1. Hlao-roo's Avatar
    Security and privacy key to BlackBerrys future
    Posted September 17 By Bill Bean

    Blackberry is here for the long haul, and global demand for security and privacy will be key to its success, says John Chen, chief executive officer of the Waterloo-based smartphone innovator.

    Security is important to enterprise; privacy is important to the individual.

    Chen shared his ideas in a fireside chat with Thomson Reuters senior vice-president of innovation, Cary Burch, before the 250 attendees at the Waterloo Innovation Summit, Thursday, Sept. 17 at the University of Waterloo.

    Focus on secure communications

    Chen told the audience that BlackBerry now has about 44,000 patents, and our focus is very narrow secure communications.

    There were lighter moments as Chen referred to the other fruit company making smart handsets, and other handsets in general. After he laid out the genesis of the BlackBerry from its secure handset through to its secure messaging system Chen referenced five new acquisitions made in the last 20 months, all targeting secure communications.

    Smartphone or microphone?

    He recounted that when Germany chancellor Angela Merkel learned via the Snowden leaks that the U.S. National Security Agency was eavesdropping on her conversations, she dropped her Nokia phone (which Microsoft subsequently bought, said Chen) and tipped the audience that, when you buy a Windows phone, you might as well buy a microphone.

    The CEO of Waterloo-based BlackBerry came out of retirement in 2013, after a successful run as the chief executive who returned Silicon Valley database software firm Sybase to profitability. Chens arrival at BlackBerry was part of a $1 billion financing deal with Fairfax Holdings Ltd.

    Chen told the audience, Were not going to go away as a company. I think the hardest thing is patience. . . . We dont let the market or the competition dictate the pace. Good things take time. In a public company format, time is something you may not be able to afford.

    Fireside highlights

    • BlackBerry has one of the youngest patent portfolios in the entire industry, with an average age around 15-16 years.
    • Cellphones are extremely emotional you probably sleep with your cellphone. I know I do. When I travel, I sleep with my cell phone more times than I sleep with my wife.
    • I want the employees (of BlackBerry) to feel very proud, want them to feel wanted. Im trying to recapture that team spirit. Were still in the forming stage, but Im trying to recapture it.
    Source: https://waterlooinnovationsummit.com/blog/180
    09-17-15 12:34 PM
  2. Hlao-roo's Avatar
    09-17-15 12:40 PM
  3. RubenDM's Avatar
    Patience....
    To much patience....

    Posted via CB10
    09-17-15 12:49 PM
  4. sean000's Avatar
    Going private now?

    Posted via CB10
    09-17-15 04:51 PM
  5. Prem WatsApp's Avatar
    "Sleeping with" as in having it/her physically present,... I guess.

    Still, it's a bit ambiguous, but it might have been good for a laugh or a smile.

    :-D

    Yeah, Cortana, Microphone....

      Leakers' gonna leak... :-)  
    09-17-15 07:32 PM
  6. Hlao-roo's Avatar
    "Our only success right now is we saved the company from going away, that is our only success at this point," Chen said.

    "We still have revenue challenges because our old revenue is going away. We don't have the marketing muscle to drive the devices to the levels that rival our past, but these will come over time."

    While BlackBerry's shares increased in value after Chen took over, they plateaued many months ago. Analysts are waiting for revenue from software and services to replace revenue lost from phone sales, and monthly fees wireless carriers used to pay to access the BlackBerry network.

    Central to Chen's turnaround plan is security for enterprise customers, and privacy for individuals. To that end, BlackBerry has acquired five security-related companies.

    "We want to make sure we own that space," Chen said. "We can secure voice, we can secure text, secure messaging in the enterprise, secure file sharing and of course secure all the data in mobile."

    Although some analysts have called on BlackBerry to stop making smartphones, Chen once again stressed the importance of the handset business to the company's future.

    "I don't drop handsets for two reasons," Chen said. "It is the first line of defence in encryption."

