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BlackBerry Looks to the Channel for Growth

The downside of mobile computing having become so pervasive is that it’s harder for solution providers to turn a profit selling a garden variety mobile applications. Because of that issue, many savvy channel partners are starting to focus more of their efforts on mobile solutions that require additional security and services expertise to implement.

Richard McLeod, vice president for global enterprise software channels at BlackBerry, says as part of an effort to deepen relationships with channel partners the company has crafted a new crisis communications certification program to teach partners how to sell and implement a crisis communication solution based on BlackBerryAtHoc, software used to create emergency alert systems that BlackBerry acquired in 2015.

McLeod says interest in emergency alert systems as means to respond to natural disasters or events involving various forms of terrorism is clearly needed more than ever. In fact, McLeod notes that a very high percentage of the leads that get generated for BlackBerryAtHoc software turn into sales.

“The deal close rate on partner-identified deal registrations ranges around 85 percent across all products,” says McLeod.

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BlackBerry, says McLeod, is now trying to create a global channel of partners capable of putting in place a mobile software that can alert first responders and other individuals using multiple types of mobile computing device how they should respond in the event of an emergency

In general, McLeod says BlackBerryAtHoc is one piece of an ongoing effort to reinvent Blackberry as a provider of secure mobile computing applications and cloud services. At the core of that effort are core BlackBerry core cloud services designed to manage mobile computing devices and securely transfer files. BlackBerry has also wrapped its software around open application programming interfaces (APIs) to make its software as extensible by partners as possible, says McLeod.

Naturally, BlackBerry is not the only vendor focused on mobile security. But the company does have a storied history when it comes to mobile security. In fact, at a recent security event, BlackBerry executives told attendees the company is seeing software and services growth rates of 75 percent in enterprise channels and 25 percent in the BlackBerry Solutions channels. That would suggest that demand for ways to securely manage mobile devices has never been higher. That challenge and opportunity for channel partners now is how best to go about gaining the expertise required to fill a need that with each passing day is becoming more acute for all concerned.

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