Business

BlackBerry’s survival plan: Enterprise, BBM, and good’ ol inertia

Image Credit: Flickr/Janitors

BlackBerry CEO John Chen seems to have one job these days: convincing the public that BlackBerry isn’t as screwed everyone seems to think.

To that end Chen has penned another open letter, this time at CNBC. His somewhat predictable take? BlackBerry isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

“Today, our company is strong financially, technologically savvy and is well-positioned for the future,” Chen writes.

That’s likely a tough argument to swallow for anyone paying attention to BlackBerry’s trials over the past year and, particularly, last quarter. But Chen says BlackBerry’s stake in the enterprise means that the company has major staying power, despite what critics think. “For governments, BlackBerry cannot just be replaced—we are the only MDM provider to obtain ‘Authority to Operate’ on U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) networks,” Chen argues.

In other words, one of BlackBerry’s greatest strengths right now is corporate and bureaucratic inertia. That’s not exactly a sound business strategy, particularly when big companies like Pfizer are ditching BlackBerry for iOS and Android.

Apple Google BlackBerry

Above: BlackBerry’s recent past hasn’t been pretty, but Chen is optimistic.

Image Credit: Google Finance

Still, Chen’s core point here makes sense: The BlackBerry of the future will be strongest if it focuses on the things it’s best at. That means being a company less focused on chasing Apple and Google and more focused on enterprise, messaging, and security.

If all of this sounds familiar, that’s because Chen’s  note comes just a few weeks after a similar one he wrote earlier this month. That letter, written to BlackBerry’s enterprise customers and partners, was all about putting to rest the rumors that BlackBerry aimed to sell itself off.

“In short, reports of our death are greatly exaggerated,” Chen wrote at that time.

If Chen is right, that might just be the case.

 


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