Mobile Iron – ‘BlackBerry 3 Years Too Late’? Or Failure To Capitalize On A 3 Year Head Start?


So, according to one article posted by Motley Fool:

Is BlackBerry Ltd Gaining An Edge In This Key Market?

In a recent interview, Mobile Iron‘s CEO Bob Tinker had this to say, when asked how he felt that BlackBerry  is repositioning itself as a broad mobile device management company:

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.

Bob Tinker is absolutely right. However as he also points out, “BlackBerry is now just joining the party for platform independence three years late.”

BlackBerry has been behind the curve for a long time

While BlackBerry pioneered the MDM space, its MDM software was exclusive to BlackBerry devices. And when the iPhone and Android devices came out, BlackBerry was so convinced its devices were better, it did nothing to update its devices and OS. Being in denial as to the state of the smartphone market to come, when it finally decided to update its OS and devices, Apple and Google had already taken over the world.

BlackBerry devices are still widely in use

But even if BlackBerry’s devices and OS were outdated, if you were an enterprise customer who placed a high value on security, BlackBerry was still the only choice. As a result, even as iOS and Android devices became ever more popular, enterprise customers still used BlackBerry’s MDM software and devices. Until two or three years ago, that is.

BlackBerry is still playing catch-up

BlackBerry finally entered the era of modern smartphone operating systems with the introduction of BB10 and BES10 (BlackBerry’s MDM solution), and with devices like the Z10 and Q10. However BlackBerry miscalculated one thing: the extent to which companies would upgrade to the the new BlackBerry platform. See, BlackBerry’s BES10 software did not cater to older BlackBerry devices. And with millions of older BlackBerry devices still in use, if companies wanted to upgrade to BlackBerry’s new devices, they had to undertake the time and effort to manage two platforms. So, many companies decided not to bother. As a result they did not upgrade to BlackBerry’s newer devices nor BES10. They needed a solution that could manage older BlackBerry devices, new BlackBerry devices, and iOS and Android devices as well. BlackBerry did not have such a solution. As a result, many enterprise customers decided to keep using older BB5 devices, until BlackBerry could come up with a solution to manage both (in addition to manage iOS and Android devices). In many cases, however, they simply dropped BlackBerry altogether, since most of their staff used Apple’s iPhone or some other Android alternative. But for companies that wanted maximum security, BlackBerry was still their only choice.

BlackBerry’s BES12 is the answer

BES12 will provide device management for both BB5 and BB10 devices, as well as iOS, Android, and Windows 8 devices. In addition, clients will be able to migrate to the cloud effortlessly, and there will be support for deployment models, including on-premise, public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid environments. In order to help facilitate the transition to BES12, BlackBerry introduced its EZ Pass Program on March 31, 2014, which ends on January 31, 2015. Every BES10 license that is activated through the program comes with free BlackBerry Advantage Level Technical Support until January 31, 2015 and a free upgrade to BES12. So, did the market respond? Yes. As per BlackBerry’s recent quarterly report:

EZ Pass Program resulted in a total of 1.2 million licenses issued for BES10, including more than 10% of total licenses traded in from competitors’ Mobile Device Management

What’s important to note — in addition to the fact that older customers are upgrading to BES10 as well as the fact that new customers are coming to BlackBerry — is that for the first time ever, BlackBerry says customers using other MDM solutions are coming back to BlackBerry.

Bottom line

BlackBerry has been behind the curve for a long time, but with BES12 coming online by the end of the year, it will finally be in a position to compete against other MDM solutions. BES12 will allow enterprise customers to mix older and newer BlackBerry devices, as well as all other smart devices. If BES12 is well-received, not only will it mean BlackBerry will finally be back on its feet, but for the first time in years, BlackBerry will be ahead of the curve, and not behind it. While we don’t know if BES12 will be a success or not, the fact that BlackBerry is already taking business from the competition is encouraging, to say the least.

You see very carefully, the tune.

“they are three years too late”.

Yes, its the same as repeating the every ‘beat the dead horse’ phrases you’ve heard about BlackBerry.

“Too little too late”

“They’re going to go bankrupt”

“They’re going out of business”

“They’ve closed shop”.

The the list goes on. Bla bla bla bla.   Here’s the problem with Mobile Iron saying “BlackBerry is three years too late”. The way I see it, is that Mobile Iron failed to capitalize on the lead they have (or whatever’s left they had now) for the duration of three years they are supposedly ‘ahead’ of BlackBerry.

