BlackBerry is no longer about smartphone, but smart in phone: Narendra Nayak, MD, BlackBerry India

By Sanjeeb Kumar Sahoo

Narendra Nayak, MD, BlackBerry India, has over 31 years of experience in IT & Telecom business management. He has joined BlackBerry from venture-funded software company Linguanext Technologies, where he was responsible for growing the business in India and across South East Asia, the Middle East and Africa. In an email interview with Voice&Data, Nayak elaborates on the company’s new business strategy in India and how ‘Software is the new BlackBerry’. Excerpts:

Voice&Data: What are BlackBerry’s key focus areas in the Indian market? What are the recent updates?

Narendra Nayak: At our recent Q2 financial results in August, we announced BlackBerry doubled Software and Services revenue ($156 million, up 111% from prior year’s quarter). We also announced a new strategic direction for our Mobility Solutions business focused on development and licensing of our secure device software and BlackBerry brand.

Our mission is clear. BlackBerry is no longer about the smartphone, but the smart in the phone; in cars and containers, medical devices and wearables, consumer appliances and industrial machinery, and ultimately the entire enterprise. Software is the new BlackBerry. To name a few areas, our business today spans enterprise mobility management, encrypted voice, enterprise file sync and share, Secure crisis communications, identity management, split billing for BYOD policies, and asset-tracking in the Internet of Things (IoT).

BlackBerry has redefined its go-to-market strategy for India and is rebuilding the distribution channel geared towards software and the enterprise. India is a very important market for BlackBerry and we are committed to our customers and partners in this country – and focused on strengthening our play in enterprise software and helping our customers use our technology to secure and transform their businesses. To support this, we have been strengthening our team in India, bringing in more people with software knowledge and software support sales skills.

We have witnessed an encouraging response from our customersfor BlackBerry’s EMM platform because of its multi-OS support from a single console with iOS, Android (including Android for Work and Samsung KNOX), BlackBerry, Windows and Mac OSX – and for any ownership model (BYOD, COPE, COBO), even in mixed environments. Beyond this, we are seeing high demand for solutions like WatchDox that are helping to enable truly secure mobile working.
It is not just us who is saying this. BlackBerry ranks the highest in all six categories of Gartner’s High-Security Mobility Management Study and Watchdox was named a leader in Forrester’s 2016 Enterprise File Sync and Share report. When security is your highest priority, BlackBerry is the only choice.
Voice&Data: How is the HCL partnership going to strengthen BlackBerry’s enterprise presence in India?
Narendra Nayak: It is the first focused enterprise channel partnership for BlackBerry in India. The partnership is enhancing the availability of BlackBerry’s enterprise mobility portfolio to business customers by leveraging HCL Infosystems’ extensive pan-India network of specialized enterprise partners.

In addition to sales support, customers will also have access to HCL Infosystems’ IT deployment support and integration capabilities. This will help them to migrate seamlessly or consolidate their Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) investments.

This agreement is part of BlackBerry’s global Enterprise Partner Program. BlackBerry will help HCL Infosystems grow their business to increase their value and improve competitive differentiation by building and developing intellectual property and personalized value-added services around BlackBerry’s comprehensive multi-OS EMM platform.
Voice&Data: What is the roadmap for EMM and enterprise security for the India market?
Narendra Nayak: In today’s connected ecosystem, data is a highly valuable commodity. Hence, organizations dealing with confidential data and client information, a breach in security can cause irreparable damage to the organization in terms of wealth, privacy and reputation. There is a need to look at the complete lifecycle of security architecture, from design to implementing products and technologies and managing the architecture over time.

For optimal security, organizations should seek out solutions that are capable of meeting corporate network requirements while concurrently providing three layers of security at the device, server and network level.
At BlackBerry, we believe that before the Internet of Things can be realized, the Enterprise of Things has to be secure. In a highly connected world, security and privacy are paramount – they are part of our DNA and at the forefront of everything we do. And to ensure this, BlackBerry gives enterprises complete confidence in their supply chain, product and data security. Industry leaders trust BlackBerry for secure mobile communications as it continues to address various industries like healthcare, construction, consulting, goods businesses, consumer electronics, automotive, aviation, etc.

Could you elaborate on ATHoc and WatchDox?

Since the acquisition of WatchDox and AtHoc, these solutions have been integrated into the BlackBerry offering. BlackBerry is aiming at further strengthening its foothold in the secure messaging and content management areas. BlackBerry’s best-in-class mobile security combined with solutions from AtHoc and WatchDox provide users with unmatched control over enterprise software and mobile solutions. WatchDox’s technology offers value-added service that complements BlackBerry’s Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) portfolio. It will extend BlackBerry’s commitment to help organizations securely connect employees with each other and with corporate information across all mobile and desktop platforms. WhileAtHoc technology enhances BlackBerry’s mission to provide secure communication solutions for the connected world. It integrates with BlackBerry’s enterprise portfolio of cross-platform solutions and trusted global network to enable new capabilities for safety, security and mission-critical business communications.
How does AtHoc helps with crisis communications? Pl share some examples.

AtHoc is purpose-built for crisis communications and is used to manage business operations. It plays a valuable role in secure message control for a wide variety of other applications, such as communications management, messaging tracking and security, and performance documentation. A cyber-attack against an enterprise represents another non-traditional use for AtHoc, in which specific personnel must be contacted and organized both securely and on short notice.

A section of Mexico City is successfully using AtHoc technology to issue a warning when an earthquake is about to occur, and many lives have been saved by AtHoc’s SARMEX alert receiver. Another example is that of Canadian House of Parliament. After a shooting at the Canadian House of Parliament back in October 2014, the government re-evaluated its security. Eventually, it rolled out AtHoc, which leveraged existing networked PCs, email, mobile phones and in the near future – building alarms, CCTV and other devices into a unified system to alert and account for the people working at the Parliament in times of crisis.

With AtHoc, BlackBerry is advancing its mission to provide secure communication solutions for the connected world. It integrates with our enterprise portfolio of cross-platform solutions and trusted global network to enable new capabilities for safety, security and mission-critical business communications. Recently, we announced new updates to AtHoc including real-time alert rules, automated staff mustering, and management alerting and severity notifications. As we have done with Watchdox for BlackBerry, we have further integrated AtHoc into our business, adding the mobile app for the AtHoc Crisis Communications platform into Good Dynamics.

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