Archive for BlackBerry

BREAKING: BBM To Shut Down May 31st

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 18, 2019 by itnerd

I am old enough to remember that the way to communicate with someone long before Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or anything else was using BlackBerry Messenger or BBM for short. It was a fast and secure way to communicate with someone. And long before iMessage was a thing, you could see if someone read your message and you could tell if they were typing a reply. It was cutting edge back in the day.

But we’re in 2019 and there are other ways to communicate. Some of which have copied BBM’s groundbreaking features. But even to this day I still have a BBM client on my iPhone even though the last time I touched it was over a year ago. I guess I could never give it up. But now I will have to because of this announcement from BlackBerry:

It appears from reading this, that BlackBerry is re positioning BBM as a corporate communication tool. That makes sense given where the company is at right now. But it is a bit of a shame to see BBM go.

RIP BBM.

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BlackBerry Is Suing Facebook, Instagram And WhatsApp

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 7, 2018 by itnerd

BlackBerry is suing Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp for infringing on their messaging patents. Seriously, this is really happening. Here’s the details from Reuters:

Litigation over patent infringement is part of BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen’s strategy for making money for the company, which has lost market share in the smartphone market it once dominated.

“Defendants created mobile messaging applications that co-opt BlackBerry’s innovations, using a number of the innovative security, user interface, and functionality enhancing features,” Canada-based BlackBerry said in a filing with a Los Angeles federal court.

“Protecting shareholder assets and intellectual property is the job of every CEO,” BlackBerry spokeswoman Sarah McKinney said in an email. However, she noted that litigation was “not central to BlackBerry’s strategy.”

The lawsuit followed years of negotiation and BlackBerry has an obligation to shareholders to pursue appropriate legal remedies, she added.

Hmmm… The words “patent” and “troll” seem to spring to mind upon reading this as given the fact that over the last few years the company has sued a bunch of companies over patent infringement, that this seems to be a great way to make money for BlackBerry despite what they say. Facebook is going to fight the lawsuit and I expect this to drag on for years with the only winners being the lawyers as I am not sure that anyone else will “win” in this situation.

Cybersecurity is Top Concern in Corporate IoT Deployments: BlackBerry

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 17, 2017 by itnerd

BlackBerry Limited announced findings from a new global research whitepaper, which surveyed IT decision makers on corporate IoT deployments. Conducted by 451 Research, the whitepaper titled, “Securing the Enterprise of Things: Opportunity for securing IoT with a unified platform emerging as IoT popularity grows,” reveals that huge opportunities are balanced against significant cybersecurity concerns.

Survey respondents represent a wide range of vertical industries, including financial services, government and healthcare. Below are some key themes from the research:

  • Seventy-eight percent of respondents indicated interest in a solution that allows them to manage all their endpoints in one place.
  • Sixty-three percent noted that security is the “top” concern regarding digital technologies and processes. However, only a little over one-third (37 percent) actually have a formal digital transformation strategy in place.
  • Organizations are least prepared against external threats, with nearly two-thirds (61 percent) citing hackers and cyberwarfare as top concerns.
  • Thirty-nine percent of respondents from very large organizations (more than 10,000 employees) revealed that a lack of collaboration among internal departments is a potential barrier to unified endpoint management, while 51 percent of mid-sized organizations felt the same way.

The new whitepaper is available for download at www.blackberry.com/enterprise-of-things.
For more information about BlackBerry’s EOT solutions, please visit www.blackberry.com/enterprise.

BlackBerry Loses Its Grip On The Canadian Government

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 1, 2017 by itnerd

For as long as I can remember, BlackBerry has been the dominant smartphone used by Canadian Government employees because of their encryption and security offerings. If you go anywhere in Ottawa, you’ll see them everywhere. But that appears to be changing according to Metro News:

Shared Services Canada (SSC), the agency that manages the government IT infrastructure, now has a small number of Samsung phones and some Apple phones that can be used.

BlackBerry was once the dominant player in the smartphone market, but has lost ground to other companies like Apple, Google and Samsung.

An SCC spokesperson said they’re moving to keep up with the times.

“SSC is committed to supporting the modernization of the Government of Canada’s telecommunications infrastructure,” said Frederica Dupuis.

“SSC is taking a new approach to mobile service to better serve its clients, use new technology and adapt to changes in the marketplace.”

Now I will point out that if someone wants to use a Galaxy S8 or an iPhone 7 Plus, it will likely have to be just as secure as a BlackBerry. Which to be frank, would be an easy bar to hit. Plus I will point out that BlackBerry devices will still be supported. But I suspect that once people get a look at BlackBerry’s competition, they may defect to it.

BlackBerry Enables The Enterprise of Things To Thrive With Enhanced Mobile-Security Platform

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 20, 2017 by itnerd
With an estimated 20.8 billion connected devices by 2020, the Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming how we live, and the Enterprise of Things is transforming how we work. As such, BlackBerry today announced productivity and security enhancements to its enterprise software platform designed to power the Enterprise of Things.

