BlackBerry launched its BlackBerry Z10 device in India six weeks ago and last week showcased the BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) 10 at the BlackBerry Experience Forum in New Delhi.
While BlackBerry primarily has always targeted enterprise customers with BES, the vendor is hoping the latest release will make inroads into the medium-scale businesses in India.
With the growing acceptance of IT consumerization and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend, businesses are looking at ways manage personal devices and corporate data. BES10 is touted to offer mobility management, bringing together device management, security, unified communications, and applications. It allows businesses to easily deploy, manage, secure, and control BYOD and corporate devices--not just for BlackBerry, but also iOS and Android devices.
At the BlackBerry Experience Forum, I met Sunil Lalvani, director of enterprise sales for BlackBerry India. He told me that while they’d like BlackBerry to be a preferred device, they are looking to be the vendor of choice for managing Android and iOS devices in the enterprise.
"Some companies have allowed BYOD, but there are challenges in managing those devices. Some even prohibit personal apps," Lalvani explained. "We launched only 40 days ago, and have over 500 enterprise customers already in India. Few SMBs (small and midsize businesses) have also adopted BES10. There are several tiers of mobility management with BES10."
According to Scott Totzke, senior vice president of BlackBerry Security, the company has a very close relationship with Microsoft to encourage Office 365 customers adopt BlackBerry. With Microsoft reportedly seeing growing number of Indian SMBs deploying Office 365, this could well prove to be a fruitful relationship.
In the past, the free BES Express and hosted-BES offering saw some success in attracting SMBs. Internationally, several partners are offering hosted BES10 services. However, in India, BlackBerry has only one hosted partner and that too does not offer BES10 as yet. Hosted services like Office 365 and Adobe's Creative Cloud have found many takers in the Indian SMB space as such offerings offer lesser costs in getting onboard and require fewer IT resources.