CRN Exclusive: BlackBerry Revamps Enterprise Partner Program As Channels Look To Secure Mobile Business Solutions

BlackBerry on Monday unveiled a reinvented Enterprise Partner program that includes a tightened focus for partners around the company’s unified Secure Enterprise Software platform.

The newly revamped program aims to help partners take advantage of secure mobile business solutions -- as opposed to the more typical mobile device management solutions -- which will open up to four times the market opportunities for partners, a channel executive told CRN.

"What we’re incredibly excited about … is the opportunity for our partners to help consult with customers and transform how business works, and to capitalize on all the growth and profit opportunities that come from that," said Richard McLeod, global vice president of enterprise software channels at BlackBerry.

[Related: BlackBerry Buys British Security Consultancy, Underscoring Commitment To Mobile Security]

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As part of the new upgrade, the BlackBerry Enterprise Partner program will be split into three tiers for solution providers -- Authorized, Gold and Platinum, and will also include new partner branding and market differentiation opportunities.

BlackBerry has also made other tweaks to its channel program so partners can tap into recurring revenue through per-user pricing models and new software life cycle management opportunities.

In addition, BlackBerry is merging the channels of two companies it acquired last year -- Good Technology, purchased in October, and WatchDox, purchased in April -- and simplifying channel prices in those routes to market.

BlackBerry executives hope the channel transformation will enable partners to better take advantage of the end-to-end security solutions offered in the company’s BlackBerry Enterprise Software Platform for both on-premise services and cloud solutions.

"The Platinum Solutions Partner designation will give a much needed branding in the market and will allow us to further differentiate," said Marco Gocht, CEO of ISEC7 Group AG, a Warren, N.J.-based BlackBerry partner. "The new accreditations and competencies included in the BlackBerry Partner Program will really improve our capabilities and help us stand out from the crowd."

As part of its reinvented channel, BlackBerry is also offering a new deal registration, as well as new partner competencies and training curriculums for partners with a focus on enabling new partner service capabilities and integrated mobile business solutions.

"We like the fact that BlackBerry is rewarding its partners with additional discounts for the new business we bring to them and giving us preference with the BlackBerry sales team," said Gocht. "The enhanced deal registration process is objective, consistent and rewards partners who are adding value. We will definitely take advantage of it to drive the new integrated … platform to market."

The channel comes equipped with two fairly new executives with strong channel presences -- McLeod, who joined in November from Cisco, and Alex Thurber, a Cisco and WatchGuard veteran who joined the company this month as senior vice president of global device sales.

BlackBerry’s new channel initiatives come as the mobile company sharpens its focus on security software, services and Android smartphones tailored for the enterprise market.

In February, the company also revealed it was cutting about 200 employees, including Gary Klassen, creator of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), a cross-platform instant messaging application.