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Tag: BlackBerry

BlackBerry launches WatchDox for Salesforce and Email Protector

WatchDox was an Israeli file security and digital rights management (DRM) startup acquired by BlackBerry in early 2015. The company is now integrating Watchdox offerings into BlackBerry with two new enterprise services - WatchDox and Email Protector. WatchDox file management WatchDox provides businesses with the means of automatically controlling and securing files sent through email, by embedding file-level DRM protection; even after they leave the organization's firewall. The file management platform enables multi-OS synchronization and sharing, says the company. The file management system provides unified access to content in SharePoint, file shares, cloud storage services and Enterprise Content Management Systems (ECMs). Users can access, sync, edit, share and control their files from any device. WatchDox is available for Mac OS X, Windows PC, Android, iOS and BlackBerry 10 devices. WatchDox file sync and share...

Starbucks Begins Powermat Wireless Charging Roll-Out

Starbucks unveiled Powermat wireless charging in approximately 200 of its stores in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The coffee store franchise says this is its first step in offering Powermat throughout its U.S. locations. Starbucks is also exploring rollouts in Europe and Asia within the year. Stores in the San Francisco Bay area are now equipped with 'Powermat Spots'  - designated areas on tables and counters where customers can place their compatible device and charge wirelessly.  In addition, Starbucks stores are offering Duracell Powermat "Rings" for purchase or loan that instantly upgrade any phone to wireless charging compatibility. The rings are available for in-store purchase at $9.99 and can alternately be borrowed and returned on a per-visit basis. Powermat Spots comply with the open standard set by the PMA –...

BlackBerry Creates New Technology Solutions Unit

BlackBerry  has created a new business unit, the BlackBerry Technology Solutions, or BTS. The company has hired Dr. Sandeep Chennakeshu, former president of Ericsson Mobile Platforms and CTO of Sony-Ericsson, to head the new division. The BTS business unit comprises BlackBerry’s technology assets, including QNX (embedded software), Project Ion (Internet of Things application platform), Certicom (cryptography applications), and Paratek (RF antenna tuning), as well as BlackBerry’s patent portfolio of 44,000 patents. "Combining all these assets into a single business unit led by Sandeep will create operational synergies and new revenue streams, furthering our turnaround strategy,” said the company in a statement. Dr. Chennakeshu starts immediately.

BlackBerry Hires Marty Beard As COO

BlackBerry has named Marty Beard as chief operating officer.  As the new COO, Mr. Beard is responsible for cross-functional organizations, including marketing, BlackBerry 10 application development, customer care and quality. He starts immediately. Most recently, Mr. Beard was Chairman and CEO of LiveOps. Prior to joining LiveOps, he was president of Sybase 365, a subsidiary of Sybase.  Prior to Sybase, he worked at Oracle as vice president of Oracle Online, its e-Commerce service unit.

BlackBerry Revenue Drops 64 Per Cent

BlackBerry reported financial results for the three months and fiscal year ended March 1, 2014. The company reported a 64 percent drop in revenue under its new CEO John Chen, amid layoffs and cost-cutting measures, which included selling off real estate. BlackBerry says it expects to be cash flow positive or neutral by the end of the current fiscal year, which runs to early March 2015.  You can find a copy of BlackBerry's earnings report here.

BlackBerry 10 Gets DoD Nod For ‘Full Operational Capability’

BlackBerry 10 has received full operational capability (FOC) to run on U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) networks from the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). The designation follows the company’s authority to operate (ATO) certification, and enables government users with a BlackBerry 10 smartphone connected with BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 (BES10) to access email, data, apps and other DoD network resources. BlackBerry is the first Mobile Device Management (MDM) provider to earn ATO and becomes the only vendor with FOC, says the company. The granting of FOC completes BlackBerry’s security certification process with the DoD. Also see: BlackBerry Gets NATO ‘Restricted’ Classified Communications Approval BlackBerry Q10, Z10 Given DoD Security Nod

BlackBerry Releases OS Version 10.2.1

BlackBerry has launched BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2.1, a software update for BlackBerry 10 smartphones. The update includes hundreds of new enhancements and refinements, says the company.  New features include customize pinch gesture to filter BlackBerry Hub, a new incoming call screen, SMS and email groups, actionable lock screen notifications, picture password, customizable Quick Settings menu, and offline browser reading mode, among others. When combined with BES10 version 10.2, enterprise customers get additional security features for when more granular controls are required, such as for regulated industries and for organizations that work with sensitive data.  For BlackBerry Z30, BlackBerry Q10 or BlackBerry Q5 smartphone, the software update unlocks the built-in FM radio in the handsets, which does not require any network connection.

