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BlackBerry has high hopes for 2014

Matt Hamblen | Dec. 20, 2013
Customer lauds Android direction for fitful smartphone maker.

Rocky Mountain recently decided to deploy 300 Z10s to its work force by the end of January, and will support them with the BES 10 management platform. Shattuck said a major incentive to sticking with BlackBerry, despite recommendations to seek alternatives, is that BES 10 will also manage iOS and Android devices. Atop of BES 10, Rocky Mountain will use Citrix Receiver software to allow Z10 users to access sensitive patient records directly on their smartphones, with the data kept securely behind the corporate firewall.

Rocky Mountain serves 7,500 people with brain injuries and other cognitive impairments and is required to be HIPAA compliant, meaning users and IT managers must take a number of security steps, including frequent password refreshes. Shattuck said the BlackBerry Balance feature on the Z10 will allow workers to keep all their work-related data partitioned from personal data.

Because of the BES 10 support for Android and iOS, Shattuck said there's further inducement to stay with BlackBerry. "If BlackBerry were to go under or have financial difficulties and we couldn't use their handsets, we could still use the phone infrastructure to access other phone models," he said.

"That being said, people have really had negative predictions about BlackBerry for a long time, but when it comes to a corporate phone, there's more to it than getting the latest and greatest device. We're interested in a bug-free phone. Our organization has been long committed to BlackBerry," Shattuck said.

Despite a Gartner recommendation made to enterprises in September to consider alternatives to BlackBerry within six months, some analysts have been more moderate.

"We see little risk of BlackBerry simply closing its doors and leaving customers in the lurch," said Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates, in a report issued on Thursday. "We evaluate the overall risk of working with BlackBerry as low, and companies should feel comfortable in doing so."

 

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