BlackBerry buys out arch-rival Good Technology for enterprise mobility dominance

The corporate device management space has gotten a little less crowded this morning with the announcement that BlackBerry Ltd. is acquiring one of its biggest rivals, Good Technology Inc., for $425 million in cash. The landmark deal positions the Canadian mobile giant at the very top of the enterprise mobility food chain.

That’s thanks to the roughly 6,200 organizations with active subscriptions to Good Technology’s management services that are now set to merge into its customer base, a roster that includes over half of the Fortune 100, much of the banking industry and big names throughout a host of other verticals. It’s also significant that many of those companies rely primarily on iOS, which BlackBerry has been targeting aggressively.

The roughly 60 percent of Good Technology’s install base that is made up of iPhones and iPads will help the outfit significantly expand its foothold in Apple Inc.’s ecosystem, but that’s just the immediate benefit of the buy. The long-term strategic advantage will come from the administrative capabilities that have made its rival so popular among iOS users in the first place.

BlackBerry plans to integrate that functionality with the management features that its own platform offers for Android and Windows devices in an effort to put forth a more attractive value proposition for organizations that support multiple operating systems in their networks. The pitch will be further augmented by Good Technology’s app-level encryption and data loss prevention capabilities.

That should provide a welcome boost for BlackBerry’s existing security functionality, which has always been one of its biggest strengths. The company was the first mobility management provider to receive full operational approval from the U.S. Department of Defense, while Good Technology is the sole holder of a level 4 Common Criteria Evaluation in the mobile collaboration category.

But the icing on the cake are the more than 2,000 applications that the latter’s partners have integrated with its  platform, which significantly expand the appeal of the core mobility management functionality. Added up, BlackBerry anticipates that the assets it’s gaining through the acquisition will swell its top line by about $160 million in the first year after the deal goes through.

And the company is counting on that contribution to grow much further later down the road. In an official Q&A session held on occasion of the launch, Good Technology chief executive Christy Wyatt revealed that BlackBerry plans to use her outfit’s technology in order to extend its reach to wearable devices, which could prove a goldmine as adoption steadily increases among enterprise workers.

Photo via Geralt

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