BlackBerry teams up with Indian based company ValueLabs for R&D

By James Richardson on 7 Feb 2014 12:09 pm EST

BlackBerry may have cut their internal staffing levels heavily over the last year or so but in terms of research and development they are starting to outsource. It's reported that they have teamed up with ValueLabs - an Indian based company that specialize in technology / process consulting, software product development, testing, Remote Infrastructure Management (RIM) and Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) services.

The team for BlackBerry work would be set up at ValueLabs’ new facility in the second phase of Hi-Tec City. “The team of 200 professional staff will work with various groups within BlackBerry, including test engineering and software development,” the executive said.

“The depth of our mobility and QA expertise, coupled with our Extended Team Model of engagement, will help BlackBerry realise its development objectives.” Ram Manjeri, Senior VP at ValueLabs, said.

ValueLabs have been operating since 1997 and have more than 2500 staff worldwide. R&D for some aspects of the BlackBerry business may well be getting streamlined in Waterloo, but that's certainly not stopping the investment for the future. 

What part of the BlackBerry business ValueLabs will work on is currently unclear, although it certainly seems that it may well be the software side of things. You have to remember that there is a multitude of departments at BlackBerry - hardware, software, QNX and more. Either way, it's great to see the Canadian company pushing forward and it will be interesting to see what ValueLabs can bring to the BlackBerry 10 table. 

Reader comments

BlackBerry teams up with Indian based company ValueLabs for R&D


The question is why would you entrust such an important investment to offshore resources?

I work with offshore resources on a tech project right now: weak weak weak output.

Posted via CB10

News about BlackBerry gets worse by the week, first we have BlackBerry allowing BB devices to download Android (full of malware) apps.

Then we hear about R&D being outsourced to a country which is highly corrupted (officially confirmed) , country which it's own infrastructure is decades behind the western world.

A country where it's been widely reported, with its call centres where consumer data has been stolen.

Yeah, talented I.T staff, but if run by an Indian management, then forget about any R&D returns.

So BlackBerry & security, I'm getting confused!!!

Last point, it feels like every time I come onto Crick berry, it feels more like being on Android Central. Let's keep all things blackberry. If you want to download some malware, go and buy your self a non blackberry phone.

Catapulted from my Z10.

If any good has come out of British colonialism in India in the past it would be the gift of the English language. Without it employment at call centers would be nonexistent.

It's not a gift rather curse, we are culturally very rich and with great values, do you really think our country is running on call centres?

It's really bad to see our politicians steered our country to the stage where you are pointing fingers and talking very blunt. Be my guest any time in India I'll show you the real picture of its people culture and thinking.

Moving on to your thoughts, I regret our curriculum is in English and we are moving far away from our great literatures written in Sanskrit, Hindi, Tamil, Malyalam etc(50+ languages) and I blame this on our government and its policies. But will make sure my children embrace its value.

Don't forget be my guest any time in future :)

Posted via CB10

India one of futures greatest country.

Blackberry saved by indian Mr.prem watsa putting $1 billion dollars.

Blackberry 10 development team include Main brain - vijay bhardwaj.

India a country whose efficency rate to work on high profile companies ceo includes - pepsico(indra nooyi), microsoft(satya nadella), vodafone(arun sarin), berkshire hathway ( anshu jain, co-ceo), citigroup(vikram pandit).

We are country which is now buying worlds super companies, arcelor, corus,jaguar motors, stake in shale gas usa, australia mines, and endless list.

My friend our political system is corrupt please dont blame citizens who work hard and make the world proud.
We are country which has given value '0' without which today you would be nothing.

Respect india and be thankful for us being such hard working, sincere, brilliant in what so ever fields we go.

Brain is required for all this and if you dont understand above you are brainless and similar to '0' we invented.

Thanks for reading :)

Himanshu's Z10

Can't argue with that. Some people manage ignorance even when assailed from all corners with evidence to the contrary.

A propos the topic, it might help some folks to remember that outsourcing r&d is not the same as outsourcing a call centre.

