A few years ago, you couldn’t move in London on the Tube for businessmen checking and answering email on their Blackberry device. Now they have disappeared, being replaced by Apple and Samsung devices. There were rumours that they would be brought by Microsoft, but that never happened. So whatever happened to Blackberry Unfortunately, we could not get stock quote BBRY this time.?
The answer is that they still exist, they are focused on the same areas as before, but with a slightly different take. Blackberry had solutions that covered:
- Endpoint management
Tools for managing an estate of mobile phones, including knowing where they are, and being able to disable them if necessary.
- Data collection and consolidation
Sending and receiving email is only one form of data. They also had app stores to provide extra features and functionality.
- Over the air software upgrades
Being able to keep everything up to date so that there aren’t multiple versions of devices in the field, easing support burdens.
- Managing data over lower bandwidth links
The original Mobitex platform that Blackberry used didn’t have a lot of bandwidth, compared to LTE phones. Managing data flow in a constrained environment is more challenging.
Now Blackberry are redeploying those skills to look at a new market, which closely fits their strengths, and corporate history. This is the market for the Internet of Things (IoT). This marketplace requires the same kind of tooling and support that mobile devices have. Management and updating of the numerous endpoints must happen. Blackberry have already answered the challenge of managing devices that have poor bandwidth or intermittent connections.
Blackberry have a outfitted a concept using the new Jaguar XJ showing how with their QNX platform provides the basis for the “software-defined” car. This provides a platform for showing how they can operate within the vehicle itself.
They also have an IoT device that allows transport and logistics companies to track trailers, chassis and containers. This provides both location and environmental data sampled at 5 minute intervals. This is then sent to their IoT platform in the cloud. Where centralised consolidation and analysis of information occurs, and presents that as operational dashboards and reports.
They also have redeployed their management platform to support IoT devices in both the automotive, embedded and consumer device spaces. This providing lifecycle software management services, distribution and upgrade processes from a central cloud.
They still continue to sell mobile phones, with the Blackberry Passport providing a link back to the Blackberry phones of the past. It has a squarer form-factor, and a physical keyboard compared with current smartphones.