While a majority of enterprises have moved away from full BlackBerry handset deployments and now support a variety of platforms, they may be wise to allow BlackBerry to keep supporting all of their devices, a new study commissioned by the company suggests.
BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 (BES10) is the most cost-effective enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution for supporting multi-platform deployments, according to a May 8 report from research firm Strategy Analytics. Looking at the five-year total cost of ownership, the firm found that migrating from BES5 to a BlackBerry competitor costs, on average, "more than double" the cost of upgrading to BES10.
The study was commissioned by BlackBerry.
"The pricing offered by BES10 creates a lowest-cost migration path from a TCO perspective," Andrew Brown, executive direct of Enterprise Research at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement. "We attribute this to multiple factors, including the BES License Trade-Up program, the impact of BlackBerry Software Assurance across its Advanced, Priority and Premium support categories, and new tiered support categories."
In addition to offering the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO) for commercial EMM deployments, as well as deployments in regulated and high-security environments, the firm found that BlackBerry ranked the strongest among its peers regarding the scope of its EMM capabilities and the level of security it provides.
"Most regulated companies interviewed by SA tended to favor a BlackBerry end-to-end solution for regulated environments as more secure and easier to manage," said Gina Luk, a senior analyst and a co-author of the report.
However, analyst Roger Kay, founder of Endpoint Technologies, suggested the commissioned report be taken with a bit of salt.
"The findings are likely to be narrow," he told eWEEK. "Anyone can define a metric that makes them a winner."
The report compared solutions from Airwatch, Citrix, MaaS360, MobileIron, Good and BlackBerry. All six received full marks for basic mobile device management, and all offered enterprise mobility management, though here MaaS360 scored a 2 out of 4 to the others' 3 out of 4.
Only MobileIron, Good and BlackBerry offered EMM for regulated industries, and here MobileIron received, out of a possible 4, a 1; Good scored a 2 and BlackBerry 3.
"[BlackBerry's] Gold level EMM option enables full compliance for government and regulated environments with fewer network components for regulated environments required," said the report.
John Sims, BlackBerry president of Global Enterprise Solutions, said in a statement that the report exemplifies why only BlackBerry can support the full range of EMM requirements, from open BYOD to regulated environments.
"Customers also recognize the additional security provided from our global NOC infrastructure," said Sims. "No other company has this range of capabilities, and we will work diligently to earn the trust of enterprise customers globally."
At Mobile World Congress in February, BlackBerry said it will introduce BES12 by the end of the year.
The newest version of the company's EMM solution will support a fourth mobile platform, Windows Phone; enable customers to move seamlessly between on-premise architecture and the cloud; be "app-enabled," letting users easily develop and deploy applications across all supported platforms; be forward and backward compatible; and offer advanced self-service features to users.
BlackBerry announced the news alongside a brief introduction of its next flagship smartphone, the Q20—later renamed the Classic, since it brings back the features that BlackBerry's longtime users like most.
"We did a survey, of one—me. And I won," BlackBerry CEO John Chen said, impishly, during the company's March 28 earnings call, confirming the device's name change. "It's the Classic."