BlackBerry has acquired mobile security company Good Technology in a $425 million cash transaction. However, the deal may surprise some, given that the two companies have often come to (verbal) blows in the past.
BlackBerry has been struggling in the consumer realm for a while, and has recently begun to focus more on enterprise mobile security (with offerings such as BES12), an area that Good Technology also operates in.
However, the gloves have often come off between these two in very public ways, with Good Technology publishing white papers comparing the companies’ offerings — it goes without saying which company was presented in the more favorable light. To see BlackBerry gobble Good Technology up may raise a few eyebrows, but given that they do operate in the same space, it actually makes sense.
“Some people may not realize it, but BlackBerry and Good [Technology] have both been delivering secure mobility for more than a decade,” explained BlackBerry chief operating officer Marty Beard in a BlackBerry-instigated Q&A. “Our industry is very competitive and is constantly evolving, so it’s not surprising that we’ve each taken some aggressive positions over the years. But when you look more closely, you see that we share a common heritage in security and our strengths complement each other incredibly well.”
While it’s no secret where BlackBerry sees its future heading, this deal is a clear sign that it’s doubling down on the mobile security market. Indeed, Good Technology claims more than 6,000 clients across banks, aerospace, healthcare, defense firms, and more.
Off the back of this deal, BlackBerry says it will bolster its existing software and cloud portfolio to create the “most comprehensive secure mobility platform in the market.”
Though BlackBerry caters to all common mobile operating systems in terms of security, Good Technology says that from its current customer base, 64 percent of activations come from iOS. Given the growing presence of iOS in the enterprise, this was likely a particularly appealing aspect of the acquisition.
BlackBerry shares rose almost 5 percent in the wake of today’s announcement.