BlackBerry CEO John Chen: 'I have a Message'


It was only a few days during BlackBerry enterprise event in San Francisco, that BlackBerry CEO sent the following message to his competitors in the Mobile Device Management (MDM) industry.

This was in response to the fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) that many of them were spreading to BlackBerry customers in a concerted effort to get them to migrate away from BlackBerry and instead adopt one of their own Mobile Device Management solutions.

I have also transcribed it as well below:

“As I said, I couldn’t find any jokes to share with you, so I will then instead send a couple of messages and advise to our competitors. 

I recall a year ago when I first started, I watched a CNBC interview where one of my competitors was making fun of us, and the other competitors put up on their website about how they really built their businesses by migrating people away from BlackBerry.

And at that point you guys all know that I am a sucker for a challenge.  At that point I knew that I was going to end their party and today my advise to them is that I am ending their party.  So we are not only a point product. 

We are not only a MDM (mobile device management) solution, we are a EMM (enterprise mobile management) provider.  Very broad, very deep and they need to understand that.  So they are going to have to work for their living rather than just having fun on us.  So that’s the message that I want to share with them.”

BlackBerry’s competitors in the MDM industry are no match for what BlackBerry offers in the MDM industry.  If you compare the number of MDM customers that BlackBerry has, it is more than its next three biggest competitors combined.

BlackBerry has over 35,000 customers compared to approximately 14,000 VmWare/AirWatch customers, approximately 7,000 MobileIron customers and 5,000 Good Technology and has issued.  More than 25% of the BES licenses issued by BlackBerry through its EZ-Pass program, were trade in from its competitors.  That amounts to approximately 850,000 competitor licenses were traded in from its competitors.

BlackBerry’s newly BES 12 software both manages and secures BlackBerry10, BBOS, ios, Android and now Windows Phones.  So for the companies that either offers corporately issued devices or has a BYOD policy, it is a very attractive option.  Many of its competitors only offer MDM security for ios and Android devices.

BlackBerry’s fact check has been a valuable tool in combating a lot of the misinformation that was being spread on their competitors.  Some of these competitors have been spreading fear that BlackBerry may not be around due to its financial position, but this can not be any further from the truth.

In fact, as demonstrated by BlackBerry’s President of Enterprise Services, John Sims, in a June 2014 article titled, “Perception vs Reality” BlackBerry’s competitors are actually in a worst position than BlackBerry


Source: Inside BlackBerry

Perception: BlackBerry has a small percentage of the enterprise market.

Reality: BlackBerry is the market leader – and we lead by a significant margin with an enterprise customer base that is larger than our top three competitors combined.

Perception: BlackBerry can only manage BlackBerry devices.

Reality: BlackBerry is multi-platform. We’ve expanded our BES10 and BBM messaging platform to include iOS and Android, and later this year we will add Windows Phone. And, by enabling our BlackBerry 10 devices to be managed by select MDM partners, BlackBerry will provide organizations with more flexibility and choice with their mobile device environments.

Perception: BlackBerry has not driven wide adoption of its multi-platform BES solution.

Reality: BlackBerry is seeing significant penetration of its BES10 multi-platform solution with nearly 33,000 commercial and test servers installed to date.

With the new BlackBerry EZ Pass migration program, we have also issued more than 800,000 new BES10 licenses since launching the program in March. Migrations to BES10 include customers trading in licenses from other MDM vendors such as AirWatch, MobileIron and Good Technology.

Perception: Other companies can do what BlackBerry does.

Reality: BlackBerry has the largest install base, an unparalleled global infrastructure, and the deepest understanding of how to provide secure, productive mobile collaboration and communications in the enterprise space. In addition, as of March, BlackBerry had $2.7 billion in cash and we are on track to achieve our goal of becoming cash-flow positive by the end of fiscal year 2015. Meanwhile, two of the firms Gartner named in the leaders quadrant of the MQ are experiencing their own financial woes:

  • Good Technology burned through $54 million in cash in 2013, leaving a mere $42 million at the end of last year. Despite tripling losses, it recently filed for an initial public offering hoping that this provides them a way to pull back from the brink of extinction
  • MobileIron had revenue of $105.6 million in 2013, but its net loss was still $32.5 million. While its 2013 revenue was more than double the prior year, it included $21.1 million from perpetual license deals that were signed and delivered in prior years.

Not only has BlackBerry survived as a company, but it has completed its restructuring efforts and is now focused on growth.  With the launch of BES 12, BlackBerry has further upped their game.  Taking these facts into account, you cannot say the same about two of BlackBerry’s biggest competitors, as the above article,”Perception vs Reality” demonstrated their financial positions to be very fragile.


There is a saying that “people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” and it really could not be more relevant as shown here.

MobileIron CEO Bob Tinker:


We don’t actually see them [BlackBerry] inside competitive customer deals. We just don’t see them. There’s probably two reasons for that. One, choice. CIOs want to bet on mobile IT that’s neutral. BlackBerry is a conflict of interest.

And, two, enterprise mobility is a strategic decision, so they [IT] will buy the best product. BB is now just joining the party for platform independence three years late. One of the biggest arbiters of who is big is Gartner. We were in the leaders’ quadrant.

Good Technology CEO Christy Wyatt


“The way that [BlackBerry] ensured bad data didn’t get on the devices, they just prevented you from putting anything on the device. So IT managers when they ended up on BlackBerry devices pretty much shut everything off.

If you try to say, ‘OK, I’m not going to buy you a BlackBerry device, I’m going to buy you an iPhone or an Android device,’ it’s very easy to believe that the way you then secure that device is, you try to replicate what BlackBerry did, through device management.

The challenge with that is that you’re going to get the same user experience just on a different device, which is you’re going to turn off people’s Facebook, you’re going to turn off their cloud access, you’re going to tell them they can’t install things — and you’re going to get organ rejection by the end user.”

Well there you have it folks.  As BlackBerry CEO John Chen said it so eloquently:

We are not only a MDM (mobile device management) solution, we are a EMM (enterprise mobile management) provider.  Very broad, very deep and they need to understand that.


From the above statements by the CEO’s of both Mobile Iron and Good Technologies, that is clearly not the case.  MobileIron’s CEO Bob Tinker needs to understand that BlackBerry never left the party, they may have taken a short break off the dance floor, but they came back stronger and more energized than ever! They need to realize that its BES solutions manages and secures devices on all the major platforms.

Good Technology’s CEO needs to understand that BlackBerry’s BES solution can not only secure your device, but can also separate it into a work and personal spaces where there is no interaction between either components.

They also need to understand that enterprise values the security that BlackBerry provides.  They need to realize that BlackBerry is very much relevant and is being used today by many of the movers and shakers in this world.

World leaders such as US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, UK Prime Minister David Cameron all use BlackBerry’s and rely on them for secure communications.  They need to understand that the G7, NATO, the US Defense Department, industries, lawfirms and other groups where security is a necessity use BlackBerry’s.

So the message to those companies who are banking on BlackBerry’s demise for their survival and profits, the is very clear!

BlackBerry is here to stay and will never go away!

So if you are an IT decision maker in a company and you need to ensure the security of the data, trade secrets and communications through the devices that have access its systems, there is something that you need to remember.

No one has ever been fired for buying a BlackBerry or for implementing a BlackBerry mobile device management solution



Web99 enjoys tech and has tried smartphones on all the major platforms. Out of all devices he has tried, BlackBerry10 best fulfills his needs.