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The Rise and Fall of BlackBerry

September 23, 2016

From 2000 to 2010, BlackBerry set the standard for enterprise mobility. BlackBerry, then known as Research in Motion, stretched the bounds of what could be done with the constrained bandwidth, processing power, and displays of the day. By the end of the decade, almost every mobile professional, especially in high security industries like Financial Services and Government, was a proud BlackBerry user. BlackBerry, the device, rocked; the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) was mission-critical; and BlackBerry, the company, was an agent of transformation.

And then it all changed. iOS and Android overtook BlackBerry in both enterprise and consumer markets. App innovation exploded. BYOD became real. That’s the environment which created MobileIron. We built a platform to secure modern user experiences and allow our customers to choose best-of-breed apps without getting locked into a single-vendor stack.

Our customers were exactly the security-conscious businesses and institutions that had been BlackBerry’s bread and butter. As the BES business shrank, our business grew. A few years ago, responding to demand, we published a resource center here with detailed guidance on migrating from BlackBerry to MobileIron.

In this current year, 2016, we have achieved several milestones that continue to differentiate MobileIron from the BES:

83% of attendees at our 2016 global user conference said they were planning to end-of-life Blackberry support in less than one year. 

Here are links to several case studies of companies migrating from BlackBerry to MobileIron:

Our sales team told me yesterday that BlackBerry has launched an anti-MobileIron marketing website. I am not surprised. This validates to me that MobileIron is the EMM platform, along with hardware leaders Apple and Samsung, that is most responsible for BlackBerry’s decline. Enterprises now live in a multi-device, multi-OS, multi-cloud world which has very different security and user experience requirements than existed in the era of BlackBerry.

Ojas Rege

Ojas Rege, Chief Strategy Officer

About the author

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Ojas Rege's perspective on enterprise mobility has been covered by Bloomberg, CIO Magazine, Financial Times, Forbes, and Reuters. He coined the term “Mobile First” on TechCrunch in 2007, one week after the launch of the first iPhone, to represent a new model of personal and business computing. He is co-inventor on six mobility patents, including the enterprise app store and BYOD privacy. Ojas is also a Fellow of the Ponemon Institute for information security policy. Ojas has a BS/MS in Computer Engineering from M.I.T. and an MBA from Stanford. Ojas is also Board Chair for Pact, a non-profit in Oakland, California that provides adoption services for children of color and their parents.

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