R&D is a business area in which 'margin for error ' is not an informal one. Rather, it's an enterprise-level consideration. In that case, a corporation like BlackBerry would hardly be likely to play fast and loose with such a core function as Research & Development. I wouldn't be surprised if the unit working at those labs for the BlackBerry account is staffed by post graduate degree science majors, and the head would most probably be a PhD. Why can I assume that? Well look at any reputable r&d department anywhere in the world. No pun intended folks but this isn't rocket science. (Maybe for some it might as well be. )

Posted by the inimitable Z10 handheld system

Not my decision. If it were I would have engaged other resources a year ago.

There is an upside... they won't be engaged for R2.

Posted via CB10

I have similar experience as you. R&D is something requires intensive communication, the overhead in communication and time difference is so high that the loss of efficiency and... team chemistry... makes the outsourcing of R&D very questionable.

Yeah you overcome this through perfect documentation, but first, who writes perfect documentation? Second, how many talented developer likes to write perfect documentation? Third, you either get the talented guys to write documents, which means you lose the productivity in this guy, or you hire someone else to document for this guy, which increase the cost and one extra layer the info has to go through...

Maybe they are only exploring the idea of outsourcing the software test part of the R&D?

Someone is going to have lots of late night teleconferences.

Posted via CB10 with Z30 on radio

R&D is so CRITICAL, that this is a true breath of fresh air for our beloved company. It's only a matter of time that BlackBerry will rise again and come back like a rushing river that's been held back.

Posted via CB10

I think this move, much like the Foxconn move is to sub out secondary operations and free up capitol for primary operations like security, QNX and enterprise. Building a solid and secure base for future growth and sustainability. So far Chen is doing what should have been done several years ago, but better late then never.

Posted via CB10

Actually the company was acquired by BlackBerry. There's no selling involved. Stop trolling asshole.

Posted via CB10

What are you talking about? RIM was not "sold" to BlackBerry, that was only a name change. BlackBerry is still very much a public company. It has not been taken private. Increasing revenue and selling it at a higher premium is still a possibility. It all depends on what the shareholders have in mind.

Posted via CB10

Rude. Very rude. I wish there was an ignore feature here so that I don't see your posts again.

Posted via CB10

Oh and by the way.
- RIM was not acquired, it was a name change. Equity did not change with the new Blackberry name.
- There was an equity change after that and Fairfax exercised its options and converted.
- Fairfax is an investment bank, shareholders lost tons of money at current 9.74$ as I write this. A sale is far from impossible if a big player puts the money on the table. Public companies are always for sale, even if the board doesn't specifically asks for it.
- Likening someone to the orifice by which excrements are expurged and name-dropping "troll" over a minor snide comment is a textbook example of trolling. People my age call this disrespect.

Posted via CB10

Let's see Cisco comes to Toronto for R&D and blackberry goes to india, personally being from Toronto I think this sucks..

Classifieds Canada App

I think it sucks when I walk around Toronto and I see Torontonians not supporting BlackBerry. Maybe if more of them bought BlackBerry devices there'd be more r and d here too

Posted via CB10

Very good point. We have an offshore tech office as well and I am a huge BlackBerry supporter and push BlackBerry devices even in our offshore office. When I travel back to Toronto it is very disheartening to notice the number of people who have turned their backs on blackberry. Worse, many of them judge people like me negatively for having one. I get more resistance from the people in the Toronto office when I tell them that company issued devices must be a Blackberry, than I do in the offshore office. As far as setting up offshore technology centres, it is a pure cost benefit. Tech companies are forced to do it to stay competitive. It is a fact of life today. If you do it right, it can beneficial on both ends beyond just the cost benefit factor.

Posted via CB10

So you're saying because they live in Toronto, they should have something like a patriotic imperative to use products made by a Canadian co? I support BlackBerry but if that were indeed your view, I would have to say that it was nonsense.

