BlackBerry's latest efforts in the smartphone industry resulted in a handful of Android-powered smartphones, but despite those recent releases, it appears that the Canadian tech giant is now focusing on becoming a software company. In a recent interview with MobileSyrup, BlackBerry's Chief Operating Officer Marty Beard shared some of the company's future plans and revealed that BlackBerry is quickly shifting towards catering to the enterprise market, i.e. the so-called "Enterprise of Things" segment. The company's main goal is to provide security to enterprises and make its "BlackBerry Secure" label ubiquitous, similar to how "Intel Inside" became a prominent badge in the computer industry.
BlackBerry has been trying to redefine itself in recent years. The company's smartphone business kept losing ground and its latest efforts to remain a relevant smartphone manufacturer have resulted in the new BlackBerry DTEK phones and the BlackBerry KEYone powered by the Android operating system. However, as a company, BlackBerry shifted dramatically from where it stood back in 2013 when John Chen became its interim CEO, and BlackBerry now considers itself a software company. Over the past two years, BlackBerry made several acquisitions including Good Technology and AtHoc, and much of these platforms have already been integrated into what the Canadian company now calls the BlackBerry Secure technology, Beard said. The company's COO also revealed that BlackBerry's enterprise sales force has either doubled or tripled over the past year, with several hundred employees focusing on selling BlackBerry's solutions as opposed to focusing on carrier sales.
BlackBerry's main focus now includes any connected device that may be used by a company or another large organization. In order to do this, the company recently launched its BBM enterprise software development kit (SDK) and started working on building a strong developer community around the software. The company is hoping that any application that requires communications capabilities or notifications will rely on the BBM enterprise SDK for security and generate revenue whenever it's being used. BlackBerry's new vision includes devices sporting the "BlackBerry Secure" logo and the company is hoping that anyone who uses a BlackBerry-branded device will have "a professional, highly secure feeling," Beard said.