For Ralph Pini, BlackBerry’s new Chief Operating Officer and General Manager for devices, mobile security is one of the key focus areas. The Canadian smartphone maker acquired Pini’s company Paratek Microwave in 2012, and since then, he has been with BlackBerry. Now he will be reporting to CEO John Chen. Inside BlackBerry interviewed him recently to learn about his new role at the company, and what he hopes to accomplish.
Enterprise mobility: a big opportunity for BlackBerry
On being asked about his priorities for the devices business, Pini replied that the Canadian firm is being presented with a great opportunity to grow its customer base with the shifts and disruptions taking place in enterprise mobility. He said his focus will be on three critical components. The first is expanding choices. He said the company continues to offer support to customers who rely on BB10 as it is making more options available to companies making a transition to Android.
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Leveraging security is the second. The number of companies adopting BYOD and enterprise fleet strategies is growing, and they are creating enormous endpoint security challenges for IT. BlackBerry is best-positioned to solve these challenges, be it with BB10 or Android, the executive said.
The third is building on the BlackBerry pedigree. These new user-driven dynamics and demands in mobility are facing confrontation from governments and enterprises, and the Canadian firm is uniquely positioned to elevate Android as a more viable, hardened option that can help meet the demands of the government and enterprise customers for whom the highest levels of security are a necessity.
“The bottom line, I want to give enterprise decision-makers everything they need to define and implement their EMM strategy,” Pini said.
How does Pini plan to make devices profitable?
On being asked about his initial focus and the biggest challenge facing the device business, Pini said his focus will be on customers, carriers and partners because all of them are crucial components to make the device business profitable.
Expanding distribution beyond BlackBerry’s traditional channels is also his aim. Pini said the company is working on delivering innovation and new products that will exceed expectations. He added that at the same time, it will deliver the gold standard of security synonymous with BlackBerry and ultimately drive growth.
On Wednesday, BlackBerry shares closed down 0.74% at $6.68. Year to date, the stock is down almost 29%, while in the last year, it is down by over 32%.