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BlackBerry – ‘Believe The Hype, We’re Back’

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Passport manufacturer believes it has earned back customer trust, company executive tells TechWeek Europe

A renewed focus and the launch of several new devices means that BlackBerry has now overcome the trails of recent years and regained the trust of its customers, a senior company executive has said.

Speaking to TechWeek Europe at a recent media event, the company’s regional managing director for Europe, Markus Mueller, outlined BlackBerry’s key focuses going forward – security, productivity, communication and collaboration.

“Everything we do, actually, is related to those four pillars, and for every product we bring out, we look at those four pillars and see how they would fit into that.”

BlackBerry PassportPassport to success

One obvious example in BlackBerry’s recently-launched Passport, a revolutionary square-shaped mobile device which sits somewhere between smartphone and tablet as the company explicitly targets business customers.

Mueller, a proud Passport user himself, highlighted how feedback from BlackBerry’s extensive range of enterprise and business customers, which includes the whole range of G7 governments, helped influence how the company designed the product.

“When you look at the Passport, productivity really sticks out,” he said, “it’s one of the only devices where you have a big screen plus a keyboard without having to trade one for the other.”

“It’s all about choice,” he says, “(in developing the Passport) the world saw that BlackBerry is taking the risk of innovating.”

Others companies are much more risk-adverse, Mueller says, preferring to stick to one form factor, whereas reception for the Passport has been very positive, fitting nicely into BlackBerry’s existing product range to offer the company’s customers a variety of choice in what device best fits their needs.

markus mueller blackberrySafe and secure

This also extends to the latest version of the company’s BES operating system, the latest version of which, BES 10, is rolling out with the most recent devices. The new software is packed full of features that should appeal to both target audiences, most notably a Secure Voice function which adds extra security encryption to your calls, and the ability to split work and personal usage on the same phone.

BlackBerry has traditionally been associated with business use, and BES 10 comes with BlackBerry Balance, which allows certain data or apps to be stored on set profiles designated for work or personal usage, without the risk of overlap. The company’s recent acquisition of Movirtu also means that it can offer split-billing capabilities, meaning employees or businesses will not need to shoulder the cost of staying permanently connected.

This association also appears to be behind company CEO John Chen teasing details of a new BlackBerry mobile device that resembles its past products. The so-called “BlackBerry Classic” will bring back features such as a top row of navigation keys and a trackpad.

Overall, Mueller says that customers are starting to come back round to BlackBerry after what has been a tough period for the company.

“The trust in the company is coming back,” he says. “In the enterprise space, BlackBerry really has the best base to be successful – and now, it all looks very positive.”

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