BlackBerry is expanding further into the Internet of Things.
The Canadian company has announced the acquisition of Good Technology, a California-based developer of secure mobility solutions with a portfolio that includes mobile device management, unified monitoring, app management and analytics.
Both companies have significant play in healthcare. The partnership is expected to create an enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform that would allow providers to manage devices across a wide range of platforms and operating systems.
"By acquiring Good, BlackBerry will better solve one of the biggest struggles for CIOs today, especially those in regulated industries: securely managing devices across any platform. By providing even stronger cross-platform capabilities our customers will not have to compromise on their choice of operating systems, deployment models or any level of privacy and security," John Chen, BlackBerry's executive chairman and CEO, said in a press release.
"Enterprise customers today demand stringent security and the most flexible platform across all mobility strategies," added Christy Wyatt, Good's chairman and CEO, in the release. "We are excited to join BlackBerry, where together we will be the most comprehensive mobile platform in the market. Good has worked hard to deliver the highest levels of security across operating systems and applications. Our trusted Good solutions will also help BlackBerry to accelerate its Internet of Things platform for managing endpoints beyond mobile devices."
In a conference call with investors, Chen pointed out that BlackBerry has a strong play in the "traditional MDM space," but hasn't had much experience with other operating systems, except for Google's Android system. He made note of Good Technology's "very strong iOS container," in particular the Good Works platform, and noted some 64 percent of Good's activations are from iOS devices.
"This will help us a lot," he said, adding that BlackBerry now has secure platforms for voice, file sharing and – with the pending acquisition of AtHoc announced in July – alert messaging.
In healthcare, Wyatt pointed out the need to address the wearables trend.
"In addition to smartphones and tablets running iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry OS, Good will enable BlackBerry to add support for wearables," she said in a blog posted on the BlackBerry site. "This is something we do today for both Apple Watch and Android Gear. This need to manage and enable secure productivity applications for this new breed of devices is becoming increasingly relevant as watches, fitness trackers and other devices are connecting to corporate networks."
"Good technology will contribute to the growth of our Internet of Things platform to go beyond mobile devices and manage new, connected endpoints," added BlackBerry's chief operating officer, Marty Bread, in the blog. "Together, we will be able to quickly scale customers' mobile environments, transforming traditional MDM deployments to mission-critical mobile hubs that will ultimately manage an IoT world. We will be able to better bridge to IoT for regulated industries as many machines and devices requiring next generation digital displays will leverage mobile devices and tablets. These devices all require EMM solutions."
BlackBerry is acquiring Good Technologies for $425 million in cash, and Chen said he expects the deal to close by this November.