BlackBerry, Microsoft Sign Security Agreement

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BlackBerry partners Microsoft to provide secure environment for Microsoft Office apps

Microsoft and BlackBerry have announced a partnership that will see the Canadian firm offer a secure environment for Office apps.

The deal from the two biggest losers of the smartphone era will see the creation of the BlackBerry Enterprise BRIDGE to safeguard the ‘mobile’ Office apps used by big businesses.

News of the deal prompted a rise in BlackBerry’s share price, and will delight BlackBerry shareholders who earlier this week extended the contract of CEO John Chen.

john chen blackberry lead
BlackBerry chief executive John Chen. Credit: Blackberry

Secure productivity

It is clear this new deal is aimed firmly at the enterprise market, and is intended to provide a more seamless mobile experience for end-users.

“Through this partnership, the companies have collaborated on a first-of-its-kind solution: BlackBerry Enterprise BRIDGE,” said the two firms. “This technology provides a highly-secure way for their joint customers – the world’s largest banks, healthcare providers, law firms, and central governments – to seamlessly use native Microsoft mobile apps from within BlackBerry Dynamics.”

The deal essentially means that Microsoft apps will be seamlessly available from within BlackBerry Dynamics, to provide enterprise users with a consistent experience when opening, editing, and saving a Microsoft Office 365 file on any iOS or Android device.

“BlackBerry has always led the market with new and innovative ways to protect corporate data on mobile devices,” said Carl Wiese, president of Global Sales at BlackBerry. “We saw a need for a hyper-secure way for our joint customers to use native Office 365 mobile apps. BlackBerry Enterprise BRIDGE addresses this need and is a great example of how BlackBerry and Microsoft continue to securely enable workforces to be highly productive in today’s connected world.”

“In an era when digital technology is driving rapid transformation, customers are looking for a trusted partner,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president of Worldwide Commercial Business at Microsoft. “Together with BlackBerry, we will take this to the next level and provide enterprises with a new standard for secure productivity.”

And it seems that the BlackBerry Secure platform has also been integrated with the Azure cloud platform.

Specifically, BlackBerry UEM Cloud, BlackBerry Workspaces, BlackBerry Dynamics, and BlackBerry AtHoc are now available on Azure.

More assertive

But the two firms have partnered before. In July 2016 for example, Azure customers were given access to BlackBerry’s enterprise mobility management products via the public cloud platform.

BlackBerry of late has been recovering  following its exit from the mainstream smartphone arena, and the company under the leadership of Chen has become more confident and assertive.

Earlier this month the Canadian software maker filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Facebook and its WhatsApp and Instagram applications, alleging the software uses technology and features that originated with BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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