Posted by the inimitable Z10 handheld system

But Cisco has operations in India for last many years. They have a big R&D operation in Bangalore.
BlackBerry is actually late in tapping India service sector to optimize the costs, Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, HTC, Qualcomm, Brodcomm, Microsoft - all the major players in mobile computing have had operations in India for last one decade or so.
We live in a global world with products selling across the globe. There is no point in keeping all the work in one country and that is when you are not the top company for talent present in that country. BlackBerry got to diversify and use their money effectively. They may try to be loyal to Canada but then there is no point if it harms the company to an extent where it ceases to exist.

Are the ideas/ intellectual property coming from within BlackBerry and being executed by this Indian company?

Posted via CB10

Will this relationship help push out any future updates any faster? This would be good for the consumer to NOT have to wait on their carriers to test it internally

Posted via CB10

Scary. Have worked in IT industry for 30+ years and with all major India outsourcing firms for almost 15 years. Their skill and quality is still sub par and their costs are forever increasing every year. R&D is critical to a company and even the likes of apple know to keep this onshore and in house. Let's hope this is for something small and minor within BBRY and not something primary and strategic. Hoping quality isn't compromised. Would sure like to know the scope of work that is being outsourced.

Posted via CB10

Sub par?? Which world do you live in? India produces one of the worlds finest engineers!! The new ceo of microsoft is also an Indian. I'm sure Chen knows what he's doing since he's of the same field. He believes in the work done by this firm hence partnering with it.

Posted via CB10

Nadella lives in Washington & most of his degrees are from US universities.......He might be Índia but Índia did not produce or develop is education.
Fact is that although huge & growing the Índian IT industry is world known for sub standard work as is their automotive industry.
If this goes like I expect it will then this deal is another nail in the coffin for BlackBerry

Posted via CB10

@vinteen he may have degrees from the US Don't know much about Nadella or care but most Indians who emigrate have their initial degree from from India unless you are a second generation immigrant. So the base is formed.

You can only polish a diamond not piece of coal.

Posted via CB10

You said it! :)

Posted via awesome Z10! Connect at pin:24C83E54 follow @ anubhavnagpal and subscribe to my channel C0001C740

@ Gokulesh : Point is that even though he is Índian he lives works & studied in the US he have absolutely nothing to do with the sub standard quality of Índia's IT industry.

Posted via CB10

It's good that BlackBerry did not go for any of the big IT outsourcing firms but a specialized (and relatively smaller) company for this purpose. I am sure they must have evaluated what ValueLabs has to offer and acted accordingly. The bulk of Indian IT outsourcing may be not close to BB's quality standards but I am sure there is plenty of great work being done there as well.

Of course. Thank fully BlackBerry isn't run by the few wooly headed and prejudiced ejits who have posted above who have taken issue with a science unit not because of it's academic track record but because of its nationality. I'm happy to assume the r&d provider has tip top standards because I don't think BlackBerry would have hired it if it didn't.

Posted by the inimitable Z10 handheld system

Fear mongers start to come out. I am an engineer that graduated in India and now make Canada my home. I head a department of many, many engineers and these from the so called vaunted universities are no different. You get the same spectrum. From the very good to shaking your head as to who how did this person even graduate from a Canadian university?


Posted via CB10

I would like more information as to what this means in the short term and long term in the development of BB10.

Posted via CB10

Bad idea. Outsourcing hardware production is one thing, and a good financial move. Outsourcing R&D, is outsourcing your future.

@Jupiter8 ..I agree with you on that ,and so does the CDN Government,that's why they give them a tax credit of 100% for R&D,now will BB have to make hundreds of millions more to cover the tax that they didn't pay before,I'm hoping this is not the case.If it is ,I hope sales of BB products in India will make up for it.

R&D tax credits are on expenses already occured and there's no re-payment of them. Those credits reduce tax payments for previous (closed) fiscal year.

No government would give a credit for taxes to a company for just a promise of existence of future R&D expenses.

It's clear what's going on, the more a firm outsources, the more they can cut primary employment, and those expensive benifits. It's been done many times before, nothing new here.

To think any different, is simply naive.

Lazaridis must be fuming.

My opinion comes from managing IT teams in Pune, and here in the US. I've done that for over a half dozen years. I can assure you the local teams perform much higher.

