It’s no thriller that CEO John Chen was introduced in to assist keep away from a complete calamity of BlackBerry. Chen has been tasked with bringing the corporate again to profitability and has claimed it is going to be by FY2016.
Ten months in, Chen has made BlackBerry extra streamlined with budget and employee cuts. Buyers have taken discover to the modifications and are more and more turning into more positive on the company.
The Hindu’s Enterprise Line caught up with John Chen to have him reply a couple of questions relating to the present state of affairs with BlackBerry:
You began a restructuring course of to chop prices and convey the correct focus. Is that course of now over? How would you leverage the brand new organisation to show across the firm?
I’m completely satisfied to say that we've got accomplished the restructuring and have began to rent in key areas of enterprise. Getting our prices and organisational construction proper was a troublesome, however essential part in our turnaround plan.
In August, we additionally introduced the creation of our latest enterprise unit – BlackBerry Know-how Options (BTS) – which incorporates progressive belongings resembling QNX. With BTS, we're higher aligned to speed up our innovation and progress past our core markets. BTS will assist us create options that may increase our finish-to-finish, safe safety to increasingly more finish factors and machines.
With our new construction, we at the moment are nicely-positioned to offer our enterprise clients with the perfect, most safe finish-to-finish enterprise mobility options. We're additionally properly positioned to steer within the machine-to-machine area and the Web of Issues. BlackBerry is understood for safety – it’s in every part we do – so we'll apply our learnings from enterprise mobility to deal with the rising connectivity and safety wants inside the Web of Issues.
Lately you stated that the probabilities of BlackBerry survival have improved from 50 per cent to eighty per cent. How will you make sure that the 20 per cent danger related is mitigated over the subsequent 6 months?
I consider we've mitigated that danger already. With a brand new management workforce, a transparent imaginative and prescient and a accomplished restructuring course of, BlackBerry is about as much as transfer ahead in a constructive course.
We even have a robust money and funding stability that permits us to do issues like make strategic investments corresponding to acquisitions that ship new capabilities and elevated worth for our clients. Danger is all the time there, however I'm assured we've taken the required steps to alleviate it to the diploma that we will.
With regard to India particularly, we have now stabilised our operations right here by way of some strategic value slicing, realigning our provide chain, and specializing in our core strengths of enterprise and safety.
We've got skilled nice success within the enterprise phase in India. BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 (BES10) has greater than 1,000 installations in India, which is critical contemplating we solely launched it at first of 2013. We’ve additionally seen a number of new wins within the Indian market this yr, together with Indiabulls, Nishith Desai Associates, ITC, AZB & Companions, Bharucha & Companions, and are assured this momentum will proceed.
Has your technique to companion with Foxconn paid off? How are fashions just like the Z3 doing out there?
The BlackBerry Z3 is the primary smartphone to emerge from our strategic partnership with Foxconn to develop units for rising markets. It embodies all that BlackBerry 10 presents, with distinctive productiveness options and dependable communications in a trendy, all-contact design that's good for patrons in India.
The BlackBerry Z3 has been extraordinarily nicely acquired in each India and Indonesia, and we proceed to see robust demand for the gadget. Preliminary stock of the gadget almost bought out in India inside two weeks following launch. We hear from customers that they like the worth, display measurement and battery life. We’re listening to what our clients are saying and plan to proceed to ship aggressive units.
We'll proceed to leverage the Foxconn partnership, in addition to our partnerships with different key manufacturing companions, to ship progressive merchandise in a extra well timed and price-efficient method.
Regardless of the brand new BB10 working system, BlackBerry market share has not improved. Do you assume that the corporate must rethink the units technique?
BlackBerry units are a part of our unparalleled capability to offer probably the most safe finish-to-finish enterprise mobility options from the smartphone to the info middle. We’ll proceed to promote units so long as there are clients who worth them. We're a cellular options firm that providers the wants of consumers in search of safe applied sciences that drive productiveness, communications and collaboration – and the gadget is a important piece of that equation.
Once I take a look at BlackBerry 10, I don’t simply take a look at the market share. I take a look at whether or not it offers the core capabilities that our clients have come to worth – the safety, in fact, but in addition the distinctive interface and consumer expertise that permits them to work quicker, higher and smarter.
