BlackBerry has been positioning itself as an enterprise and software management expert in recent times and saw Good, a firm specializing in mobile security, as a way to buy up market share and increase its own product offerings. Paul Crighton never thought he would join the Canadian firm, but he is convinced now that he can lead it to new heights in Australia.
Bigger opportunities with BlackBerry’s Good acquisition
The expat British tech sales executive was going to start his new job running sales in Asia for Good in September 2015, but then news came that Good had been acquired by BlackBerry. Now Crighton has a senior role in the Canadian firm’s Asian operations, which is attempting to convince large enterprises and government departments to allow it to handle the operation of mobile devices in their fleet.
Crighton understood his duties and relocated to Melbourne when Matthew Ball, longstanding New Zealand and Australia BlackBerry boss, joined Optus in May.
In an interview, Crighton told The Australian Financial Review that when he heard the announcement that the Canadian giant bought Good, “I didn’t really know what to think.”
Crighton said he did know that BlackBerry had huge success with security on devices and that he did not really know anything about where things were headed. However, he said that after he saw the scale, carrier engagement and the great marketing channels, in just six weeks, his great idea to join Good turned into an even better and compelling idea of being part of BlackBerry.
BlackBerry to continue selling phones
Though the Canadian firm is still selling branded phones, its core business is in device management platforms that big enterprises use to manage fleets of PCs, phones and tablets. The company will continue selling phones that demonstrate high levels of security because it has a loyal consumer base that can make the segment profitable without a pulse-raising market share, Crighton says.
Its rivals in the secure devices area include MobileIron, Samsung and Microsoft’s Knox, VMware’s AirWatch, and Citrix. Crighton said he has many meetings a month with prospective clients, and every time he opens up with the question, “What does BlackBerry mean to you?”
“Everyone says that its legacy is on security and devices, and it has a brand loyalty and respect that is a great stepping stone to start talking about how we actually manage 20 per cent of the devices out there, and we secure those,” Crighton said. “We want to grow that and [in Australia] the aim is to outgrow the rest of the world, in terms of percentage growth.”