Microsoft, BlackBerry Join Forces On Mobile To Expand Secure Usage

Leveraging each other’s strengths to reach new user bases, Microsoft and BlackBerry announced a collaboration that would enable more widespread use of Office 365 in enterprise mobility in a secure fashion.

The king of operating system platforms and a pioneer in the smartphone space have joined efforts to create the BlackBerry Enterprise BRIDGE, which containerizes the Office 365 suite, according to a statement from BlackBerry.

The technology will now allow a “highly-secure way for 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 statement said.

The capabilities will be available on iOS and Android devices using the Microsoft Azure cloud backbone.

“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 in the statement. “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.”

Since pulling back from the smartphone device manufacturing space it once dominated, BlackBerry has focused on security. In August of 2017, the company announced integration with AppDome, which enabled codeless integration of secure voice, video and messaging capabilities with BlackBerry’s BBM Enterprise SDK. The collaboration results in the seamless protection of chats, voice, and video along with secure organizational data and regulatory compliance.

As part of the big week for BlackBerry, it also announced other new functionalities aimed at enterprise users, IT administrators and developers.

Under the BlackBerry Work system, a new Do Not Disturb feature has been implemented that will allow users to disable email and calendar notifications for employees outside of normal business hours. Of course, that feature can be overridden by individual users, but the effort is there. Additionally, within the same suite of products, users with BYOD devices can make outbound calls that will appear to come from their office line, keeping their private phone number inaccessible to those they communicate with.

Mobile security in the enterprise has moved from bolt-on feature to leading the framework of mobile transformation, yet some companies admit they’re sacrificing security for speed.

As recently reported by Enterprise Mobility Exchange, nearly a third of Verizon survey respondents said they knowingly and intentionally sacrificed mobile security to improve expediency or business performance. Forty-five percent of that group said it suffered data loss or downtime as a result of a mobile security incident in 2017.

Now that Microsoft and BlackBerry have pulled back from the smartphone manufacturing race, both are showing improvements in the way workflows on mobile devices are changing, which enhances the industry as a whole.