There’s a reason BlackBerry is trying to get some sort of deal done as quickly as possible: It can’t stay in limbo while its rivals are intent on tearing down its barricades. The Wall Street Journal reports that rival mobile device management firms such as MobileIron are raising big cash and are looking to take on one of BlackBerry’s core businesses of helping companies manage their fleets of smartphones and other devices.

The Journal says that MobileIron “is set to raise $50 million as it looks to expand into new markets and readies an initial public offering,” and that rival MDM firm Airwatch raised more than $200 million earlier this year. The Journal also notes that a recent study from Gartner “ranked Airwatch, MobileIron and CitrixSystems Inc… as the leaders in mobile-device management” while listing BlackBerry as only a “niche player.” If BlackBerry wants to get out of the hardware game and focus solely on enterprise MDM software and services, it probably needs to do it sooner and not later.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.