BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) announced on Thursday, September 11th that it had acquired mobile software developer Movirtu. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Acquiring Movirtu allows BlackBerry to ramp up its portfolio of business services focused on the needs of its core base of corporate and government clients.
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Movirtu’s has developed a unique virtual SIM technology that makes it possible for an individual to have both a personal and business number on a single smartphone. The technology also makes it possible to have separate billing for voice, data and messaging use on each number.
This is significant because it enables employees to switch between work and personal profiles quickly without needing multiple mobile devices or SIM cards.
Statement from BlackBerry
Clearly this fits nicely within the strategy we have so far articulated. We are building recurring revenue streams in value-added services and providing more value to enterprises,” the head of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s enterprise unit John Sims explained in an interview Thursday.
Sims went on to say Movirtu’s technology meant, for example, that IT administrators could restrict business calls and emails to a work number after a particular time, but without blocking personal calls or emails to the same phone.
Sims, who had a brief Q&A with Reuters during an industry conference in Las Vegas, argues that mobile device management has become a commoditized space with rivals like Good Technology and AirWatch entering the sector. He noted that BlackBerry will stay ahead of the game by providing new value-added services such as those acquired in the the Movirtu and Secusmart deals.
BlackBerry has been working hard to rebuild over the last year as its devices have lost ground to Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone and other devices powered by Google’s Android operating system over the last three or four years.
Under new CEO John Chen, the firm has taken has taken a number of important steps such as selling assets, partnering to create a leaner manufacturing supply chain and raising cash through the sale of real estate holdings.
Chen has said that he plans for the firm to remain a competitor in the smartphone sector, but is working to reshape the company to build on its strengths in expanding sectors such as mobile data security and mobile device management.
BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) has made several small acquisitions in the last few months, as it grows its offerings for enterprise clients (mainly large corporations and government agencies) that are often cases still corporate users of Blackberry smartphones.