BlackBerry CEO John Chen sends open letter to enterprise customers

By Adam Zeis on 2 Dec 2013 11:51 am EST

BlackBerry Interim CEO John Chen isn't wasting any time getting to work. He's already pushed ahead to keep things on track, already issuing a letter to customers letting them know where things stand. Today another open letter was sent out to enterprise customers and partners as well in hopes of clearing up some recent happenings. 

The letter explains that even though many MDM vendors may be trying to entice users away from BES, BlackBerry is "very much alive" and is "here to stay". Mr. Chen states that BlackBerry is staying true to their roots and will continue to offer enterprise-grade, end-to-end mobile solutions as they continue to invest in enterprise and security during the restructuring period. 

So rest assured that BlackBerry is still committed to enterprise and will continue to support their services and will even be hosting a webcast series to further dive into the points covered in the letter. Very open and very up front -- we love the way things are going under John Chen so far.

Check out the full letter below and hit up the comments with your thoughts!

An Open Letter to Customers

To our valued enterprise customers and partners,

You’re hearing a lot of noise in the market about BlackBerry®. MDM vendors are undoubtedly inviting you to webinars and enticing you to switch off your BES.

We want to set the story straight about BlackBerry in the Enterprise, both for our existing customers and for those about to implement BYOD and MDM.

We are very much alive, thank you

Our “for sale” sign has been taken down and we are here to stay. BlackBerry recently announced it has entered into an agreement to receive a strategic investment from Fairfax Financial and other institutional investors, which represents a vote of confidence in the future of BlackBerry.

The investments you've made in BlackBerry infrastructure and solutions are secure.  

I will keep the lines of communication open as we navigate through this transition.

We're going back to our heritage and roots – delivering enterprise-grade, end-to-end mobile solutions. As we refocus back to our roots, BlackBerry will target four areas: handsets, EMM solutions, cross-platform messaging, and embedded systems. And, just as important, we will continue to invest in enterprise and security related R&D during our restructuring period.

In short, reports of our death are greatly exaggerated.

Setting the record straight: We will manage all devices

We’re serious about multi-platform MDM and even more serious about multi-platform EMM. We deliberately moved to a new platform with BES10 last year.  Making this change enables us to manage all devices, turbo-charge BYOD initiatives, and provide the very best management experience.

Our competitors want you to think that BES only manages BlackBerry devices, and that we are somehow more expensive than other MDMs. This is false.

We understand the realities of the enterprise mobility market better than anyone, and we’re in the game for the long term. We’ve been investing in enterprise mobility management – for any device – and thanks to customers like you, we’re doing very well. Here’s the proof:

  • Our EMM customer base is much larger than any of the other vendors in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Mobile Device Management – and is growing.
  • We manage more mobile devices than any other vendor. Period.
  • We move more secure mobile data than anyone else.
  • We have substantial cash and are not a small VC-backed “pure play” MDM player seeking additional funds every year.

Security is not debatable – regardless of the device

BYOD users may be able to bring any device to work, but it’s our job to ensure the risk doesn’t follow them in. Whether you’re deploying corporate-owned iPads or allowing BYOD Android™ devices, security is paramount.

We have more certifications from government agencies than any other vendor and we’re the only EMM vendor and handset maker to receive the Department of Defense “Authority to Operate” certification.

Governments, global corporations and organizations that will not compromise on security continue to choose and trust BlackBerry.

BES10 is your future Enterprise Mobility Solution

We know that BlackBerry devices are not for everyone. That’s OK.

As we committed to earlier – we are more than just a device company. Today, BES10 supports multi-platform MDM, mobile application management and security.  We have also made it as easy and low cost as possible for you to trial and deploy BES10.

In the coming weeks, we will continue to have an open conversation with you. Keep an eye out for an EMM Realities webcast series where we will drill down into the key areas in this letter. In the meantime, I want your feedback on how we can better serve your EMM needs.

I believe in BlackBerry and I’m confident in our future in enterprise, our technology and our ability to adapt to changing market needs.


John S.
Chair and CEO







Topics: Apps Enterprise

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

BlackBerry CEO John Chen sends open letter to enterprise customers



I think John Chen is the person that BlackBerry needs and deserves, but I'm worried because no matter how good the CEO and his team is, consumers might still not want a BlackBerry device.

Seems so strange to see any sort of communication from Blackberry ACTUALLY CLEARLY SPELLING OUT why it is a better choice. Great work communicating the benefits of BES10!

