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Partners Say BlackBerry 'On The Right Path' With Samsung Partnership

BlackBerry announced today a partnership with Samsung during the unveiling of its new BES12 platform. The deal was made by BlackBerry to give it a larger market audience, and for Samsung to gain traction in the mobile enterprise behind BlackBerry's mobile security reputation.

BlackBerry and Samsung Thursday entered into a partnership in which the two companies will be selling each other's mobile-security technology in an effort to win over more enterprise customers.

The announcement was made during an event where BlackBerry showed off its new mobile-security platform, BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 (BES12), a key release to the company's plan of returning to prominence.

"It's pretty exciting stuff," said Rick Jordan, director of mobility sales at Tenet Computer Group, a Toronto-based solution provider and longtime BlackBerry partner.

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"When you think about where BlackBerry is today with this announcement compared to where they were yesterday, I can't emphasize enough about the importance of their main focus being the ecosystem, the enterprise and, more importantly, security," Jordan said. "That is what BlackBerry is known for. People were writing them off, but you can almost hear the thunder in the distance because eventually they’ll be a force to reckon with, especially by partnering with Samsung. I think it's absolutely fantastic for BlackBerry to focus on their roots, and I think they're on the right path."

The partnership is an interesting one because Samsung is the top smartphone vendor in the world, but doesn't have the deep roots in mobile security that BlackBerry does. While BlackBerry is still a big name in mobile security, the company is a far cry from the presence in the smartphone market that it once was.

By partnering with Samsung, BlackBerry will receive a larger customer audience to sell its BES12 platform, and it will be an attractive option for enterprise clients as it can manage various mobile operating systems, including Android, iOS and Windows.

Samsung, on the other hand, has failed to gain traction in the enterprise despite its Knox offering, and looks to grow in the mobile enterprise space behind BlackBerry's strong reputation in that area.

"I think Android, specifically, and, therefore, Samsung as a prominent provider of Android devices has suffered from perceptions of a lack of security for business applications," said Robby Hill, founder and CEO of HillSouth, a Florence, S.C.-based solution provider and BlackBerry partner.

"BYOD is the order of the day in companies both large and small, and tackling security will help drive more BYOD adoption and applications into the Android ecosystem ... Samsung Knox, to date, doesn't seem to be much more than the latest marketing tool. Leveraging a proven leader in mobile security like BlackBerry could be the killer app to get more companies seeking out support for highly secure mobile computing on Android."

Next: Samsung's Recent Decline

While Samsung is the leader in the smartphone market with over 23 percent of the market, according to IDC, the Galaxy Note 4 maker has been taking its lumps in the last year, falling from the 33 percent market share it had just a year ago. While the company struggles to compete with Chinese vendors in the entry-level to midlevel smartphone markets, and competes with Apple in the high-end developed markets, this move could give Samsung the boost it needs with a security advantage over other Android vendors.

But, as partners see it, the company that has the most to gain from this deal is BlackBerry.

"BlackBerry needs a win badly to stay relevant in this BYOD world, so I am looking forward to seeing how easy they make implementing this new set of tools," said Hill. "The BlackBerry server market has been weakening for years as the handsets have declined in popularity. If this new alliance jump-starts business for both vendors, we could soon see other companies licensing the BlackBerry platforms or looking for similar end-to-end mobile security platforms. Separating work data from personal data is another area ripe for innovation under this new alliance."


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