BlackBerry Ltd. announced Monday a cloud version of its mobile security software, its latest move to win business from its traditional government and business customers.
Continue Reading Below
The Canadian smartphone maker designed the BES12 technology, launched in November, to work across mobile operating platforms to help it generate sales even though its share of the smartphone market has dwindled to less than 1%. The mobile-device management software allows companies to securely manage employee BlackBerrys, iPhones and Android-powered devices among others used on corporate networks.
With the cloud version of BES12, BlackBerry aims to win new business from small and midsize companies that don't have the resources to install BES12 on site, by making the software available online. BlackBerry also expects the offering to appeal to divisions and subsidiaries of larger enterprise customers.
It is "enabling us to really broaden our footprint," Marty Beard, BlackBerry's chief operating officer, told reporters ahead of the announcement.
BlackBerry has no plans to stop selling its own devices. But after a failed effort in 2013 to compete against Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. in the consumer market, the company is placing greater emphasis on selling higher margin mobile software that companies can deploy, no matter the type of device their employees use, to reboot revenue and profit growth.
The company is counting on BES12 sales to double its software sales next fiscal year to $500 million.
Still, BlackBerry's on-premise and cloud versions of its mobile-device management software face competition from several rivals including Citrix Systems Inc. and MobileIron Inc.