BlackBerry, Defending Turf, Calls Good 'Not Good Enough'

BlackBerry CEO John Chen, in a blog post meant to set the record straight, scoffs at remarks made by Good CEO Christy Wyatt.

BlackBerry, fresh off a row with T-Mobile, is fending off yet another rival intent on converting its customers. In a Feb. 27 blog post titled "Good is not Good Enough," BlackBerry came out swinging against rival mobile device management company Good.

During an interview at Mobile World Congress 2014, Good CEO Christy Wyatt spoke about Good's offer to BlackBerry customers of free access to Good for Enterprise, Good Collaboration Suite and Good Dynamics Secure Mobility Platform.

The campaign, Wyatt told Computing, wasn't an attack on BlackBerry so much as a response to its base of 5,000 enterprise customers.

"We have a lot of customers calling us and saying, 'I have this BlackBerry population—I have to start giving [end users] access to other things, either because they want iPads and tablets as well as their BlackBerry, or because they want a broader number, but the kind of contracts they're in would prevent them from doing that," Wyatt said, according to the report.

She added that Good will provide them with access to software, so that when their BlackBerry contracts expire, they're already "up and running."

"BlackBerry has provided multi-platform OS management for nearly 2 years now, so let's put that to rest," BlackBerry CEO John Chen said in response, in the blog post. "Good Technology may talk about 5,000 customers, but with 30,000 new BES10 servers installed in the past year alone, I'd argue that we're the ones getting the calls from customers."

In the post, BlackBerry made a few other points. One was that while Good has been a capable competitor in the mobile device management (MDM) space, it will be challenged to evolve beyond that. A second was that the level of security Good offers may be suitable for some enterprises, but not those regulated industries (the bread-and-the butter ones BlackBerry has held on to) such as government, health care, financial services and insurance.

BlackBerry is "making a strategic move by investing in a new architecture that goes beyond enterprise mobility management (EMM) to an application-based environment and ecosystem that provides a highly productive end-user experience," said the post, pointing to announcements BlackBerry made at MWC.

These included the introduction of BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) 12, an Easy Pass program to fast-track those on rival platforms or earlier BlackBerry solutions, and an eBBM suite of services and products for "enterprise-class mobile messaging."

Further, Chen said in the post, "We're fully transparent with our customers about what they get from us; our new pricing structure is crystal clear and most importantly, unlike other companies, when we say something is free, we mean that it's free."

In the Computing article, Good's Wyatt, a Canadian, said that a Canadian article had labeled her "the BlackBerry killer."

"I can never go home. ... I have to stay in California forever now," Wyatt joked.