Offshore works great for some things, others not so much. Critical company programs not at all.

Posted via CB10

Sounds promising. Let's hope that innovations and new capabilities come to market sooner and with an enhanced level of quality and functionality. Good to see BlackBerry is looking for great ideas, wherever they may be globally.

How was that well said? There was no explanation as to why he has such severe opinion.

Posted via CB10


John Chen said that, in addition to, Foxconn cheap phone for emerging markets - the BlackBerry design team will work on bringing hi end phones to market, hopefully, they will be able to maintain the quality of my Z30 on future phones - through ventures like this.

I showed my Z30 to two people today - one iPhone gut in a Starbucks and one to a gal in my office building - they were both amazed by the functionality of my Z30 - how did BlackBerry "miss the boat" so horribly on these devices and why is my Z30 relegated to no advertising and no shelf space at Verizon - on an "Exclusive"????

Who wrote that piece of shit deal?

They need to be the "next to go" at BlackBerry.

CB10 from the Z30

It's "incredible"....funny thing is I know how to do it....anything from "0% market share in the USA would be progress"...

Gotta get out from under VZ though - worst "Exclusive" deal ever.

CB10 from the Z30


Their, not there.

There are, not there is.

Sorry for being the grammar nazi.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry is not quitting high end devices. They are needed for enterprise use at the very lease....i think this move is probably aimed at the India market. It is a huge opportunity for BlackBerry and how does an English speaking Canadian develop phones for a foreign country. You have Indias infrastructure to deal with, you have a language and cultural barrier, you have local apps and support to consider. Absolutely makes sense to partner with companies there to meet that markets needs.

Posted via CB10

From your lips to Chen's ears, playbook....I took a break from BlackBerry once - had a Galaxy S3 for a year - Hated It....

CB10 from the Z30

There are lots of people from India, and all over the world, living in Canada. Why wouldn't BlackBerry put those people in charge of developing for their home countries infrastructure.?

Posted via CB10

Location, location, location! I am sure you heard it all the time. PS, if you support the local people, they tend to use the product and support the company. Waterloo cannot meet the needs of the entire world. You need branch facilities. You need country representation. If BlackBerry wants the consumer, it should have a BlackBerry kiosk in every mall in America. Small rent, great foot traffic, and a representative that is on your side. I personally could sell a z30 a minute. It's a fantastic device.

Posted via CB10

Playbook... BlackBerry should give guys like you and me "inventory of Z30's" and the appropriate paperwork.... I guarandamntee you that we could sell more Z30s walking around out in the wild - than these panty wastes in the USA carriers...

The friggin Z30 is NOT DISPLAYED IN VERIZON stores and they have an EXCLUSIVE.... what the Frank Boulben?

I think I have shown, and converted more people to the z10 and z30 devices than BlackBerry has moved in the US. PS.....they are all very satisfied.

Posted via CB10

For mobile tech India is having completely different market. Usage of cell phone and services is completely different.
Cell phone manufactures should adapt to regions..then only they will get more profits.

If this is simply to address localization issues then this would be a great announcement. Hope you are right and that BBRY isn't outsourcing R&D for high end devices, BB10 for in general or QNX. Apple knows how important R&D is to a company. That is almost the only thing they do in NA. If this is simple to address the market in India then this would be a positive move.

Posted via CB10

It's like the US DOD. They have chosen BlackBerry in a huge way going forward. Connecting 80000 current BlackBerry devices and perhaps purchasing over 500,000 new BB10 devices. Hence BlackBerry setting up a specific building nearby to support that obligation solely. BlackBerry seems to be serious on retrenching itself in a big way.

Posted via CB10

I like that the attached news article starts off with "Canadian mobile handset and services company, BlackBerry..." I really hope BlackBerry continues to get more recognition for the *services* aspect globally.

Notice; no mention of this from pop culture media. If they cut even a few positions, media would have been all over it.

Common WSJ, be more than a tabloid paper. Unfortunately it is not.


This partnership means faster OS upgrades and less bugs. Everyone should be thrilled by this!

