BlackBerry Pivots to Secure Cloud Communications

Before being overwhelmed by the iPhone and Android smartphones, BlackBerry devices were so ubiquitous and addictive they were termed "CrackBerrys" in popular vernacular.

Having failed to keep up commercially, BlackBerry Ltd. announced last September that it would stop designing its own devices and would instead outsource production to its partners. It also announced a continuation of its pivot to software with a focus on the Internet of Things (IoT).

Now, it has announced it's entering the Communications Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS) market, with an emphasis on security.

Last week, the Canadian company introduced its new software development kit, called BBM Enterprise SDK, which it said will help developers integrate secure messaging, voice and video capabilities into their applications and services.

"Available worldwide this month, the BBM Enterprise SDK allows BlackBerry to be competitive with other cloud communications platforms by presenting enterprises and developers APIs to enhance overall business processes," the company said in a news release.

Company exec Marty Beard emphasized the security aspects of the new offering in a blog post.

"A distinct entity from consumer-level BBM, BBM Enterprise is built from the ground up with enterprise-grade security," Beard said. "Trusted in industries ranging from government to healthcare, it builds upon BlackBerry's proven security model, protecting data both at rest and in transit, and encrypting messages, voice calls, and video calls. More importantly, it's fast, reliable, and easy to use, both for end users and for IT."

BlackBerry said the new offering provides developers with the following secure capabilities:

  • Messaging: 1:1 chat and group chatting; message quoting, retraction, editing and deletion.
  • Voice and video communications: 1:1 voice and video calling; accept an incoming voice or video call while app is running in the background; display a thumbnail preview of the video call; view video call in full screen.
  • File sharing and collaboration: share files, text, contact cards, media, data and location.
  • Real-time notifications: push notifications; messaging and collaboration-related notifications.

The company said its new offering will let organizations get products out the door quicker because developers won't have to worry about the nuts and bolts of security and can instead concentrate on what matters most to them, such as capabilities and functionality. Also, the cloud-based solution can provide scalability and reduce costs, BlackBerry said.

Beard said the BBM Enterprise SDK will be available for Android and iOS development this month.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.