BBM To Come Preinstalled On LG Smartphones

BlackBerry signed a bundling agreement with LG, involving both standard and virtual preloading (using the LG App Manager). Under the terms of the agreement, BBM will come preinstalled on the LG G Pro Lite in markets around the world. BBM is widely used throughout the Middle East, Africa and Indonesia where smartphone users tend to engage heavily in social networking.

Microsoft Joins FIDO Alliance As Board Member

Microsoft has joined the board of FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance, an industry consortium on online authentication. The company is working with the consortium on open standards that will ensure interoperability among strong authentication methods and technologies. Google and BlackBerry are members of the FIDO Alliance as well. FIDO members commit to share technology and collaborate to deliver open specifications for universal strong authentication. FIDO authentication is designed with a core focus on privacy -- all biometric or personal identifying information (PII) stays local on the user's device and is never shared to the cloud or over the network.

BBM Going Strong, To Come Pre-Installed In Some Android Phones

BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) will soon come preinstalled on a variety of Android-based smartphones from several OEMs across Africa, India, Indonesia, Latin America and the Middle East. Beginning next month, Android smartphones from Be, Brightstar, Celkon, EVERCOSS, IMO, Micromax, Mito, Snexian, Spice, TECNO, TiPhone and Zen will include BBM preinstalled. BBM will also continue to be available as a free download for Android.  Andrew Bocking (Executive vice president, BBM, BlackBerry): The uptake we have seen for BBM since the launch on Android and iPhone is amazing.    BBM lets users share files such as photos and voice notes, and update their profile and status. Up to 30 people can connect as a BBM Group. Every BBM user has a unique PIN tied to their BlackBerry ID, and do not...

BlackBerry CFO, COO Depart In Management Shakeup

Kristian Tear, chief operating officer, and Frank Boulben, chief marketing officer at BlackBerry are leaving the company. In another development, James Yersh will be replacing Brian Bidulka as the CFO. Roger Martin, a BlackBerry board member since 2007, has resigned. Mr. Yersh, who has worked at BlackBerry since 2008, previously served as senior vice president, controller and as the company’s head of Compliance. Mr. Bidulka will stay on as a special advisor to the CEO for the remainder of the fiscal year to assist with the transition.  

BlackBerry Calls Off Sale

BlackBerry is calling off the sale of the company. Thorsten Heins, CEO of the ailing cellphone manufacturer will be stepping down, and the company says it is looking for new leadership. BlackBerry has entered into an agreement with Fairfax Financial Holding and other institutional investors, who will invest in the company through a $1 billion private placement of convertible debentures. Fairfax has agreed to acquire $250 million principal amount of the debentures. The transaction is expected to be completed within the next two weeks. Upon the closing of the transaction, John Chen will be appointed executive chair of BlackBerry’s board of directors. Mr. Chen will also serve as Interim CEO pending completion of a search for a new CEO. Prem Watsa, chairman and CEO of Fairfax,...

BlackBerry Gets NATO ‘Restricted’ Classified Communications Approval

BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 and BlackBerry 10 smartphones have been approved by NATO for classified communications up to the level of 'Restricted'. The certification allows agencies in NATO countries in all 28 member states across North America and Europe to use BlackBerry 10 smartphones in the office or in the field. Since launching earlier this year, more than 25,000 BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 commercial and test servers have been installed globally, according to the company. BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 integrates end-to-end security, and uses AES 256-bit encryption level, for data at rest and data in transit.

BlackBerry Going Private In $4.7B Deal

BlackBerry has signed a letter of intent agreement under which a consortium led by Fairfax Financial Holdings has offered to acquire the company. Shareholders would receive $9 in cash for each share of BlackBerry share they hold, and the transaction is valued at roughly $4.7 billion. The BlackBerry board has approved the terms of the deal. Fairfax, which owns approximately 10 percent of BlackBerry’s common shares, intends to contribute the shares of BlackBerry it currently holds into the transaction. J.P. Morgan and Perella Weinberg are acting as financial advisors and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Torys are acting as legal advisors for BlackBerry. BDT & Company, BofA Merrill Lynch, and BMO Capital Markets are acting as financial advisors, and Shearman & Sterling and McCarthy Tétrault...

BlackBerry Takes A $900M+ Hit On Unsold Phones, Laying Off 4,500

BlackBerry is laying off 4,500 employees as the company takes a quarterly loss of $930 to $960 million. The smartphone-maker released the numbers a week ahead of its earnings call. BlackBerry's loss is primarily the result of unsold inventory, specifically BlackBerry Z10 devices, as well as a $72 million hit in corporate restructuring costs. Thorsten Heins (President and CEO, BlackBerry): We are implementing the difficult, but necessary operational changes announced today to address our position in a maturing and more competitive industry, and to drive the company toward profitability.  Going forward, we plan to refocus our offering on our end-to-end solution of hardware, software and services for enterprises and the productive, professional end user. BlackBerry expects revenues for the second quarter of approximately $1.6 billion, of which approximately...