While Samsung was holding its developer's conference in San Francisco, BlackBerry made a guest appearance and the pair of mobile device manufacturers revealed their rivalry will take a back seat to a new partnership.
Samsung promoted 26 software development kits and programming interfaces at its 2014 Samsung Developers Conference, including development tools for its Knox suite of security applications. Though Samsung certifies its Knox applications through its Samsung Approved For Enterprise (SAFE) standard, the Korean tech company sought out help from the storied security smartphone vendor to manage secure data transmission.
The newly launched BlackBerry Enterprise Server 12 (BES12) will manage a large selection of mobile devices that leverage Samsung's Knox. BlackBerry and Samsung's partnership will see the pair collaborating on enterprise solutions in "regulated environment" and "government" organizations, according to BlackBerry. BES 12 is BlackBerry's enterprise device management and enterprise mobility solution.
It's akin to watching Eric Clapton or Prince step out on stage to lay down guitar licks for Taylor Swift or Rihanna. BlackBerry, a company still respected for its enterprise solutions, is supporting the world's top handset manufacturer by volume, Samsung.
"People probably didn't expect to see these two companies on the same stage, at least not willingly," says John Sims, director of BlackBerry's enterprise division. "We need to be able to provide a breadth of choices and do that with companies of the highest level."
BlackBerry was also in San Francisco to announce the launch of BES12. The one-two punch of BlackBerry news gave the company's stock a solid bump, currently up by 95 cents after opening at $11.49 per share.
BlackBerry's square-faced Passport is smashing all of the modest goals BlackBerry set for the smartphone back in September. The success, says the Waterloo, Ontario, firm's CEO, John Chen, illustrate the company's restructuring efforts are on target.
While analysts and investors have been a bit pessimistic about Chen's proclamation that BlackBerry was moving into a period of sustained growth, each of the Waterloo vendor's peaks and valleys have been just a little bit higher than the previous dips and spikes in its stock.
With expectations in check, both inside and outside of the company, BlackBerry has been putting its efforts behind what made it a prolific company in the past. BlackBerry was first into the frontier of managing smartphones securely within an enterprise environment, says Sims.
"[With] these new value-added services, we're focusing on taking our offering beyond EMM to enable customers to solve real security and productivity challenges associated with the use of mobile technology across their enterprise," says Sims.