When I think of BlackBerry Ltd. (TSX:BB)(NASDAQ:BBRY) there are three things that come to mind: top notch security, an enterprise-focused niche, and devices that cater first and foremost to security and privacy.
The company has moved aggressively in the past year on the enterprise front by not only acquiring a number of companies, but also integrating new technology into its BES cross-platform environment, making it a complete solution.
On the device front, the company announced the Android-powered Priv smartphone late last year, which has been met with positive reviews. That device continues to roll out to carriers around the world. A new device dubbed the “Vienna” is slated to be released later this year, and it will also run on the Android platform.
And this week BlackBerry announced the purchase of U.K.-based cyber-security consulting firm Encription. Encription specializes in IT Security training and penetration testing for both the public and private sectors.
The move is one that makes sense for a number of reasons and has me very optimistic about BlackBerry.
The company, despite what some outlets claim, is still very much a strong player in the corporate, government, and military environments. This may have wavered in the wake of the BYOD (bring your own device) movement, but BlackBerry remains extremely strong in markets that are highly regulated or have extreme security measures in place.
To put this into context, BlackBerry has nearly 70 different certifications across governments–more than any other player in the market. BlackBerry claims to have the governments of the G7 and 16 of the G20 as clients, as well as the largest banks, law firms, managed healthcare companies, investment services, and the largest oil and gas companies as clients.
Encription has some overlap in these areas, and this deal could result in BlackBerry offering additional services to enterprise customers along the cyber-security front. It’s a natural extension of its services.
A new cyber-security consulting arm of the company could also be used as a lead in for new business. The cyber-security market is slated to be worth nearly $16.5 billion in annual business with forecasted growth said to balloon this figure to $23 billion within the next three years.
The company mentioned that the new cyber-security arm will offer security services across four broad categories: strategic (best practices in EMM and cloud services), technical (infrastructure-related help across development life cycles), automotive and IoT (two of the biggest trends in security that BlackBerry happens to be a market leader in), and detection, testing and analysis (threat detection and vulnerability assessment service).
In my opinion, this is one of the most strategic purchases the company has made to date. It’s further proof that BlackBerry has effectively turned around and has a bright and profitable future.