IBM interested in RIM's enterprise services unit

IBM interested in RIM's enterprise services unit

Summary: [UPDATE] IT giant reportedly made "informal approach" on possibly acquiring RIM's enterprise services division, but still no one has shown interest in buying division which manufactures BlackBerry phones.

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Research In Motion's enterprise services unit have attracted the interest of IBM, which has made an "informal approach" on potentially acquiring the division.

The division operates a network of secure servers used to support its BlackBerry devices, a source who declined to be named, told Bloomberg in a Friday report.

However, no party has yet shown interest in buying all of RIM or the division which manufactures its BlackBerry phones, but the Canadian company will wait for the rollout of BlackBerry 10 phones next year before making any decisions on a sale, the person said. No talks are under way at the moment, the source added.

When approached by ZDNet Asia, RIM declined to comment while IBM said it "does not comment on rumors or speculation".

During its fourth quarter earnings call in March this year, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins said it plans to refocus on the enterprise business and capitalize on its position in the segment. RIM had launched its mobile device management (MDM) product, BlackBerry Mobile Fusion here in Asia last month, and revealed it was eyeing Asia's developed markets due to the strong uptake of smartphones and mobile devices in the region.

Just Thursday, an analyst had said Samsung could be interested in buying RIM's BlackBerry 10 licenses, but Samsung maintained it had "not considered" either acquiring RIM in whole, or licensing the new software to install it in its upcoming smartphones.

Brian Blair of Wedge Partners previously told ZDNet that the BlackBerry maker has little to be desired by prospective partners, as it was struggling with BlackBerry 10 operating system and range of supported phones. Its only stable thing is its data infrastructure and vast array of patents and even so, its patent portfolio does not come close to Nokia's.

Topics: Mobility, Enterprise Software, BlackBerry

Ellyne Phneah

About Ellyne Phneah

Elly grew up on the adrenaline of crime fiction and it spurred her interest in cybercrime, privacy and the terror on the dark side of IT. At ZDNet Asia, she has made it her mission to warn readers of upcoming security threats, while also covering other tech issues.

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7 comments
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  • Cash cow for IBM

    This would be a cash cow for IBM, or anyone else.

    Buy the whole of RIM for a song, shutter/sell the hardware business - Samsung might take it off your hands for $10 and some patent ammo, and develop the BES Client into a fully blown monthly sub scription for $5 App for IOS, Android, WP8, and perhaps a freebie client for other devices like Ninendo DS, Kindle, Samsung SmarTV to draw people into the ecosystem.

    Over time migrate BES back-haul to IBM cloud.

    $$$ rolls in. Just need to juhnk the hapless HW business, and you'll also have a new business market unit with RealTime QNX too as well.
    neil.postlethwaite
  • Agreed

    This acquisition is too good and too logical for IBM to pass up
    the.nameless.drifter
    • Stayin' alive

      It's a good deal for RIM too, because one of the nagging worries IT directors have about buying (or even keeping) Blackberries is that RIM will go away and the email service will go with it, leaving millions of little email bricks all around the world.
      Robert Hahn
  • Nope

    Not gonna happen. You need to try to think like a company executive to understand why - like for instance, "Will this drive the share price up THIS quarter?" or "Will this be a great short-term investment to make my decision look brilliant?"

    Anything like this kind of deal that would be a long-term prospect for IBM would hardly be considered seriously by those who make the important decisions.
    HackerJ
    • IBM is an EXAMPLE of a corporation that has a long view.

      IBM has maintained its investment in both basic and applied research and development while many other corporations have significantly cut back their own research and development investment for exactly the reasons you have stated.

      P.S. Both BES and QNX are jewels. IBM has the capability to make them even better.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
    • Bad doggie, no biscuit

      IBM has survived two world wars, the Great Depression, and five fundamental shifts in the technology underlying their products. Your comment about them looking no further than the next quarter is silly, puerile, and contradicted by events.
      Robert Hahn
  • someone mentioned IBM is making a phone!?!?!?!?

    I hope it runs some variant of AIX, I will buy stock for that, a mobile smart phone that can run AIX ought to be pretty darn secure....
    aiellenon