6 ways BlackBerry plans to save its business

Mobile & tablets

by Joe Curtis| 04 June 2014

Interview: The phone maker remains attached to its keyboard, but what else does it have up its sleeve?

BlackBerry was once the king of cool, but is now teetering on the edge of the smartphone market.

The mobile phone manufacturer has lost out to the likes of Apple, Samsung and Google in the consumer space, and global shipments are predicted to fall by nearly 50% this year, according to IDC.

The analyst house claimed last week that the company's global market share will drop below 1% by the end of 2014, and predicted that it will suffer a protracted death over the next four years to hit 0.3% come 2018.

Everyone seems to know that the game is up. Everyone except BlackBerry, that is.

The firm's senior VP for Europe, Markus Mueller, used the BlackBerry Experience event in London today (June 3) to outline the group's strategy to save itself by playing to its strengths as an enterprise offering.

Here's six ways it plans to recapture some of the enterprise market.

Goodbye, consumers!

Mueller was quick to admit that BlackBerry's consumer strategy hasn't worked out, and announced that the company is "recommitting to the enterprise space".

He added: "That's what [CEO] John Chen said when he came on board in November. He told us to focus, and if you want to focus, you need to focus on the battles you can win. BlackBerry devices might not necessarily be a device for everybody."

The concession came as he admitted the business made a mistake trying to take BlackBerry 10 (the operating system) to consumers.

"What we did with BlackBerry 10, how we approached the market, maybe that was a battle in the broad consumer space which we couldn't have won in the first place. Enterprise is our heritage, that's where our security matters, that's where our trust matters."

More focus on enterprise software

He went on to say that BlackBerry devices are primarily productivity tools aimed at businesspeople "with busy lives".

To that end, he said Chen's arrival brought more of a focus on enterprise software solutions.

Mueller said: "Quite honestly, in the past the software part was always what we needed because we wanted to sell devices to businesses. This has to change now. We have a device business, which obviously we will run moving forward, but at the same time we want to focus more on the software side."

He added that BlackBerry wants to be the "true mobility platform provider" for companies, providing not only its own apps, but the company's own and third parties' too, with BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) 10 and BES12, its mobile device and application management solutions.

He told the audience: "Going forward to BES12 you will see we are actually moving out further to mobile application enablement. We want to become the true mobility platform provider for everything within the enterprise and obviously part of that everything might also be that you create your own mobile apps, and we want to be the enabler for that."

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