BlackBerry acquires Good Technology for $425M

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BlackBerry has been moving away from devices and aggressively into enterprise mobility management (Maurizio Pesce/Flickr)

Two of the biggest companies in government enterprise mobility management will become one, as Ontario, Canada-based BlackBerry Ltd. announced its acquisition of Sunnyvale, California-based Good Technology for $425 million in cash.

Once a prime market share leader when it came to devices, BlackBerry has focused on software over the past 18 months as iOS and Android devices have ravaged its share in the smartphone market. One of its biggest competitors in their security space has been Good, and the two companies often traded barbs about which company’s product reigned supreme.

On a conference call with investors Friday, BlackBerry CEO John Chen was nothing but complimentary, saying enterprises will no longer have to make a choice when it comes to securing their devices.

“I believe BlackBerry and Good combined will raise the bar in the enterprise mobility market, enabling our customers to be more productive and protecting their sensitive data across all their mobile endpoints,” Chen said. “We believe our combined product platform will be the industry’s broadest and deepest, expanding well beyond [enterprise mobility management], definitely set up to be a leader in the IoT world.”

Chen said the acquisition also allows BlackBerry to be diverse across platforms. Close to two-thirds (64 percent) of all Good activations last quarter were on iOS devices

“Combined with our base of BlackBerryOS, BlackBerry 10 and our fastest growing user segment in Android, we now have strength across all the major mobile operating systems,” Chen said.

The two companies also competed heavily for government customers, which each company landing various government security clearances over the past 18 months. In August 2014, Good earned a Secure Technical Implementation Guide from the Defense Information Systems Agency to operate on iOS7, its sixth STIG since 2006. The company is also the only EMM provider to be awarded the Common Criteria EAL4+ certification for iOS and Android.

BlackBerry earned a DISA STIG last year for its Secure Work Space, a containerization service that’s part of the company’s mobile device management suite. The company’s BlackBerry 10 platform is the first mobility solution to receive Full Operational Capability certification to run on Department of Defense networks.

Chen was short on details on how the two platforms will be folded together but did say the company intends to move the existing EMM business largely to a subscription model.

In a blog post on BlackBerry’s website, COO Marty Beard and Good CEO Christy Wyatt only said that users will continue to have the best options possible when it comes to security and privacy.

“Clearly, our combined strengths in security will offer great value, especially to our regulated customers, who require the highest levels of security,” Beard said.

This is the second acquisition for BlackBerry this summer that affects government customers. In July, the company acquired AtHoc, a California-based software company that provides a secure communication platform to connect large enterprises, including a number of government agencies, during emergencies.

Chen expects the sale to be completed by the end of BlackBerry’s third quarter, which should be sometime in November.

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Blackberry, Good Technology, mobile and wireless, mobility, Tech
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