BlackBerry set to map out enterprise strategy at San Francisco event

Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:40am EST
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By Euan Rocha

TORONTO Nov 12 (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd's strategy for serving big clients like corporations and government agencies will take shape on Thursday as it launches a new mobile device management platform, a vital component of its turnaround plan.

At a San Francisco event, BlackBerry will outline tie-ups with carriers and service providers that will be co-marketing the BlackBerry Enterprise platform, or BES 12, according to industry sources.

Analysts and investors are watching closely to see if BlackBerry Chief Executive Officer John Chen can kick-start revenue growth.

Growth will depend on the success of the BES 12, a system that will allow large organizations to manage and secure not just BlackBerry devices on their internal networks, but devices that run on rival operating systems such as Google's Android, Microsoft's Windows and Apple's iOS.

"It is an important event and we are interested in the company's comments around its enterprise strategy, but strategy alone won't lead to a full rebound for the company," said Morningstar analyst Brian Colello. "BlackBerry will have to execute flawlessly over the next couple of years as well."

Chen said delivering on balance sheet improvements and other pledges in the last year has given BlackBerry a degree of credibility.

"Last year, even if they liked our technology they didn't believe we'd survive, so they didn't want to commit to our technology. That is changing," he told Reuters.

BlackBerry has some 3.4 million clients provisionally signed up for BES 12 who are potentially set to become paying clients early next year. Despite this, analysts remain cautious, noting BlackBerry is competing in a crowded field.   Continued...