BlackBerry’s phones now serve an incredibly slim niche market, which has forced the company to look in other places for revenue. Under CEO John Chen, BlackBerry has been reinventing itself as an enterprise security software and services company that no longer has to rely on smartphone sales for growth. Chen’s plan got a major boost on Thursday when BlackBerry announced that it will partner with Google to help make Android devices used in enterprises more secure than ever before.
“BlackBerry and Google are working closely together to set new standards in enterprise mobile security for organizations deploying Android devices,” BlackBerry explains. “Android Lollipop delivers key enterprise functionality and addresses any previous enterprise security concerns. BES12 supports Android Lollipop, allowing you to confidently deploy Android devices in your organization.”
In addition to standard BES12 features that are already supported with Lollipop, BlackBerry says the deal with Google will allow for “new features… that enable organizations to further secure enterprise and personal data on Android devices, set new levels of hardware based encryption, and ensure tight integration with Google Play for Work, for increased application management.”
All this is particularly interesting because several recent leaks have claimed that BlackBerry is actually working on an Android phone of its own that will likely launch this fall.
At any rate, this seems like a good deal for both companies as it will help keep BlackBerry relevant in the BYOD era while it will help Google ease enterprise customers’ concerns about Android’s overall security.