As if Research in Motion didn't have enough to worry about, Verizon Wireless has teamed up with Good Technology to equip all of its Android devices with better enterprise-grade security and management.
Given the onslaught of Android devices and Apple iPhones in the enterprise, Verizon's move with Good appears to be aimed directly at Blackberry Enterprise Server. It's one thing if RIM gets beat in the consumer market, but it's very worrisome of the company loses enterprise traction.
Verizon said that Good for Enterprise will make it easier for IT managers to deploy Android devices from Motorola, HTC, LG and Samsung. The Android-Good for Enterprise combo includes better mobile security and device management such as encryption and remote wipe capability. Good Mobile Messaging is also included for calendar and contact apps.
The Verizon-Good deal is also notable because RIM relied heavily on Verizon marketing for the launch of its Storm devices. When RIM launched its latest BlackBerry, the Torch, the company chose AT&T first. Meanwhile, Verizon is clearly in the Android army that has its sights set on the iPhone. RIM's BlackBerry may be the collateral damage.
In addition, the Verizon-Good news is likely to worry analysts. RIM reports earnings Thursday and more than a few analysts expressed worries about the BlackBerry's standing in the enterprise. Adding Good to Android may not ensure enterprise adoption, but it certainly provides a safety blanket to those clinging to BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Jeffrey Fidacaro said:
In our opinion, the Blackberry 6 OS is a much anticipated and necessary upgrade for RIM devices; however, it only incorporated features and functionality that we believe places it just shy of iOS 4 and Android 2.2. Moreover, our checks with AT&T stores show Blackberry Torch demand that is somewhat disappointing. While we expect Blackberry 6 to create an upgrade cycle for existing Blackberry users over the next few quarters, our findings show that the new OS platform is not compelling enough to significantly sway users from the iPhone or Android-based devices…
The increasing interest in employee-owned devices within the enterprise, combined with advancing features and functionality from platforms that compete with the Blackberry Enterprise Server are expected to become a material chink in RIM’s enterprise armor.