I used my Z10 to create this CrackBerry madness!

Fire all those high priced Canadians and hire all those low wage Chinese and Indians. That is the way business works now. You can't survive with ethics and social responsibility when none of your competitors do.

Bad move to outsource R&D, and most Indian IT companies are good or even amazing at promises, but sub-par at delivery.

Posted via CB10

If their employee capability / quality is anything like their (India) mechanical engineers I deal with, this is not a good thing. FWIW, the ones I deal with can't survive head to head against NA trained engineers and have to rely on LinkedIn groups or similar, seeking advice and guidance just to perform their basic job functions.

Posted via CB10

Funny the company I work with, the best minds, 80% are you immigrants. Chinese, Indians etc.

And rather then mudslinging may be if more Canadians bought BlackBerry we wouldn't be in this problem? Hello city of Toronto?

And let's ask the question. If the R&D being produced is that great why all those issues with the BBOS, the battery pulls and having to buy QNX and Torch?

Get a grip. You get the good, bad and the ugly everywhere.


Posted via CB10

BlackBerry will rise again and when it will be ready to take the first spot, we can say together "release the kraken"

I can just see the headlines down the road The government of Canada decries the further loss of jobs at BlackBerry as outsourcing of further high paying tech jobs go to India and elsewhere. I swear the policies of the federal government over the past 20 years, of whatever stripe have missed the boat. Pour huge money into mind numbing blue collar auto jobs and let high tech good paying jobs go down the tunes. Nortel and BlackBerry as just two. At least this will make BlackBerry more able to compete by being sleeker. And nothing to say that a group of ex employees might not start up there own businesses that BlackBerry can use but I had always viewed BlackBerry as a Canadian company and that is certainly not true anymore. Like saying Apple is still a US company when more revenue and cash are generated outside the US and cannot be brought back to the US unless all taxes are paid. Starts to make Apples cash hoard look a lot less attractive when it can't be accessed very easily!! This news is too bad for Canada but good for the overall survival of BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

I have been very happy where Blackberry is heading in recent times, but I have to throw in my 2 cts about some of the comments here regarding this post. Instead of guessing what BlackBerry is actually doing with ValueLabs, why doesn't someone @ Crackberry try and find out for us. Making these crazy comments will just fuel the gossip trolls to no end.

Just a Thought.

Blackberry, my proverbial middle finger

Outsourcing R&D does not mean outsourcing ALL their R&D. They are most likely keeping the vast majority of the cutting-edge stuff and are simply asking a lower-cost team to do the testing, documentation, field approval, etc.

Pure R&D leads to patents. Blackberry will keep all that.

BlackBerry better team up with a company like secusmart and build Business, Privacy , top noch security devices.
Security, that is what blackberry in first place.

Now they shoot themselfs in the foot with android, security leaks hitting the news etc. good for the image?

There is demand for secure phones

Ericsson GF198(GSM900) im D2 Privat Netz

Indian labour is cheaper and probably better if BlackBerry's "QA expertise" from the last 3 years is anything to go by. Couldn't get much worse.

Posted via CB10 on Z30 STA100-2 / on O2 UK - Activated on BES10.2

So much wonder world is such a unhappy place these days..

BlackBerry decided to do what they evaluated to be best for them. Stop using BlackBerry if you don't like their decision. Go get a device made by competition in Foxconn factory from China, developed by engineers from India and ensure competition captures even more market ensuring BlackBerry actually reaches 0.0%.

And hey "0" was invented in India without which binary wouldn't exist and this whole digital revolution wouldn't exist too...

Simple as that.

Posted via CB10

Doesn't matter if R&D is outsourced to outer Mongolia QNX based OS is brand new and has such awsome future potential let's wait and see where Chen leads us. I for one have faith in him. We must not forget ios and android are old OS's and are gonna start tottering like leaning towers of babel they have had so much lumped on top. Eventually apple and Co are gonna have to bring out new OS 's to keep up,BlackBerry have a head start keep the faith people BlackBerry could have a golden future if they wish!

