1. kevinnugent's Avatar
    I wonder how many cookie cutter interviews were given by various country MD's today....

    Potential BlackBerry sale no threat to local operations

    For those who don't want to click:

    Potential BlackBerry sale no threat to local operations
    PUBLISHED: 12 hours 34 MINUTES AGO | UPDATE: 6 hours 24 MINUTES AGO PUBLISHED: 14 Oct 2013 PRINT EDITION: 15 Oct 2013
    Local head of BlackBerry, Matthew Ball, said BlackBerry was not getting out of the consumer smartphone market and would continue to push its new handsets. Photo: Rob Homer
    Paul Smith

    The local head of smartphone pioneer BlackBerry has said the Australia and New Zealand operations of the company are not threatened by the potential sale of the business, and that taking the company private could be a boon for its future prosperity.

    Speaking to The Australian Financial Review about BlackBerry’s ongoing plans to refocus the business on corporate clients as opposed to consumer handset sales, managing director of Australia and New Zealand Matthew Ball said his operations were a standout performer globally in the enterprise space.

    The future of BlackBerry is cause for significant speculation, with the company’s co-founder Mike Lazaridis believed to be mounting a rival bid to buy the company outright, from under the noses of largest shareholder Fairfax Financial Holdings.

    Fairfax has submitted a letter of intention to buy BlackBerry and take it private for $US4.7 billion ($4.96 billion). Due diligence on that proposal completes on November 4. Tech giants like Cisco, Google and SAP are also reportedly interested in doing a deal.

    Mr Ball said that both the potential of the company de-listing and heightening its focus on enterprise clients would *benefit the local operations.

    Assuaging employee fears

    He said he was speaking openly about the process in order to help assuage any fear among local BlackBerry workers and help keep them focused on the tasks at hand. “We have always been strong in enterprise in Australia, we have a significant foothold in the market, whereas other markets have perhaps a larger base of consumers,” Mr Ball said.

    “We will absolutely remain focused on serving our market here. In terms of our deployment of BES 10 [BlackBerry Enterprise Service] we have significant tens of thousands of installs and downloads in the market, we have a significant chunk of user base transitioning to BB10 and working with us on installations.”

    Mr Ball said the company has high hopes for its Secure Workspace product, which allows users to securely segregate work data from personal data on mobile devices.

    In an indication of BlackBerry’s plans to be a platform vendor for the broader mobile computing market, this is now available for Android and Apple devices as well as BlackBerry.

    The mobile device management product was recently adopted by the Australian Taxation Office and Mr Ball said a significant number of other local clients were on the verge of signing on.

    However he said BlackBerry was not getting out of the consumer smartphone market and would continue to push its new handsets, like the upcoming Z30, to consumers and app developers.

    He said local carriers like Telstra, Optus and Vodafone were being very supportive, and were keen for them to have greater success in the smartphone arena.

    “I don’t think any country manager in a tech company will ever say they have been satisfied with the levels of sales, whether that is Apple, Samsung, HTC, Nokia or anyone,” Mr Ball said.

    “We are not withdrawing from the consumer market, we are just refocusing on what we are classifying as the pro-sumer market.”

    Citing Gartner research, which suggests that by the end of 2017 half of Australian enterprise devices are going to be using devices as part of a corporate BYO device policy, he said there was great optimism about the potential for both local device sales and Secure Workspace customer growth.

    “News of our death is printed on an almost daily basis and, from a personal perspective that can be really frustrating and distracting to the market,” Mr Ball said. “Where there are things we could have perhaps done better then it is fair enough, but when it is just speculation it is immensely frustrating. As we progress towards that piece [the sale and going private], it will enable us to transition to something that will really benefit the company and the customers at large.”
    10-14-13 09:46 PM
  2. Bold_until_Hybrid_Comes's Avatar
    Thanks for posting kev
    10-14-13 09:49 PM

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