Thursday, 07 June 2018 15:01

BlackBerry finds new Australian partners


BlackBerry is expanding its partner program, but with an emphasis on quality rather than quantity.

BlackBerry's "pivot from hardware to software is complete", president of global sales Carl Wiese told iTWire.

Part of that shift to "BlackBerry 2.0" has been the creation of what has been recognised as a world-class partner program.

EMEA is the most progressive market followed by the US and then APAC, he said, but while BlackBerry has been recruiting VARs and other partners, it has had a "focus on quality, not quantity". Between six and ten "really good partners" are enough for the Australian market.

The characteristics the company is looking for are a background in security and applications. Mobility expertise is useful but not essential, Wiese said, because device management has already been solved.

"Size is not the most important thing," he added. "People want expertise", so as long as a potential partner has top people, it doesn't matter whether there are 20 or 200 of them.

The latest Australian members of the program are IT support company Anderson Morgan, security applications distributor Australian Projects and IT hardware, software and services provider Fujitsu.

"As the fourth wave of digital disruption breaks on Australian shores, our partnership with BlackBerry is delivering security outcomes that allows organisations to get on with their business," said Anderson Morgan, APAC chief executive, Bjarke Porsbro-Pedersen.

"This partnership has been forged with BlackBerry's 30-plus years of security heritage and Anderson Morgan's expertise in region to ensure we meet our customers' needs today, with an eye on the future when delivering a solution."

Australian Projects managing director Chris Joscelyne said: "As a leading Australian information security supplier to corporate and government customers, Australian Projects chose to partner with BlackBerry because their secure mobility and productivity solutions are demonstrably 'best of breed'.

"Our customers demand consistently reliable and robust security that does not choke productivity, and this is where BlackBerry shines. This is why, as we continue to expand our BlackBerry software and services in the government sector, we know we have partnered with the right company."

Fujitsu head of platform sales Nathan Grant said "As workforces continue to digitise in Australia, the security of our customers is a high priority.

"At Fujitsu, we are focused on solving business challenges, and we are pleased to partner with BlackBerry to offer secure software that helps customers remove barriers to truly take advantage of the opportunities that digital transformation offers."

BlackBerry has also entered the security consulting market, independently of its software business. Some of that operation's largest deals with clients haven't been associated with BlackBerry software, Wiese observed.

While the message about the "new BlackBerry" has got through in the financial services, government and mobility markets, the company still has work to do in other segments to communicate its new focus. Part of that is a 10-city international tour, the Australian leg of which took place in Sydney today.

People were keen to hear the message, Wiese said, and "once people are aware [of what BlackBerry is doing], the story becomes compelling".

A recent example is wealth adviser Patersons Securities' adoption of BlackBerry Workspaces to eliminate paper and improve collaboration while coping with compliance issues such as GDPR and mandatory breach notifications.

"The integration of BlackBerry Workspaces has helped us move towards our paperless vision, allowing us to trace, track and audit digital documents and information shared among staff and clients. This empowers our mobile employees to remain productive while ensuring a high level of data confidentiality in a complex regulatory environment. More importantly, it has resulted in great cost savings and improved overall efficiency across the board," said chief information officer Darren Michael.

"Patersons Securities has been in operation for over 115 years. Our longevity and success is due to the trust our clients have in us and reducing risk is our first concern. We wanted to modernise by going paperless, but needed to do this in line with our core accountability and transparency values, as well as the Australian Mandatory Data Breach Notifications scheme and GDPR."

In related news, BlackBerry announced that its QNX software was embedded in more than 120 million cars on the road.

The software is used in advanced driver assistance systems, digital instrument clusters, connectivity modules, handsfree systems, and infotainment systems that are part of models from Audi, BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Toyota, Volkswagen and others.

"Three years ago, BlackBerry QNX technology was inside 60 million cars. Today, that figure has doubled as the world's leading automakers, their tier-one suppliers, and chip manufacturers have put their trust in BlackBerry," said BlackBerry executive chairman and chief executive John Chen.

"As cars are increasingly driven by software, our customers and partners rely on BlackBerry QNX technologies to provide them with the safety-certified and secure technology platform on which the future of the automotive industry is being built."

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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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