Blackberry's one last stand

Blackberry Not Yet Down for the Count

It is often said that the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Blackberry is definitely a prime example of this.

Once a giant in the mobile space, the company has now slumped to the status of an underdog, with many IT industry analysts convinced that it’ll bleed to death in a matter of months, if not weeks. However, it seems that Blackberry is not yet down for the count. Instead, it’s displaying a strong resolve to survive and has already begun putting up a serious last stand to defy the many odds that are against it.

Back to the comfort zone

Blackberry’s latest CEO John Chen has been real busy making one strategic decision after another to get a company dubbed by many analysts and pundits as a sinking ship off life support. In a latest move to steer the ship out of the raging storm, the new captain is returning the focus of the company to the niche that has long contribute to its success, the government market.

The Blackberry CEO chose the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas to raise the curtains off his company’s plan to invest in a security innovation center in the government’s own backyard, Washington D.C. Banking on Blackberry’s years of technical experience in the field of security, Chen is looking to collaborate with the government customers and other experts to roll out products and services that would set new standards in communication security.

A pat on the back for Blackberry

Is returning its focus to the government markets the right move for Blackberry under the dire circumstances it’s in? At least one mobile industry professional thinks it is. Randy Siegel, who has been in the government’s mobile business with Microsoft and other firms for over a decade and is also the founder of Center Circle Consultants, has praised Blackberry’s recommitment to its enterprise customers. In his opinion, the company will benefit greatly from this relationship due to its experience and deep understanding of the government market. The security innovative center in the Washington D.C. area will help it foster its bonds with its customers in high places such as the Department of Defense, where people are still categorically asking for a Blackberry device.

A futile effort

While Blackberry’s latest strategic move is being applauded by some industry veterans, others are not too convinced. According to one of its competitors, namely Good Technology, the latest move by the company is “just too little, too late” as the niche constituting of federal state, local governments and agencies have already begun turning to other alternatives such as consumer mobile devices, tinkering with their software to make them suitable for their needs.

Shooting itself in the foot by not keeping pace with the changing trends in the mobile space, Blackberry finds itself facing an uphill battle for survival. Chen is clearly aware of the fact that time is not on his side as the company has already bled to a critical extent. For it to get out of this dire situation, some pretty bold decisions need to be taken. So far, the new captain appears to be steering the ship in the right direction, but it is still too early to say whether it will be able to get out of the storm and reach the shores safely, or if the ship will continue to bleed to death.


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