BlackBerry may be having a torrid time of things, but there is, at last, some good news to report regarding the struggling company.
The NATO military alliance has given the company a vote of confidence by approving its BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 and BB10 smartphones for classified communications. Let’s hear it for BlackBerry!
On hearing this rare bit of good news, the company’s senior vice president of security Scott Totzke must’ve cracked a smile so wide it wrapped around his head several times – and then some.
“We built the new BlackBerry 10 platform from the ground up with the highest security needs of our government and enterprise customers in mind,” Totzk said in a release. “The fact that BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 and BlackBerry 10 smartphones have been approved for classified communications just months after debut is testament to the thoroughness of its design and our commitment to our defense and government customers.”
The certification means NATO agencies in all 28 member states across North America and Europe can now use BlackBerry 10 smartphones in their work, be it in the office or out in the field. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean any of them will.
Many firms have been ditching earlier versions of BlackBerry’s management systems, though the company has said that since the launch of its newer BB10 platform at the start of the year, more than 25,000 BES 10 commercial and test servers have been installed by firms around the world – so there is cause for hope.
While NATO’s green light is at least a decent endorsement of BB10’s security system and management software, what BlackBerry really needs are huge orders for its products and services.
With the company possibly about to sell to a consortium led by Toronto-based Fairfax Financial, news of the certification will of course be much welcomed by all involved. But despite this, BlackBerry’s woes are not about to miraculously melt away. Just prior to releasing dismal financial figures last week, the once mighty mobile maker announced plans to lay off 4,500 workers, equal to 40 percent of its global workforce. The coming months will be crucial for the company as it tries to work out on which areas of its current business to concentrate its efforts in a bid to stay afloat.
The NATO news comes just days after BlackBerry hit out at analyst firm Gartner after it recommended its corporate clients to stop using products made by the Waterloo, Ontario company in the next six months, or at the very least to start testing alternative devices.
BlackBerry responded, saying it “remains steadfast” in its “mission to deliver the most secure and powerful mobile management solutions and smartphones to our customers.” It said the conclusions Gartner drew about the impact of recent developments concerning the mobile company were “purely speculative”.