Blackberry Buys Good Technology: EMM Consolidation Continues
By Jim Lundy
Blackberry announced today that it is buying Good Technology for $425 million in cash. Blackberry and Good Technology have never been close friends, having battled constantly in the market.
This deal also signifies something more significant. EMM is becoming a core technology platform and to compete against the larger players, it takes resources.
Good Gets an Exit
To us, this was more about an exit strategy for Good than anything else. The market for an IPO just cooled due to stock market downturns, so given that, this was as good of a time as any to sell. For the market and for customers, this move is a win. Given the strengths of both firms, they immediately become a security powerhouse that will be hard to beat.
With mobile compute devices outnumbering PCs by almost a 9 to 1 ratio, the need to manage mobile devices, mobile apps, data, and content is a challenge that isn’t going away. The combined entity of Good and Blackberry will have strong appeal in a world that features cyber attacks and cyber espionage as a daily occurrence.
Blackberry: Going Enterprise with Software
For regulated industries such as government, aerospace, banking, and insurance, this deal is one that will garner a lot of attention. Good and Blackberry have many mutual customers and since Good secures many iOS and Android devices, this deal gives Blackberry a much broader offering.
Blackberry has always been an EMM player via Bes Server (its latest version is Bes 12), but it is more known for its Blackberry devices. Many enterprises have Bes, in part because of legacy support for Blackberry devices. Blackberry also has its QNX operating system, which is well-positioned for more than just Phones.
Good isn’t the first acquisition for Blackberry. Earlier this year, it purchased WatchDox, a provider of mobile content management. To us, these moves by Blackberry signal their intent to be a broader player in enterprise software.
The IoT Play Is Next
One of the reasons we see for EMM consolidation is due to the next phase of mobile, which is the Internet of Things. Large tech titans are lining up to prepare to monetize the IoT phase of mobility. When you see IBM, Cisco, and others such as VMware making acquisitions and investing lots of cash to create IoT divisions (note: both Cisco and IBM have IoT Divisions now), the Blackberry and Good deal makes even more sense.
There is still more consolidation in EMM to come. This move raises questions about some of the remaining independent EMM providers, such as MobileIron. Given the huge shift to IoT, we expect to see many more moves as the market for connected devices and the apps that manage them continue to grow.
Note: I’ll be discussing all of this in my Mobile 2020 Scenario presentation at IT Dev Connections in Las Vegas. It isn’t too late to join me and 1,500 others at the Aria Resort September 14th to 17th.