BlackBerry is putting software at the heart of its vision as it targets deepening its ties with the IT channel.
The device maker has had an up-and-down recent history, but its BlackBerry 10 family of new devices have been relatively warmly received since their launch earlier this year. The Canadian vendor attend CRN's Partner Connect event in Coventry yesterday to offer an insight into its technology road map and try to woo some UK partners.
UK channel sales manager Andy Smallwood told CRN that BlackBerry is increasingly diversifying its channel from its traditional base of handset and airtime dealers, and working more with IT VARs and integrators. Central to this is the company's BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) mobile device management platform, and Smallwood characterised software as the key offering in continuing to court the IT channel.
Tom Byrd, head of competitive intelligence at BlackBerry, explained that device management and security, enterprise apps and unified communications are the three key plays for the mobility firm in the coming months and years.
He stressed the importance of upcoming developments including a cloud-based version of the BlackBerry Balance software and the launch of BBM for iOS and Android. He also spoke out to reassure any potential partners concerned by media reports about the precariousness of the vendor's finances.
"We have no debt and $3bn (£2bn) in cash. If any of you have heard anything negative about BlackBerry, do not believe it," he said. "We are here to stay – because we have lots of money!"
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