I'm dropping my z10 going to android blackberry disappointed me no apps and no 10.2. So it's limited on what I can do. So long blackberry u where good but no changes on trying to make it better.

And for the leaks it sucks how u have to load them by computer and side load apps shouldn't have to b that way. B sides all that great phone I just want them apps that I can use whit other platforms. As in voxer words whit friends Tengo gtunes and more. Big disappointment

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I like you Mr Chen. You have a way with words. You are passionate and smart. I have confidence in your abilities, and your experience to come up with a great strategy for BlackBerry . You would be happy to know I just bought my Z30 today, and I Love it! Keep it moving John. :)

While this letter is absolute good I would rather see him directly address the root causes of RIM's fall:

1. Lack of corporate governance and accountability;
2. Lack of qualified labour;

JS cannot save BlackBerry without fixing these problems.

Finally a statement of the management. After a while, I thought we Crackberries would be unpaid, territorial Blackberry ambassadors, marketing, defending the product(s).

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Finally. Incredibly refreshing to hear strong and focused vision from blackberry and Mr. Chen. I have always had faith in blackberry and this letter builds on that. And my newly acquired Z30 is awesome, although I do miss the 9900. Can't beat the qwerty for instant comm.

To Mr. Chen, Thank You.

They need to advertise to recover their image with professionals. A letter from the CEO is nice, but BB needs its image back among the people that now make the buying decisions for devices.

Believe me. This letter pulled me back from an imminent Note3 purchase. I felt I'd grown taller by a few inches after reading BOSS letter. Can someone tell me if BES10 will support a personal Bold 9900?

Now we have had BBM. com, why not have BES10. com for all your enterprise needs, not just for BlackBerry. just for BlackBerry

As an advertisement banner have Apple, Android and BlackBerry under the one umbrella called BES10

Posted via CB10

Someone should tell him that enterprise customers starting to use tablets as well. I have seen some companies use iPads with iPhones because they want to use same OS with phones and tablets.

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Good! I would love to see some quick action on the Apps end and BB10 updates rollout much quicker.

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Although his only been in the position a small amount of time, I thought he would have done this sooner
since these enterprise customers are the bread and butter of BlackBerry's future, and the higher margin business.

I'm glad his finally done it, I'm not sure what impact it will have, like many I eagerly await his turn around plan.

Good for BB! Good for Mr. Chen! There is one major advantage missing in the letter: ROAMING. As a business traveller, BB has proved to be the only effective device (cost & functional effective). After switching to a smartphone early this year (needed to try after years of using BB 8900 and 9800), I have been coursed by the phone company with exorbitant costs if I dare to use data roaming when abroad. So, when I'm out of the country, I have a full-of-features-device that is only good for making phonecalls and SMS (it's like having air conditioning in your car but not being allowed to use it on a warm day because the car might consume more fuel....).
I'm just waiting to finish the current phone contract to switch to a Z10. I will enjoy going back to a system that FLOWS and do es not fr eeze whe n trying to make a pho ne calll and that keeps you focused on work. I will miss some apps that I use to work (OneNote and Skydrive as built-in apps, not third party), but have the strong belief that in Mr. Chen's statement BB is looking to narrow that gap. Thank you.

Wow! I love this letter! I have said before that BlackBerry should you use that Mark Twain quote in ads. I am glad he out to rest the question of whether or not BlackBerry will continue making devices.

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The tone he used on the letter was different from the one used by CEOs.

It was kind of.. not so formal or elusive. He went to the point and was clear.

He talked about theMedia bashing too.

Was a kind of different letter. I approve

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"We have substantial cash and are not a small VC-backed “pure play” MDM player seeking additional funds every year."


what I'd like to see is what I can expect as a non-enterprise prosumer. When I hear "enterprise technology" I think dull and not cutting edge. Is that what's in store for BlackBerry?

Posted via CB10

Yes, ironic that most of the people jumping up and down here in joy haven't realised that enterprise devices aren't consumer (or even prosumer) devices.

At least it's obvious they have fired *all* the spin doctors.

Wow!! This guy makes me feel confident. And I don't even use a Blackberry device anymore. Chen is already doing what needs to be done, but this (for all intensive purposes) is only a start. I look forward to a turnaround in Waterloo.

So does this mean you'll finally make a new Playbook? Or at least make it so that BB10 devices can do the same things with the Playbook as the 9900 series phones can do?

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