BlackBerry Acquires Mobile Startup Movirtu To Enterprise Mobility
BlackBerry Ltd. has acquired Movirtu Ltd., a UK-based mobile technology startup whose software allows users to have both a business number and personal number on the same mobile device.
BlackBerry is buying Movirtu Ltd. to boost its smartphone management capabilities and better target business users. Financial terms of transaction were not disclosed to the public.
London-based Movirtu offers a vitual SIM platform that allows users to have multiple phone numbers on the same devices. Movirtu's technology could improves device management in BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device) as well as corporate-owned personally enabled environments (COPE).Through this technology, a business or personal number can be utilized on a single device, users can easily switched between business and profiles conveniently even without carrying another device or SIM cards.
John Sims, the head of BlackBerry Enterprise unit, said in an interview about this acquisition:“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 company has been transitioning its focus back to enterprise market, as rivals Apple and Google dominate the consumer market. Earlier this year, it announced that it would focus more on its core corporate and government market, build on its strengths in mobile security and MDM (Mobile Device Management).
BlackBerry's strategy is simple to get “big again” in the enterprise world. It target market is users who are productivity focused, who just want to get thing done, who love multitasking, and last users who want to do multiple communication channels at once.
A key component in BlackBerry's massive enterprise push has been appealing to the BYOD market. The corporate world has been facing a serious challenge and in great need of something new, and something productivity-focused platform, and Movirtu could be the answer.
BlackBerry, which once ruled the global smartphone market, has been reshaping itself over the course of the last year as its devices have lost ground to Apple's iPhone and an army of newly aggressive Asian competitors. But BlackBerry is promising a greatt comeback. Under the leadership of its new CEO John Chen, the company has taken some drastic measures to stabilize itself by selling non-core assets, developing partnership with manufacturing and supply chains in order to make it much efficient, and liquidation of its real estate holdings.
Founded in 2008, London-based Movirtu is run by CEO Carsten Brinkschulte and currently has 22 employees. It raised $5.5 million in a 2010 funding round.
Currently, BlackBerry has no plans to keep Movirtu solely on its own platform and said it will roll out the service to "all major smartphone operating systems." It also announced that it will integrate its own BlackBerry Enterprise Service platform with Movirtu technology.
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