BlackBerry buys secure app & containerization vendor

Less than half a year following its acquisition of Israel-based security company WatchDox, BlackBerry is at it again.

This time, the Canadian smartphone maker has acquired former rival Good Technology, which offers secure applications and containerization.

The deal worth $425 million in cash was announced this weekend.

“With Good, BlackBerry will expand its ability to offer cross-platform EMM [enterprise mobility management] solutions that are critical in a world with varying deployment models such as BYOD; corporate owned, personally enabled (COPE); as well as environments with multiple user interfaces and operating systems,” BlackBerry said in a statement.

The company, which has placed increasingly heavy emphasis on securing all major smartphone platforms as part of its business, said that Good has an OS instal base consisting 64 percent of iOS devices, followed by Android and Windows.

It recently partnered with Android and Samsung to flesh out its cross-platform mobile security offerings.

“By acquiring Good, BlackBerry will better solve one of the biggest struggles for CIOs today, especially those in regulated industries: securely managing devices across any platform,” John Chen, CEO of BlackBerry said in a statement. “By providing even stronger cross-platform capabilities our customers will not have to compromise on their choice of operating systems, deployment models or any level of privacy and security.”

However, some in the EMM space feel that this acquisition may be too little too late.

Carl Rodrigues, CEO of Mississauga, ON-based EMM provider SOTI – which competes with BlackBerry in this space – said that the acquisition comes at a time when one company is struggling financially while the other fights to stay relevant.  He also made a distinction between Good’s technology, which he said is containerizing and more BYOD-based, versus EMM, which looks at the bigger picture.

“There’s tons of companies who have their own apps and institutions are looking to mobility to do business better,” he told CDN.  “EMM providers have done the simple managing of corporate apps and can understand that part of the business that is a much bigger side of the market.  There’s plenty of containers out there that any company can leverage.”

He also suggested that it may take some time for BlackBerry to integrate Good’s technology and culture into its own, given that it wasn’t until recently that BES rose to prominence, despite the acquisition and subsequent integration of German company Ubitexx in 2011.

“You have to be looking ahead,” Rodrigues said.

The deal is expected to be completed toward the end of the company’s fiscal Q3 2016.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Dave Yin
Dave Yinhttp://www.computerdealernews.com
Digital Staff Writer at Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel.

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