Channel partners can leverage BlackBerry's partnerships with Google and Samsung to grow their own mobility businesses, executives claimed during the BlackBerry Security Summit in New York City.
During the event, Steve Clarey, alliance director at BlackBerry, said channel partners can tap Google's Android OS, along with different form factors of Samsung devices, plus BlackBerry infrastructure to drive mobility business by becoming a trust advisor capable of articulating the options available.
"One thing Android also provides is a way to grow your existing customers by moving them up the value suites in terms of our [enterprise] mobility suites," he said in reference to BlackBerry's five enterprise mobility suite levels.
The executive also encouraged channel partners in attendance to push customers toward BlackBerry Connectivity, an app that streamlines behind-the-firewall access with a layer of encryption for corporate data in transit, or to adopt applications related to BlackBerry Dynamics, the vendor's mobile app container.
"That's a way of moving customers that may be at a lower value [enterprise mobility] suite to a higher value suite. So don't ignore existing customers and the opportunity to introduce Android to move them along the mobility curve," Clary said.
David Still, managing director of Android enterprise at Google, said Google is also working with channel partners, noting the vendor is seeing "vibrant activity" in enterprise mobility management and unified endpoint management (UEM) with Blackberry.
"It's really about making sure that [during] the last mile of deployment and configuration that we're working very closely with those partners to make sure they have all the technical resources they need to do a successful deployment [and] all the marketing resources they would need to talk about Android in ways that are somewhat consistent and have sales support," he said.
It's also important that while selling thousands of devices, Samsung also discusses the benefits of the Android OS and its relationship with Google, as well as Blackberry, Still said.
"From a customer's perceptive they want to see all three of us come to that… unified vision and a very consistent story because if we don't, then it looks like an awful mess," he said.
Ram Motipally, senior director of Samsung Knox, admitted he heard a lot of jokes when people learned BlackBerry and Samsung were working together in 2014. However, he said with many customers in banks and government agencies leveraging BlackBerry infrastructure for years, collaboration made sense.
"If for various reasons we should to want jump into [those markets], if there's a play for us to be able to convince customers that Samsung devices are what they should be deploying and it's secure, then the next question is how do you manage them? And if they were going to keep the best UEM infrastructure, then a partnership where the UEM infrastructure is working seamlessly with our devices became very compelling," he explained.
In addition to integrating proprietary technology to differentiate solutions they offer natively, Clary said the vendors work closely together around technology and engineering via weekly calls where teams evaluate the Android platform and discuss supporting features, as well as work to align future roadmaps to drive new features.
In addition, the vendors host joint events with channel partners, including ISVs, and have started to include resellers and distributors in telesales campaigns, the exec said.
As a result, the former cell phone vendor is expanding into industries looking to mobilise front line workers, such as trucking companies and field services firms.
"The diversity that Android offers when it comes to device types and form factors is really an advantage and really opens some new doors for new opportunities within customers that might not be considered the traditional BlackBerry customer," Clary said.
On Google's end, Still said Android is seeing strong enterprise adoption in retail, hospitality and manufacturing because the collaboration offers capability with different device types, including smartphones, ruggedized tablets and other "kiosk-type" devices and different price options.
"Those are areas where device diversity… makes us very successful," he said.
He said Google is also growing in highly regulated industries as well, including government and insurance and other financial services.
"People would be surprised at the types of logos we're winning together with [BlackBerry and Samsung]," he said.
Google's Still also claimed Android has a "more open platform than iOS", saying this allows developers to do things that appeal to the enterprise market, like log message apps.
"That's just something iOS doesn't allow you to do… You can use that because of the extension our partners have done with it," Still said.
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