From BlackBerry to CrackBerry Nation, "You can count on us to get it right"
Podcasts | 163 Comments From BlackBerry to CrackBerry Nation, "You can count on us to get it right" As promised, I made the trip to NYC this week to meet up with Adam Zeis and our new-to-CrackBerry contributor, Jubei Raziel, to catch up on all things BlackBerry. Specifically, we were going to spend 15 minutes listening to Jubei's thoughts on last week's BlackBerry Experience: New York, but in...

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Apr 16, 2014 From BlackBerry to CrackBerry Nation, "You can count on us to get it right"
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Mar 06, 2014 How BlackBerry is defending its enterprise stronghold
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At Mobile World Congress, we caught up with John Sims, the president of enterprise at BlackBerry. He filled us in on how BlackBerry is currently defending its leadership in the sphere of business mobility.

BBM is becoming a bigger part of the enterprise picture for BlackBerry, but that doesn’t mean the more consumer-focused updates don’t trickle over. For example, the recent update to BBM for Android that included support for Gingerbread boosted non-BlackBerry activations 40% the next day.

The biggest way BBM Protected can help businesses, says Sims, is in terms of security and compliance. That means providing high-end encryption for BBM messages, and providing detailed logging of conversations (or not, as the industry demands). Medical is obviously one of the major use cases for this kind of product, but BlackBerry’s not going at it alone.

“We have ongoing active discussions with partners in the industry that are trying to make that happen, and really create a whole new healthcare paradigm, particularly in the US.”

He went on to say that we’ll see more partnerships of this type in the app space. Sims also hinted that future BlackBerry devices will “fit very nicely in some of those industry segments”. To me that sounds like a super-secure, cameraless device to combat the likes of the Blackphone, but go ahead and let your imagination chew on the idea for a bit. Besides BBM, Sims highlighted the central NOC infrastructure as a key differentiating technology for BlackBerry, but they need to find new ways to leverage it.

Sims talked to us a lot about morale and attitude, both within the company and on the outside. It’s been an uphill battle to hang onto IT administrators, even the loyalists. “It was a harsh reality, going from BES 5 to BES 10,” said Sims, but the goal is to provide a high-quality and seamless transition when BES 12 rolls around, and many business BlackBerry customers are willing to wait until it’s ready to make the upgrade. He described their plight as defending a bunker against an onslaught of demands, but they were running out of ammunition to use. BlackBerry wanted to feed them ammunition, but they also have provide air support by talking directly with CIOs.

As for external interactions, Sims remains hopeful. “As much as our brand has been tarnished in the last year or so, it's still a brand that people recognize.” Sims was also quick to talk about how much the employees appreciated BlackBerry’s more aggressive stance towards anyone attacking BlackBerry, be it a direct competitor like Samsung, an indirect competitor like Good, or supposed partner like T-Mobile.

“It's not like we want to go pick fights with everybody, but when we feel like we're wronged, we're not just going to sit there and take it."

In terms of BlackBerry employees dedicated to sales, Sims described an internal shift from device specialists (since it used to be the devices sold the BES) to ones that had broad knowledge of how to deal with business users and selling a full end-to-end experience.

If there’s anything Sims said that makes us feel confident about BlackBerry’s future, it’s this.

“I've worked with John [Chen] previously, at SAP. We make decisions on things. We look at situations, and we make decisions.Our general feeling is if you let it linger, the decision doesn't get any easier or any better. In fact, it might go the opposite way. It's better to weigh out the facts and then get moving.”
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Jan 21, 2014 BlackBerry knocks Knox in its latest blog post, reminding customers Samsung's vaults have faults
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John Sims is BlackBerry's newly-appointed President of Global Enterprise Services, and he's wasting no time in letting customers know why BlackBerry trumps the competition in managing mobile devices in enterprise.

Following up the news that the Pentagon is getting hooked up with 80,000 devices, Sims took to the Inside BlackBerry Business blog and tore into shortcomings of Samsung's KNOX offering, which is trying to make inroads for Samsung into enterprise. 

It's a great write up, which you can read in-full below:

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Dec 17, 2013 BlackBerry appoints John Sims as President, Global Enterprise Services
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Earlier this week, there was plenty of focus placed on executives that were leaving BlackBerry but the latest news covers individuals who will actually be joining the company. BlackBerry has now announced that in January, John Sims, President of SAP's Mobile Services business will be joining the company as President, Global Enterprise Services.

"I am pleased to welcome such a seasoned executive as John to BlackBerry to help lead our key business operations through our ongoing reorganization and transition," said John Chen, Executive Chair and CEO of BlackBerry. "His extensive experience in transforming businesses, redefining brands and motivating teams will be a tremendous asset to BlackBerry as we reshape the Company to be more nimble and focused. The changes we are making demonstrate our commitment to innovating for current customers who count on BlackBerry, and the new users who are just learning how powerful and compelling the BlackBerry 10 platform can be. John will be central to all of those efforts."

Needless to say, it's an interesting move and one that comes ahead of the Third Quarter, Fiscal 2014 Earnings Call which happens on December 20th. If you're looking for the full press release you'll find it below.

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