What’s often lost in all the gloom surrounding BlackBerry’s collapsing handset business is that the company is set up pretty well to become a more powerful player in the mobile device management (MDM) space. As Bloomberg notes, BlackBerry last quarter saw a 32% increase in businesses installing its enterprise servers that are used to manage devices from multiple platforms including iOS and Android. Although this sort of mobile device management has long been the bread and butter of companies such as MobileIron and Good Technology, BlackBerry could certainly leverage its existing sales relationships with corporate clients to become the go-to option for enterprise MDM.
“There’s a huge opportunity for them if they choose to go there,” IDC analyst Ramon Llamas tells Bloomberg. “If you take a look at a lot of enterprises, they want a full turn-key solution for mobile security. Guess who’s been supplying that on a certain level? BlackBerry has proven itself time and again to be a secure system.”
If BlackBerry does decide to make MDM and other enterprise services its primary business from now on, it raises questions about how much more the company will be willing to plow into its handset business, which has been battered by poor sales that have only gotten worse since the launch of the BlackBerry 10 platform earlier this year.