While the naysayers, shorts and some tech media sites have been having a field day predicting “doom and gloom” for Blackberry with the latest Apple/IBM partnership, Blackberry has continued to innovate in its own way be establishing partnerships such as with NantHealth (healthcare), Project Ion (Internet of Things) and the QNX operating system for Automotive Safety 1.0
Now to address the chicken littles and critics who have started to panic over the latest Apple/IBM partnerships, here are some facts. Some of these critics seem to have forgotten that throughout the last year, BlackBerry has steadily been increasing its presence in the enterprise with 1.2 million EZ pass licenses issued for its BES 10 MDM with more than 10% of those licenses being trade-ins from competing Mobile Device Management (MDM) platforms such as Good Technology and Mobile Iron. They have forgotten that Blackberry is the recognized end-to-end MDM solution that many governments, fortune 500 companies, law firms and others trust to secure their information and communications. When the UK Insurance giant Aviva system was hacked and information wiped from their staff’s phones they turned to Blackberry to provide security and MDM management. When German Chancellor’s cellphone was hacked, she turned to Blackberry10.
With BES 12 slated for release this fall, not only will companies be able to manage ios, Androids and Blackberry 10 devices, but they will be able to manage older BBOS devices and Windows phones as well. So the simple fact right now is that in the enterprise area, Blackberry is still a formidable opponent with approximately 62% of the MDM market share, a solid reputation for its security and is not going away anytime soon. Blackberry has more installed BES end-to-end solutions than the combined amount of its next 3 competitors. As an enterprise player, Blackberry is here to stay for the foreseeable future.
Blackberry is also solidly executing its plan to expand in the emerging market with its recent release of the Z3 in Indonesia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, India and upcoming releases in South Africa, Nigeria, the Philippines and other countries. The new Blackberry Passport slated for release this fall is creating a lot of buzz and interest. So Blackberry is still making phones and still and securing its market share in countries where it still has a strong presence.
Excuse me for veering off-course, as the topic than I originally intended to write about is “The Blackberry Assistant”
With the 10.3 operating system slated for this Fall, Blackberry is releasing a new virtual assistant called “The Blackberry Assistant” and will come pre-installed on the Passport and newer devices. With this new virtual assistant, Blackberry intends to offer a service to compete with Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Google Now.
Below are a few of its features
- Improved voice control phone functions
- Accessing online information and have it dictated to you while you concentrate on driving
- Searching and retrieving emails and calendar items through voice control
- The ability to send and receive messages on social media sites such as twitter through voice control
- It will work with any Bluetooth device so it will easily connect to in-car systems
BlackBerry has just introduced its virtual assistant that aims to offer a service like Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Google Now.
The BlackBerry Assistant, as it’s plainly named, comes with the BlackBerry 10.3 operating system. This will be installed on the latest BlackBerry Passport phone.
Like its competition the BlackBerry Assistant is, of course, voice controlled. But BlackBerry is already claiming it’s better than what’s come before saying: “If you’ve had experience with other smartphone-based personal assistants, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how accurate BlackBerry Assistant is at recognizing your requests.”
The voice assistant is able to learn from its owner’s type of use. Not only will it become better at understanding requests but should be able to adapt to offer the best responses, claims BB. It will allow for control of phone functions as well as access to online information. So from searching email and calendar to seeing Twitter trends and sending messages, it should all be a vocal request away.
The Assistant will work with any Bluetooth device, claims BlackBerry. This should mean using it with a hands-free kit, or connecting it to in-car systems is easy and actually works. It will also read messages out so hearing an email while driving should be straight forward. The user can then mark it as read or ask to be reminded about it later.
So you can see from the above that these are exciting times for Blackberry and not a time for despair. Under CEO John Chen, it is not a company standing still. It is a company on the move and is innovating, forming partnerships and releasing new products. So Blackberrians, Blackberry is not going away anytime soon. It remains a formidable competitor in both the enterprise and MDM arenas and it here to stay.