    He said it is very difficult for BlackBerry to provide customers with end-to-end security if it doesn't have its own smartphones. He noted that engineers who once focused on smartphone technology are now working on the Internet of Things. The devices are a critical point of entry into a world where everything from appliances and vehicles can be controlled with smartphones, Chen said.
    (Keeping talent critical challenge as BlackBerry works on turnaround)

    Although some have suggested that Chen's commitment to the hardware division is half-hearted at best, rather than easing the company out of the handset business, he seems to be going out of his way to make it sound like a future in which BlackBerry is forced to exit the smartphone market, as most expect, would be not only regrettable but problematic. Furthermore, he acknowledges that BlackBerry's oft-criticized (lack of) marketing has hampered its efforts to push its devices in the BB10 era.
    09-17-15 11:40 PM
  7. lnichols's Avatar
    (Keeping talent critical challenge as BlackBerry works on turnaround)

    Although some have suggested that Chen's commitment to the hardware division is half-hearted at best, rather than easing the company out of the handset business, he seems to be going out of his way to make it sound like a future in which BlackBerry is forced to exit the smartphone market, as most expect, would be not only regrettable but problematic. Furthermore, he acknowledges that BlackBerry's oft-criticized (lack of) marketing has hampered its efforts to push its devices in the BB10 era.
    Yet he has done nothing on the marketing front since taking the helm, has not released devices that people want in volume, and has basically left the customers wondering if the company is going to make anything for them. I really see nothing he has done that has been effective. Most of the staff cuts were done before he came in, he has released the worse product portfolio, and has been buying revenue to meet the numbers he set in software. This next set of numbers in the quarterly is going to look horrific and stock might tank.

    Posted via Z30
    09-18-15 08:44 AM
  8. Calvin8181's Avatar
    He is good enough to maintain the handset business for BlackBerry! We should be grateful and here we are... BlackBerry 10 is here to stay... !

    Posted via CB10
    09-18-15 08:48 AM
  9. wilber1's Avatar
    He is good enough to maintain the handset business for BlackBerry! We should be grateful and here we are... BlackBerry 10 is here to stay... !

    Posted via CB10
    Lets hope he Can maintain handsets sounds like he is somewhat under pressure to drop them remember he does not own Blackberry and has to answer to shareholders .
    09-18-15 09:09 AM
  10. hoonigan99's Avatar
    Yet he has done nothing on the marketing front since taking the helm, has not released devices that people want in volume, and has basically left the customers wondering if the company is going to make anything for them. I really see nothing he has done that has been effective. Most of the staff cuts were done before he came in, he has released the worse product portfolio, and has been buying revenue to meet the numbers he set in software. This next set of numbers in the quarterly is going to look horrific and stock might tank.

    Posted via Z30
    While I agree with some of your statement, I think product wise he has done alright. He has not even been there two years yet and he has managed to release the Passport and Classic, both very good phones for BlackBerrys target market, and the Leap which was meant to keep the faithful customers in developing markets.

    Chen has to answer to shareholders, many of which would probably prefer to see the handset division disappear. If he would have made a "respectable full-touch" like so many ask for, and it sold in Passport quantities that would have likely been the final nail in the handset divisions coffin. At least by catering to niches, and meeting or exceeding shareholder expectations on those he has managed to bring handsets to this juncture.

    My instinct tells me, that Venice is the judgement day phone. Make something that is different and will stand out, and meets all the expectations people have abandoned BlackBerry for: has a fullsize HD display, access to all android apps, and presumably a competitive camera, and of course the added benefit of a pkb with touch capacitive features. If the market embraces it, and BlackBerry can manage to regain marketshare (as a brand, not OS) then we will likely see numerous new phones next year; if it fails, that's likely the end of BlackBerry hardware.

    BB for Life
    09-18-15 02:54 PM
  11. lnichols's Avatar
    While I agree with some of your statement, I think product wise he has done alright. He has not even been there two years yet and he has managed to release the Passport and Classic, both very good phones for BlackBerrys target market, and the Leap which was meant to keep the faithful customers in developing markets.

    Chen has to answer to shareholders, many of which would probably prefer to see the handset division disappear. If he would have made a "respectable full-touch" like so many ask for, and it sold in Passport quantities that would have likely been the final nail in the handset divisions coffin. At least by catering to niches, and meeting or exceeding shareholder expectations on those he has managed to bring handsets to this juncture.

    My instinct tells me, that Venice is the judgement day phone. Make something that is different and will stand out, and meets all the expectations people have abandoned BlackBerry for: has a fullsize HD display, access to all android apps, and presumably a competitive camera, and of course the added benefit of a pkb with touch capacitive features. If the market embraces it, and BlackBerry can manage to regain marketshare (as a brand, not OS) then we will likely see numerous new phones next year; if it fails, that's likely the end of BlackBerry hardware.

