BlackBerry Ltd. Wants to Help You Manage the Internet of Things

But pitching security may be the wrong way to win business.

May 27, 2014 at 5:05PM

For BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ:BBRY), "Project Ion" is central to the future of the business. Fool contributor Tim Beyers explains the implications in the following video.

In a press release issued in time for an O'Reilly tech conference last week, BlackBerry announced plans to offer a comprehensive platform for accessing and analyzing data. Smartphones are a small part of the equation, it seems.

CEO John Chen explained the rationale in a statement issued with the "Project Ion" news:

Billions of connections, generating trillions of transactions and exabytes of data daily, will require platforms that can operate securely on a global scale. No other company is in a better position than BlackBerry to provide the technological building blocks, applications and services needed to enhance productivity, improve real-time decision making and deliver on the vision of the Internet of Things.

An ambitious goal, to be sure, especially when multiple researchers peg the Internet of Things as the next big problem in need of solving. Business Insider pegs the number of connected devices growing from 1.9 billion last year to 9 billion by 2018. Gartner puts the installed base at 26 million by 2020. Cisco Systems estimates the long-term revenue opportunity at $19 trillion. No wonder Chen is making "Project Ion" a priority!

And yet BlackBerry's positioning may not resonate with buyers. Sure, security is always important. But when it comes to managing the massive volumes of data flowing across the Internet of Things, robust tools for collecting and analyzing information -- data that can later be secured -- is likely to be the more important factor in deciding on a purchase, Tim argues.  

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you see BlackBerry profiting from the rising influence of the Internet of Things? Why or why not? Please watch the video to get the full story and then leave a comment to let us know your take, including whether you would buy, sell, or short Google stock at current prices.

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Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com and Cisco Systems. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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