viable in the coming years. Perhaps its $3.1 billion nest egg of cash should be brought to sales pitches.

Can BlackBerry go all the way?
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Read/Post Comments (6) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On July 10, 2013, at 10:24 PM, gettmoney wrote:

    well it's about time, a article worth reading....

  • Report this Comment On July 11, 2013, at 1:11 AM, rockthebest123 wrote:

    Furthermore, all the shorts now want to see the stock go under $6 so they can recover.

    The shorts have been paying interests on borrowed stocks for a year now.

    The shorts are running out of cash soon. Well at least 98 million shares were shorted when BBRY stock was around $6.

    I am not surprised to see more garbage articles with deceiving headlines in order to further bring the stock down.

    The US media turns the good news into bad and the bad into worse. Isn't obvious?

    Do you ever hear Apple reports number of subscribers every quarter. Of course not. The US media just want to create panic so shareholders (the long) will panic and sell.

    Let's see who is got more patience and money. The longs or the shorts.

    at least we know the longs did not borrow money like the shorts did. This is gonna be interesting

  • Report this Comment On July 11, 2013, at 1:28 AM, sliderw wrote:

    $99/year sounds too high a price point for emerging markets.

  • Report this Comment On July 11, 2013, at 2:21 AM, Rockthebest wrote:

    Really? How much Apple / android OS cost? Double, triple, quad triple, get th point?

  • Report this Comment On July 12, 2013, at 12:28 AM, marv08 wrote:

    "Despite these competitive threats, BlackBerry has the edge among BYOD-friendly companies because its Secure Work Space solution embraces a multi-platform approach."

    There are at least two dozens of MDM (mobile device management) platforms on the market, some of them had a "secure work space" feature for years, and almost all of them are multi-platform. There is absolutely nothing unique about BBs solution, other than being late. Some of the other solutions are even cheaper and do neither require subscription fees, nor a failure-prone third party network infrastructure.

    Will BES 10 be some success? Sure. A lot of admins know how to use the predecessor (BES 5) and a lot of people don't like change. But unless you are deploying BB10 devices, BES 10 is no must, because iOS, Android, BB 7 and WP devices can be managed using many other solutions.

  • Report this Comment On July 12, 2013, at 12:34 AM, marv08 wrote:

    @sliderw: "$99/year sounds too high a price point for emerging markets."

    As sewers in a Bangladesh sweat shop normally do not get company mobiles... No, $99 is not a lot for a corporate device. Actually, a huge amount of BES 5 subscribers (same price) are in India and Indonesia.


    "Really? How much Apple / android OS cost? Double, triple, quad triple, get th point?"

    Nonsense. Apple's deployment tools are FREE, and Android does not have any (other than third-party, and some of them are cheaper than BES). So, in summary, you are wrong all the way.

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