We stay assured within the worth of BlackBerry 10 and with the BlackBerry 10.2 working system lately named by Digit journal as ‘The World’s Greatest Cellular OS,’ we all know that customers respect it as properly. This rating additionally proves that BlackBerry 10.2 is constructed on a strong basis of progressive options and permits them to be as productive as potential, at work and on-the-go.
In India, regardless of having an inexpensive consumer base, why has the corporate not acquired the pricing proper? New units have been launched at a better worth than rival merchandise.
I consider our pricing is aggressive, particularly for the upper worth that BlackBerry delivers. The BlackBerry Z3, for instance, has a beautiful worth level for the options and advantages it supplies.
As well as, we steadily supply our Indian clients engaging provides on our handsets. In March this yr, for instance, we revised the worth of our Z10 handset to Rs. 17,990. We noticed an outstanding response to those promotional gives on BlackBerry Z10 and Z30.
These compelling worth factors allow our clients to expertise the newest know-how and ease of use in a single gadget which comes at pocket pleasant costs. And we’ll proceed to supply clients a portfolio of units throughout totally different worth factors for a number of areas to allow improved productiveness, enhanced safety and a greater communications expertise.
How do you see the menace from Chinese language gamers like Xiaomi and Huawei who're cornering a big share of the brand new gross sales?
BlackBerry is a pioneer in mobility. We have now all the time been, and proceed to be targeted on innovation. And you will notice a few of our newest improvements with our upcoming BlackBerry Passport smartphone. Frankly, we don’t see these Chinese language gamers you talked about as threats in our goal market. We see them enjoying extra on the low finish.
And it’s necessary to keep in mind that BlackBerry is greater than only a smartphone producer. We're a cellular options firm that takes a broader strategy to servicing the wants of consumers on the lookout for safe applied sciences that drive productiveness, communication and collaboration.
BlackBerry has an aggressive plan to proceed to steer the enterprise mobility market whereas additionally creating a broader set of instruments and worth-add providers. We don’t see these Chinese language gamers you talked about as threats throughout our broad set of capabilities.
In India, smartphone penetration continues to be very low in comparison with different main markets. Does this give BlackBerry a chance to journey on the expansion potential?
BlackBerry continues to be among the many prime 5 smartphone manufacturers globally, and India is considered one of our prime 10 markets and stays a particularly essential nation for us. The truth is, India was additionally one of many first markets focused for the BlackBerry Z3 and the gadget has been very nicely acquired.
Whereas we think about the BlackBerry Z3 launch a hit, we aren’t stopping there. We'll proceed to offer services that meet the wants of our Indian clients.
How vital is the enterprise market in India for BlackBerry?
The enterprise market continues to develop in India and holds immense untapped potential for BlackBerry, particularly in sectors like retail, insurance coverage, banking, healthcare, development and professional providers. Extending our management in enterprise mobility administration is a key to our transformation. We're seeing an incredible alternative to develop our presence in India because the enterprise market right here begins to embrace mobility as an important a part of doing enterprise.
In India, we're aggressively concentrating on giant, mid-degree and small companies alike. We provide probably the most dependable finish-to-finish safe communications platform, from the gadget to the server. We're unmatched in terms of enterprise mobility and the safety, productiveness and communications options we ship.
Late final yr, we introduced the opening of BlackBerry Enterprise Options Facilities in Mumbai and Gurgaon as a part of our concentrate on the enterprise mobility market. These centres will cater to the wants of enterprise clients and supply them with a stroll-in expertise of BlackBerry’s strong enterprise mobility administration options.
General, what are your targets for BlackBerry India in terms of contribution to the corporate’s international progress recreation plan.
We don’t present monetary projections on the nation degree, however as one among BlackBerry’s prime 10 markets, India stays a particularly essential nation for us. Indian corporations are more and more trying to cellular applied sciences to enhance their operations and turn into extra aggressive, whereas smartphone penetration amongst shoppers grows at above-common charges.
Our expectation is that BlackBerry will proceed to thrive in India as a result of our technique is so properly-aligned with India’s market wants. We see nice alternatives forward of us as we proceed to make vital headway on our plan to return BlackBerry to progress and profitability each in India and globally.