As part of BlackBerry Secure, the most secure and comprehensive platform to connect people, devices, processes and systems, BlackBerry Enterprise Mobility Suite provides secure, management policies and controls across key platforms (iOS, Android, Windows 10, macOS, and Samsung Knox) and device ownership models such as BYOD and Corporate Owned. It can be delivered on premises, as a cloud service, and now includes the following features to improve productivity and security:

 

  • Manage and Secure Microsoft Office 365 Mobile Applications: IT can manage and apply protection policies to Microsoft Office 365 mobile applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint from BlackBerry UEM.
  • Access Business Data on Unmanaged Laptops: Users of BlackBerry Access, will now be able to securely work with business data on their personal or BYOL (Bring-Your-Own-Laptop) Windows 10 and MacOS computers.
  • Provide In-line Comments, @Mentions and DocuSign: BlackBerry’s secure Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing (EFSS) solution, BlackBerry Workspaces, has been updated to allow in-line comments, @mentions and alerts. DocuSign has also been integrated, adding a key workflow for legally binding documents such as loan applications and financial transactions.
  • Leverage Application Analytics: BlackBerry Analytics can now track daily and monthly active users, daily minutes used, usage by OS type and version, daily launch count and user engagement by feature (such as 1:1 chat vs group chat). This application analytics capability gives IT and developers the keyinsight they need to increase business productivity, such as modifying UX flow, modifying training or altering maintenance schedules.
  • Manage More Wearables: BlackBerry has extended its endpoint management software capabilities to include modern workforce devices such as smart glasses. Applications specific to wearables, such as Ubimax and Atheer, can also be securely managed.
The company’s industry-leading security is trusted by organizations in government, defense, intelligence and other environments with the most stringent security requirements. In addition to more than 80 security certifications, BlackBerry was once again named a Leader in Gartner’s June 2017 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management Suites. This year, the company moved higher in execution and farther in vision and was one of four EMM vendors to be positioned in the Leaders’ Quadrant. BlackBerry also received the highest score in all six use cases of Gartner’s August 2016 “Critical Capabilities for High-Security Mobility Management” report.
For more information on BlackBerry’s platform and core capabilities available today, please visit: www.blackberry.com/enterpriseupdate

BlackBerry Uses Tech To Protect Vulnerable Persons

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 8, 2017 by itnerd

BlackBerry COO Marty Beard has a blog post that everyone, but specifically Canadians  should read. It discusses the company’s new Vulnerable Persons Project. In short, BlackBerry joined the Vulnerable Persons Project and worked with the Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke (MCK) and with enterprise partners such as Forrest Green to implement the technology required for both socioeconomic growth and the protection of vulnerable people within Indigenous communities. It’s a very eye opening read and one that is worth your time and attention.

The blog post can be found here and there’s also a podcast available at the link that is also worth your time and attention.

BlackBerry Announces New AtHoc Account Software

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 17, 2017 by itnerd

BlackBerry Limited is expanding the capability of its industry-leading crisis communication software to enable government agencies and large organizations to account for their people in real-time. Available today, the new AtHoc Account is a FedRAMP-authorized solution that automates personnel accountability and crisis communication processes by providing safety and availability status updates of people before, during and after an event – ultimately providing the information leaders need to make operational decisions.

With an integrated approach to personnel accountability, AtHoc Account combines inputs from managers about their team, call center operators, data streams from HR and travel systems, as well as self-reporting by individuals. It enables organizations to meet U.S. Federal mandates for accounting for their people by consolidating safety information into areport that can be initiated at a variety of organizational levels: group, installation, facility, regional or enterprise-wide.

In addition to AtHoc Account, the FedRAMP authorized BlackBerry AtHoc cloud service includes AtHoc Alert and AtHoc Connect, among other capabilities. Together, these offerings enable agencies to securely share information critical to safety during a crisis with their people and across agencies.

* AtHoc Alert enables secure multi-channel, bi-directional mass notification using almost any type of device, including via secure mobile apps, telephony and texting as well as integrating with other mass notification channels such as loudspeakers, two-way radios, and digital displays.

* AtHoc Connect allows agencies to communicate with each other during crises, addressing some of the more critical deficiencies in crisis management and answering interoperability requirements set out by the DHS Interoperable Communications Act H.R. 615.

* BlackBerry AtHoc’s crisis communication platform is used to protect more than 70 percent of federal government personnel, including the US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines, Department of Treasury, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Energy, the Federal Aviation Administration and others. Only AtHoc Account ensures U.S. federal agencies comply with the following mandates:

  • Department of Homeland Security: DHS Directive 008-04
  • ISO 22301 and other business resilience standards
  • Safety law emergency plans under OSHA and Canada’s equivalent
  • Department of Defense: DoDI 3001.02
  • Department of Veterans Affairs: VA Directive 0325

    For more information, please visit: https://us.blackberry.com/enterprise/secure-communication/athoc.