Let me remind you, this is the same company that spread Fear, Uncertainty and Despair on their rivals at BlackBerry, leveraging on the infamous “Gartner Report” that supposedly tells customers to FLEE BLACKBERRY because oh yes, these are the same guys vested in telling others that BLACKBERRY WILL DIE AND GET BROKEN UP VERY QUICKLY. No disrespect to a certain Mr Dulaney who wrote that scathing report, after all he has an impressive CV and he’s a chief analyst for an industry tracker in his posh suit and all in a big company, not me (being here happily with other BlackBerry fans writing about BlackBerry only), But BlackBerry certainly did not get sold, broken up, or anything like closed shop, AS OF WRITING, and still is kicking. But others who behave like vultures and carcass scavengers are always ready to pounce . Yes, you’ll see how much they spent their monies on advertisements riding on this, capitalizing on the VERY FACT that the OLD RIM and the BlackBerry 1.0 under Thorsten Heins refused to combat such allegations, which was in a way effective at scaring some, I repeat, SOME customers away from BlackBerry platform altogether.

However, take a look at this, as posted in Inside BlackBerry Blog: Good Isn’t All That Great While Iron Shows It’s Rust

Then, re-read the entire article from Motley Fool about what Mobile Iron CEO has to say, again, about BlackBerry. Don’t you get it now?

Its Mobile Iron that’s shaky. If that doesn’t convince you, read this: Strategy Analytics – EMM Review Of Total Cost Of Ownership

And then please tell me that who fears whom?   BlackBerry fears Mobile Iron? No.

I think its Mobile Iron that is fearing for their very existence as BlackBerry now manages not only BlackBerry devices, but also NON-BLACKBERRY DEVICES and is still cheaper than these ‘upstarts’.

Yes, Mobile Iron already had 3 years of headstart, and they squandered that very chance to pull ahead. Now BlackBerry is hitting the ground running (its not too long ago that BlackBerry announced BES 10 able to manage non BlackBerry devices to a certain extent of portfolios), and come November, BES 12 is released and that would really be a TRUE rival offering to everything that Mobile Iron can offer.

Or in the case of the report as I mentioned, BES 12 will eclipse Mobile Iron’s offerings. BlackBerry is a force in this space and to date no company has come close to matching the strengths of the BlackBerry offerings. As a matter of fact, since now that BlackBerry has opened up its handsets so that others can manage it, therefore there are vendors that can and will manage BlackBerry 10 devices, in the odd places where people have to use an alternate MDM service. But guess what? There is a company that isn’t even able to manage a BlackBerry device. You want to guess which company?

That’s right, its Mobile Iron!

Such an irony that for a supposed leader they can’t manage BlackBerry 10 nor BlackBerry 5 devices, But BlackBerry’s BES 12 will be able to manage MORE devices than what Mobile Iron can do. Ironic isn’t it for somebody like Mobile Iron to call BlackBerry “too little too late”, don’t you agree?

So who is 3 years too late? BlackBerry?

Or in reality, 3 years gone but too late now to pull ahead against BlackBerry for Mobile Iron?


  • xBURK

    How many times do we need to here “Great Stuff, but is likely too late” in regards to Blackberry. It seems to be at the end of many articles. I can’t wait for the day that they can’t insert this unwarranted jab.

    • xBURK

      Sorry….meant HEAR. Opps.

    • Badi Yee

      Its almost a staple. I’m not sure if the more recent comments are actually products of pure malice (as they most likely are, but I’m just saying my opinion) or its just cool to just say “too little too late” when associating with BlackBerry.

      In time though, I do hope this farce of “too little too late” won’t be applied to BlackBerry.

  • web99

    MobileIron is making a lot of big statements, but if you look at how their company is performing, it is not doing very well themselves. MobileIron would be better off concentrating on their own problems instead of bashing Blackberry.

    Good Isn’t all that Great, while Iron shows its Rust

    “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 from the prior year, it included $21.1 million from perpetual license deals that were signed and delivered in prior years. In other words, if you’re trying to judge MobileIron’s momentum, you might consider $84.5 million a truer 2013 revenue figure”

    • Badi Yee

      That’s the irony. They are telling others that BlackBerry is a sinking ship or something, but theirs was in even dire straits. The IPO offering DID help them actually, and it boosted their finances.

      So much for leveraging on FUD. This is just a pure example of its “cool” to hate BlackBerry and still get away scot-free.