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Partners: BlackBerry's AtHoc Acquisition Will Hook Highly Regulated Industries

BlackBerry said Wednesday it has entered into an agreement to purchase AtHoc, a San Mateo, Calif.-based networked crisis communication company.

BlackBerry said Wednesday that it will purchase AtHoc, a San Mateo, Calif.-based networked crisis communication company that specializes in niche industries, including federal government agencies and health-care-related businesses.

Partners applauded the latest acquisition announcement as BlackBerry's investment in secure, mission-critical business communications targeting enterprise customers who need to secure highly sensitive data.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen said in a statement that the acquisition would push forward BlackBerry's strategic investments in security, privacy and the Internet of Things.

[Related: BlackBerry, Google Team Up On Enterprise-Friendly Android OS]

"…Acquiring AtHoc will enable us to provide a holistic, end-to-end approach to communications," he said in the statement. "We have a proud history of securing mission-critical communications for the public sector as well as enterprises operating in the most highly regulated industries. AtHoc's technology and expertise will play a key role as BlackBerry works to connect and secure a broad range of endpoints."

AtHoc's software, which the company describes as an Internet-of-Things platform, enables users to collaborate in realtime during life-safety operations through devices on multiple platforms, such as iOS, Android, PC and Mac desktops. Among other customers, AtHoc serves the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The AtHoc suite contains an eclectic range of integrated applications, including alert, account, collect and connect features. After the acquisition closes, AtHoc's platform will integrate with the company's enterprise portfolio to offer new capabilities for mission-critical business communications, according to BlackBerry.

"This appears to be another move by BlackBerry to augment their enterprise security platform," said Hamish Davidson, president and CEO of Atlanta-based ProviDyn, a BlackBerry partner. "Acquisitions have been one of the best ways they can flesh out their enterprise offerings on the security software side."

BlackBerry is desperately relying on security software and services as it attempts to turn around its business in the coming year. The company said in June during its latest earnings call that its software and technology licensing revenue were soaring despite a first-quarter loss.

During that earnings report, Chen stressed the company was renewing its focus on mobile device management and security software as opposed to the company's lagging hardware business.

According to BlackBerry, the transaction is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2016. Terms and pricing of the purchase were not disclosed.

PUBLISHED JULY 22, 2015

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