CEO briefing: Good Technology’s Christy Wyatt talks BlackBerry integration and why MDM is not a part-time job.
BlackBerry’s buy of Good Technology pushes the combined entity to the top of the enterprise mobility market.
Reactions in the industry have been mixed; AirWatch‘s EMEA MD Ian Evans said that the deal was "complementary" while SOTI CEO Carl Rodrigues said "it may be too little, too late for these two struggling companies."
Speaking exclusively to CBR, Good CEO Christy Wyatt unsurprisingly opts for the former view;
"They really envision that their brand stands for security. We’ve always felt the same way about ours. We’ve been very like-minded when it comes to thinking about the enterprise and thinking about security."
However, Wyatt argues that this is where the similarities end; it is a likeness of mindset, not approach.
"That said, we were both solving the same customer problem but solving it in very different ways. So if you line the two technology sets up side-by-side there is actually very little overlap.
"We sort of assume that the software platform is the security platform; they have a set of applications, we have service management. They have a rich device management, application management and of course that’s part of their learnings from their hardware business.
"They have a very broad network of support that can be leveraged, very strong carrier network. We’re predominantly a direct go-to-market organisation.
"Both of us looking at it sort of saw the other side of the coin, and thought if you put these two together you have a very robust and comprehensive offering to the enterprise customer. Whether they are looking to do an MDM deployment or a desktop deployment we should have the security tools they need to deploy any of these strategies."
Wyatt says that where there is overlap, the two companies will take a "pragmatic view."
"The only real technology overlap seems to be in stand-alone MDM itself. Across the board, for all of these components we’ve had a very pragmatic view that we will take the strongest of both.
"I would be the first to tell you that they’ve done far more investment in MDM than Good has, so if I were to tell a customer which one to deploy it would be theirs. Fortunately, there is a very small number of places where that decision needs to be made. For the most part, we have very different portfolios and very different strategies."
She claims that despite consolidation in the industry, only truly integrated companies will excel in the mobile world.
"I don’t think we’ve seen the end of [consolidation]. Some of the really large players have maybe made acquisitions but they have been what I call bolt-on strategies. You take MDM and bolt it onto the side of whatever you have.
"In order to do this really well and solve problems such as security and user experience, it can’t be a part-time job. There is a tremendous amount of focus and investment that needs to go into this.
"Because these devices are taking over the landscape of the enterprise, more and more you’re going to see IT organisations having to become mobility companies, instead of thinking of an add-on mobility strategy. That’s a very different size of investment.
"So we’ve seen a wave of what I’d call the low-hanging fruit and I think we’ll continue to see some of these larger integrations with larger IT providers who really have to think across the entire landscape.
"But they will have to think about it in earnest, not just as a ‘we want to do everything for you and then here’s some mobile stuff.’"
"There are many companies that are going to have a mobile strategy that is an adjunct to the core of their business. Secure mobility is the core of our business. We’re going to do it incredibly well and make sure that all your assets are protected, and it’s not to further the agenda on some other product line."
Four months on, read our interview with BlackBerry’s VP of Corporate Strategy about how the integration has been handled here .