Posted via CB10 on my Z10(& i am luvin it!)

R&D is something to be kept internal to a company. Like many have said, you outsource that especially to an untrustworthy country you may as well give your ideas away and call it a day. Thought Watsa was doing an ok job but this latest idea is way screwed up. It doesn't follow the logic, he's acting like an accountant not an engineer...and we know how a company ends up with bean counters calling the shots.

Posted via CB10

Companies all over the world collaborate to tap the minds outside of a company culture to find something unique. Only people who have no idea how companies actually run would suggest not to collaborate.

Posted via CB10

I'm Indian and from Toronto.

India is corrupt, corrupt, corrupt! I would not trust an Indian company with anything sensitive. If you do, there's something called "black money" that will have to be paid.

Posted via CB10

You're comparing apples and oranges. While I agree that there is widespread corruption in the political and bureaucratic circles, the private tech industry works independently and what you get out of a partnership with an Indian firm strictly depends on which firm you tie-up with. And as I have said before, I trust that BlackBerry would have looked at the ValueLabs' credentials properly.

Well my friends work on the same project in the same company, and I doubt why blackberry would entrust on them for r&d

Posted via CB10

Mr. Junkie, please keep yourself to an observation. Seems like you are an some flip nokia user and non-technical person.

Tell me which country is non corrupted?

Why do you pressure on your cold brain, let the Asian blackberry CEO Mr. Chen look after everything, he is doing the best for blackberry users.

Posted via CB10

I'm glad they are Increasing R&D by expanding in the worlds fastest growing mobile phone market. I hope they open labs through collaborating and in house all over the world to touch base with the smartest minds on a global scale to put out increasingly smart products that will put them back on the map once more.

Posted via CB10

Exactly, I would love to see BlackBerry making the most of the ever-growing pool of technical expertise in countries like India, Brazil, etc.

Nokia dead because they didnt innovate. I'm pretty sure chen clearly drawn a path what and when needs to be done. they have prioritized almost everything. So i hope this deal makes more backbone for blackberry software for the future.

Disappointed to see so much naive commentary on here on the fabulous news which can eventually take BlackBerry to places!!! Well the whole idea about this deal is to cut the cost on R&D n to help blackberry sustain for longer period!!! What you people on here don't know that major hardware development at BlackBerry is done by Indians (so called citizens of a corrupt nation)!!! And what the hell has corruption in the system gotta do with an independently (privately) run organisation!!!! Ignorant people of the west please understand that Asians aren't taking away your jobs Instead it's you n your system which is rapidly running out money n is left with no other option other than outsourcing the jobs to save you n your country in the long run!!!

Proud Indian Employee at Blackberry!!!!

Posted via CB10

I was just involved in a project with two companies from India and they took over for a French company who for over three years couldn't do a single thing right. (To be fair it was first US owned then, maybe someone else, then French, so I would say more bad management rather than country of origin). The two companies who wrote and then verified the coding from India were fantastic and on time, on budget. Pretty refreshing to have a great group of intelligent, and responsive people on your team.

Posted via CB10

Also...although US based, while we were having a an Indian company do work for us, some of my colleagues were in India trying to get contracts from businesses there. And I do a fair amount of business in Canada. And the thing in common here is this: do work with good people - it doesn’t matter where they are from. That's the reason I am here and the reason I am proud to use a BlackBerry!

Posted via CB10

I am very disappointed with Canadian who can't support their own country company by not buying blackberry.

Toronto needs to wake up and buy more blackberry so we don't have to always outsource jobs.

Wake up Canadians

BlackBerry 10 - Built to keep you moving

They should be very careful with outsourcing. They are putting secure technology into too many hands. Blackberry also need to address the issue with app spying. I love my BlackBerry because it's more secure than any other device on the market. Don't wreck it! I love being able to communicate without spam. Of course I can eat spam and type at the same time with the awesome virtual keyboard on my Z10!

Posted via CB10

Time for the Canadian government to kick in a few bucks and support employing Canucks. They did prop up GM and bombardier afterall.

Posted via CB10