BlackBerry's software shift '100 per cent complete,' but branding challenge remains

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BlackBerry’s take care of from smartphone maker to software company is complete but branding fragments challenging for the company with a legacy in hardware design, says one of its top executives.

Chief go officer Marty Beard said that while the technology condensed is “100 per cent complete” in its transformation, changing perceptions about BlackBerry odds an obstacle.

“Biggest challenge?” Beard said Thursday in an interview. “You’ve got decades, closely, of a brand associated primarily with smartphones — we created that range.”

All that remains of its former empire is some of its newest smartphone slogans, including the DTEK50 and DTEK60, which it continues to sell until inventory liberties out.

Focus on connectivity, car software

The Waterloo, Ont.-based firm announced most recent September that it would stop making phones after wrestling with profitability as Apple and others dominated the market, and instead cynosure clear on its growing software business.

Beard said BlackBerry’s efforts now nucleus on what it sees as a significant trend, connectivity, and securing all the devices consumers and jobs hook up to their Internet network, like cellphones, tablets and wearables.

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BlackBerry chief functioning officer Marty Beard says the former smartphone leader’s deflection to being a software company is complete, but branding itself as a software participant remains challenging. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

One burgeoning merchandise the company feels poised to capture is self-driving vehicles.

Currently, its QNX software — basically, an run system for a car’s applications, like its acoustics and infotainment system — operates in more than 60 million agencies. Last December, that division opened a research centre for autonomous wheels in Ottawa where developers are working to create secure software.

Safe keeping is a huge concern for the industry, said Beard, pointing out the potential for hackers to remotely takings control of a self-driving vehicle.

“Obviously that’s a life or death kettle of fish,” he said. “Security becomes just paramount.”

Building on a reputation for insurance

Beard believes BlackBerry’s reputation for developing secure software arranges it as a leader in that space — and the company has had to amp up their marketing efforts to get the in short out.

The key is being consistent and clear about the new BlackBerry, he said, though that matures complicated when, like last weekend, a new BlackBerry-branded smartphone is released.

Termination Saturday, TCL Communication Technology Holdings Ltd. revealed the KEYone, a new phone inferior to a partnership with BlackBerry. The deal allows TCT to design, manufacture and exchange BlackBerry-branded cellphones that use the technology firm’s software.

BlackBerry endures a commission for each phone sold, Beard said, so it wants the contraption to be phenomenally successful. But it’s a brand challenge to ensure everyone understands BlackBerry exclusively makes the software inside the phone, rather than the phone itself, he combined.

Despite this, the company is clearly excited about its new direction.

“It’s slightly ill of the first inning of the baseball game,” Beard said of the growing connectivity turn BlackBerry intends to capitalize on.

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