BlackBerry strengthens EMM portfolio, BES 12 with WatchDox acquisition

Waterloo, Ont.-based BlackBerry is strengthening its enterprise mobility management (EMM) portfolio with the acquisition of WatchDox, which specializes in secure file management.

On Tuesday, BlackBerry announced a definitive agreement to acquire Palo Alto, Calif.-based WatchDox, a data security mobility company specializing in secure enterprise file-sync-and-share solutions that let users share files and work across any device. Access to files can be revoked or files deleted remotely, whether on an endpoint, on premise or in the cloud.

WatchDox’s technology will be integrated into BlackBerry’s EMM portfolio and will be available with BES 12. Terms of the transaction, which is subject to closing conditions, were not disclosed.

According to BlackBerry, the integration of the WatchDox technology will help enterprises connect their employees and their corporate information across endpoints, while ensuring security and transparency is maintained.

“BlackBerry is constantly expanding the potential of data security so that it enables more collaboration and sharing rather than creating limitations,” said John Chen, BlackBerry executive chairman and CEO, in a statement. “This acquisition represents another key step forward as we transition BlackBerry into the premier platform for secure mobile communications software and applications, supporting all devices and operating systems. Together with last year’s Secusmart acquisition, Samsung partnership, our own internal development efforts, and now the acquisition of WatchDox, we now have capabilities to secure communications end-to-end from voice, text, messaging, data and now enterprise file-sync-and share.”

BlackBerry will also leverage WatchDox’s research and development facilities in Petah Tikva, Israel to form the basis of a new security-focused BlackBerry R&D centre.

“Enterprises require secure mobile solutions that enable users to more easily collaborate and increase their productivity. WatchDox meets this need by uniting data-centric security with a user-friendly experience that is highly valued by our customers,” said Moti Rafalin, WatchDox CEO and founder, in a statement. “The combination of BlackBerry’s security leadership and EMM portfolio with WatchDox technology will bring the most productive and collaborative mobility solution to organizations that need innovative ways to conduct business securely and efficiently.”

Last month at Mobility World Congress in Barcelona, BlackBerry announced more enhancements to its EMM portfolio by launching a cloud version of BES 12. The cloud version contains the core functionality of the on-premise version but provides greater ease and simplicity and management and is geared towards SMBs that have limited resources but want to obtain and enterprise-grade EMM.

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras is a technology journalist with IT World Canada and a member of the IT Business team. He began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada and the channel for Computer Dealer News. His writing has also appeared in the Vancouver Sun & the Ottawa Citizen.

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