    BB for Life
    What are you using to say the Passport and the Classic are good phones? Opinion? Because it surely isn't based on device sales. The Classic is an outright failure. It was developed to migrate BBOS users, and it has failed to do that. A full touch Passport would have likely moved two to three times the number of PKB Passports, if only from pent up Z user demand. Their developing markets have abandoned them for cheap Android. BlackBerry devices sales have never been lower, so you can't seriously defend the product line as successful and have any credibility.

    Posted via Z30
    09-18-15 03:18 PM
  12. Taigatrommel's Avatar
    He is good enough to maintain the handset business for BlackBerry! We should be grateful and here we are... BlackBerry 10 is here to stay... !

    Posted via CB10
    Did I miss the part regarding BB10 is here to stay? I only read he stated making your own smartphones is important. He only talked in terms of hardware, not software. BlackBerry can also create an Android phone and still have made it their own, even though it is not their OS.
    I am still missing any real signs of commitment towards BB10 at all.

    Posted via CB10
    kbz1960 and dolco like this.
    09-18-15 03:41 PM
  13. mathking606's Avatar
    Yet he has done nothing on the marketing front since taking the helm, has not released devices that people want in volume, and has basically left the customers wondering if the company is going to make anything for them. I really see nothing he has done that has been effective. Most of the staff cuts were done before he came in, he has released the worse product portfolio, and has been buying revenue to meet the numbers he set in software. This next set of numbers in the quarterly is going to look horrific and stock might tank.

    Posted via Z30
    No matter how much marketing dollars he could have put it marketing the current devices they would not have sold for one reason..........NO APPS

    Posted via CB10
    09-18-15 03:52 PM
  14. kbz1960's Avatar
    I saw nothing about BB10 either.
    09-18-15 03:53 PM
  15. hoonigan99's Avatar
    What are you using to say the Passport and the Classic are good phones? Opinion? Because it surely isn't based on device sales. The Classic is an outright failure. It was developed to migrate BBOS users, and it has failed to do that. A full touch Passport would have likely moved two to three times the number of PKB Passports, if only from pent up Z user demand. Their developing markets have abandoned them for cheap Android. BlackBerry devices sales have never been lower, so you can't seriously defend the product line as successful and have any credibility.

    Posted via Z30
    They were good phones in terms of what they were designed for, with specs that were reasonably competitive.

    If you go by that logic a Ford Focus is one of the greatest cars ever built, and puts a Porsche to shame.

    They had a purpose, and I am sure many people did migrate from OS7 (or other platforms) to the Classic and are happy (except for the lack of apps, etc) Many people who have bought the Passport (and didn't have a defect issue) are thrilled with the phone and reluctant to consider a normal phone again. They were both good phones with a specific target, whether or not that target was achieved was a matter or market conditions and lack of advertising. Like I said, this appears to be a careful strategy of serving the needs of those who depend and rely on BlackBerry, if a "flagship" all touch (upgraded Z) would have been released and met with the same consumer reaction, we would not be looking forward to a slider as the hardware division would have likely just been axed at that point.

    BB for Life
    09-18-15 07:32 PM
  16. Prem WatsApp's Avatar
    While I agree with some of your statement, I think product wise he has done alright. He has not even been there two years yet and he has managed to release the Passport and Classic, both very good phones for BlackBerrys target market, and the Leap which was meant to keep the faithful customers in developing markets.

    Chen has to answer to shareholders, many of which would probably prefer to see the handset division disappear. If he would have made a "respectable full-touch" like so many ask for, and it sold in Passport quantities that would have likely been the final nail in the handset divisions coffin. At least by catering to niches, and meeting or exceeding shareholder expectations on those he has managed to bring handsets to this juncture.

    My instinct tells me, that Venice is the judgement day phone. Make something that is different and will stand out, and meets all the expectations people have abandoned BlackBerry for: has a fullsize HD display, access to all android apps, and presumably a competitive camera, and of course the added benefit of a pkb with touch capacitive features. If the market embraces it, and BlackBerry can manage to regain marketshare (as a brand, not OS) then we will likely see numerous new phones next year; if it fails, that's likely the end of BlackBerry hardware.

    BB for Life
    Chenminator Judgment Day

    .
    BlackBerry CEO John Chen at the Waterloo Innovation Summit-1436956153460.jpg


    .
      Leakers' gonna leak... :-)  
    kbz1960 likes this.
    09-21-15 05:01 PM

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