CRN Exclusive: BlackBerry Introduces New SHIELD Advisor Channel Program, A 'Door Opener' To Mobile Security

As the number of connected devices increases in the workplace, BlackBerry wants to keep its partners up to speed on advising customers about the safety risks of these mobile and IoT devices.

The company on Wednesday is launching its SHIELD Advisor Program to help partners act as the trusted advisor for customers dealing with risks stemming from IoT devices in their workplace.

"We want to take our skills and best practices and make that available to solution provider partners," Richard McLeod, VP of Global Enterprise Software Channels at BlackBerry, told CRN. "With the new SHIELD Advisor accreditation, [partners] will be able to access BlackBerry’s mobile security framework and comprehensive IT risk assessment tools to help customers manage their endpoints, guard against threats, and most importantly, make better security decisions. It is a very comfortable advisory door opener for partners to take to customers."

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The BlackBerry SHIELD Advisor program is available to Gold and Platinum BlackBerry enterprise partners who have a baseline security industry certification. The program helps partners provide customers with a vendor-agnostic review of their practices and discover how prepared they are for the onslaught of mobile and IoT devices in the workplace.

Part of this includes access to over 100 different items that review and highlight important security technical and administrative practices in the workplace – so partners can quickly discover what their customers are doing well compared to their peers.

"We see the SHIELD Advisor program as a way for partners to both open doors to new customers and add value to existing customers," said McLeod. "It works as the starting point to any conversation around security for partners."

McLeod said that more enterprises are grappling with new security practices to deal with the increasing number of connected devices- including scanners and manufacturing controls – in their workplace – and partners are the perfect advisors in helping customers deal with these new security complexities.

That rings true with Jeff Bearden, CEO of B&D Consulting, a Hagerstown, Md.-based BlackBerry partner that secures customers in the government and private sector space. B&D Consulting recently joined BlackBerry's SHIELD program.

"This program fits for us and the industry as more solution providers need to go and individually assess customers based on their needs. Customers are looking for an agnostic view of security in their workplace and want a solution that's tailored to their needs. For companies like us, we want to bring the best-of-breed technologies and security to the table," he said.