Mobiles & Tablets

BlackBerry offers enterprise services in a subscription model

Thomas K Thomas Mumbai | Updated on December 11, 2014

Sunil Lalvani, Managing Director, BlackBerry India

Will be available with a fixed monthly fee instead of the usual annual licence charge

BlackBerry’s enterprise services will now be available on a carrier billing model, allowing corporate users to subscribe to them for a fixed monthly fee.

Until now, BlackBerry was offering BES, its enterprise solution to manage mobile phone devices, under an annual licensing model.

While product licensing will continue to exist, the company has partnered with Idea Cellular for a joint go-to-market plan that will enable corporates to opt for a monthly fee plan ranging between ₹199 and ₹300.

Cost-saving model

Speaking to BusinessLine, Sunil Lalvani, Managing Director, BlackBerry India, said: “The new model will lead to significant cost savings for corporates because it allows them to shift from a capital expenditure model to an operational expenditure model. Under the licensing model, a company will have to pay for the entire year, even if an employee leaves mid-way. The subscription model, on the other hand, enables IT managers far greater flexibility.”

BlackBerry is calling the new model Enhanced SIM-Based Licensing (ESBL) and the partnership with Idea Cellular is among the first in the world. “We have about 10,000 enterprise accounts using Idea Cellular connections. The partnership with will help us build our solution portfolio for our customers,” said Sashi Shankar, Chief Marketing Officer, Idea Cellular.

In addition to increasing customer engagement, Idea Cellular gains because the partnership with BlackBerry is on a revenue sharing basis.

BlackBerry had recently launched the BES-12 version, which enables IT managers in corporates to manage employees’ mobile phones irrespective of the phone brand. Technically called Bring-Your-Own-Device, corporates are now increasingly allowing employees to bring their own phones instead of the earlier practice of giving devices for official use.

Lalvani said that the ESBL model will help BlackBerry speed up the adoption of BES 12. “We are in talks with other telecom operators to expand availability to more corporates. This model works only through carrier billing,” he said.

Focus on enterprise segment

The move is part of the Canadian firm’s focus on the Enterprise Mobility Management segment in India, banking on its recently launched solutions and value-added services. The company expects this move to help it consolidate its leadership position in the Indian Enterprise Mobility Management market, which has an addressable market size of $1.8 billion. “India’s enterprise market is still under-penetrated from the solutions point of view, and we see a huge opportunity out there,” said Lalvani.

BlackBerry is also in talks with telecom operators to launch virtual-SIM cards that will do away with the need for multiple-SIM phones. This feature will enable corporates to separate the personal and official calls and mails of the user, and bill them separately. However, telecom companies want to ensure that the virtual SIM system follows Indian regulations and security needs before launching it.

Published on December 11, 2014

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