BlackBerry rebrands security software after acquisition splurge



BlackBerry Ltd. rebranded the software products it acquired over the last three years, tying them together into a single system it hopes will be the go-to platform companies and governments use to protect their electronic devices from hacks.

The system, called “BlackBerry Secure,” is the culmination of Chief Executive Officer John Chen’s efforts to shift the company from ailing smartphone maker to a leader in security-focused software.

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Since taking over three years ago, Chen has slowly dismantled the company’s smartphone business while shoring up revenue by acquiring software companies whose only connection to each other seemed to be that they were in the security space. These included secure online document-sharing service Watchdox and AtHoc, a system that lets organizations set up and send emergency alerts to mobile phones.

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The software underpinning the whole system is still a piece Chen inherited from the old BlackBerry: a mobile-device management platform that lets companies and governments monitor how their employees are using their phones — and shut them down if they’re believed to be compromised. BlackBerry wants this platform to be used for devices beyond just smartphones, such as medical equipment and trackers on shipping containers.

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“Businesses must be able to confidentially and reliably transmit sensitive data between endpoints to keep people, information and goods safe,” Chen said. BlackBerry also unveiled new names for the suite of mobile work apps it got when it bought Good Technology last year for $425 million.

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