BlackBerry today announced new software and services as part of BlackBerry Spark, the company’s new Enterprise of Things (EoT) platform.
Unveiled at the company’s Security Summit in London, the new platform capabilities will empower enterprises to scale their existing infrastructure to securely manage, connect, and use ‘things’ – including the applications and data they transmit – in new and existing workflows. It will also enable OEMs to bring to market secure IoT devices, while at the same time help users realise significant productivity gains while maintaining high-security and regulatory compliance.
Defined as the interconnectedness of people, organisations, and machines, hyperconnectivity is set to revolutionize the way people work and live. BlackBerry’s new platform enables:
- OEMs to make complex ‘things’, like autonomous vehicles and industrial equipment which must have the highest levels of security and safety-certification, as well as consumer-friendly interfaces to complex processes and artificial intelligence (AI), such as voice-activated speakers with privacy protection designed in at the start.
- Enterprises to leverage AI and manage smart ‘things’ regardless of operating system (i.e., Android, iOS, Linux, QNX and Windows) via a single pane of glass, as well as snap-in existing platform services such as Android Things, AWS, Azure, and Watson.
- People to use and trust any hyperconnected ‘thing’ and the new experiences they enable by making military-grade security easy and intuitive to use. And, as the workforce continues to evolve, BlackBerry Spark will provide end users with the flexibility to move seamlessly and securely between their personal and work profiles.
As an open and extensible platform, BlackBerry Spark ships ready to “snap-in” IoT and other solutions from partners that include AWS, Baidu, Google, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and Samsung.
“BlackBerry smartphones sparked a mobile-first revolution that changed the way most of the world lives and works,” said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry.
“By combining hyperconnectivity with ultra-security and privacy, BlackBerry Spark is the indispensable component of a paradigm shift to ‘things-first’ which holds even greater potential to reshape society. The ultimate outcome of this inevitable convergence of ubiquitous mobility and computing power will likely turn on the cybersecurity decisions we make collectively over the next few years.”
BlackBerry Spark customers will be able to create entirely new user experiences that take advantage of hyperconnectivity. Below are some early examples of how BlackBerry customers can put EoT to work in their organizations.
- In a hospital, a patient’s slowing heartbeat can trigger an alert to the right medical team and simultaneously prepare the patient’s room for emergency care. This includes automatically raising the bed to the right level, starting up a ventilator or pump to deliver prescribed treatments, and bringing elevators to the floors where key personnel are located.
- Employees can soon put virtual assistants such as Alexa to work for the first time by giving them ultra-secure access to information and workflows they can’t see today such as employee files, calendars, and emails.
- In transportation, BlackBerry Spark allows connected vehicles to communicate in real-time with other vehicles and critical infrastructure because the data transferred inside and outside the vehicle is encrypted and certified by BlackBerry Spark as genuine. For example, a salt truck could be deployed automatically to address a patch of black ice after receiving a notification from a connected vehicle.
“BlackBerry’s technology provides the ultra-security needed in today’s hyperconnected world,” said Charles Eagan, Chief Technology Officer, BlackBerry.
“From the office to the factory, we’re proud to be the only company that can provide a single platform to help organizations rapidly build and deploy innovative new solutions for their customers.”
New services and capabilities part of BlackBerry Spark include:
Contextual device management for AWS IoT. Displayed from a simplified management experience, the platform enables enterprises to add consumer and business devices into a corporate network by applying policies and management controls. This offering will enable connected ‘things’ to deliver their expected value to any workflow and reduce exposure to cyber vulnerabilities that can open the entire organization to unnecessary risk.
Manufacturing Service for IoT Device OEMs. Available today, BlackBerry will enable OEMs to establish a BlackBerry Secure hardware root of trust from their own assembly line. As part of the service, BlackBerry will provide a remote and secure workstation – connected to the BlackBerry Network Operations Center (NOC) – that will provision and assign secure tokens and certificates.
Expanded BRIDGE capabilities. BlackBerry has extended the capabilities of its first-of-a-kind solution, BlackBerry Enterprise BRIDGE, to provide customers with the ability to seamlessly access, edit and save Microsoft Office 365 files from applications in the BlackBerry Dynamics container.
BlackBerry UEM notifications. IT administrators can now more efficiently manage compliance and security by ensuring real-time alerts don’t get lost, with the ability to send notifications through multiple-channels, including phone, text and email, from a single system. With BlackBerry UEM notifications, admins can receive within minutes, a record of who was contacted and proof the notifications were received.
BlackBerry Secure Global Directory. Faster, ultra-secure messaging between individuals working at different organizations through the new BlackBerry Secure Global Directory. This capability allows someone to see the contact information of a person outside of their organization within their directory and communicate with them securely via BBM Enterprise.
iManage integration with BlackBerry Workspaces. Lawyers can now apply revocable digital rights management (DRM) protection to documents shared with opposing counsel via iManage.
Spark Intelligent Security. A new service to create digital identities based on continuous, contextual authentication. This innovation uses a range of factors, such as geographic location, biometrics, time, and usage to decide what level of access should be granted to an employee or contractor profile at any given moment. And, because BlackBerry Spark integrates seamlessly with other identity providers and systems, the data can be securely and easily shared.
IoT Mashups. BlackBerry Spark is technology agnostic which allows it to mashup a wide range of applications and use cases. For example, emergency alerts can now be triggered using facial recognition with BlackBerry AtHoc and IBM Watson.
Intelligent transportation systems. With the integration of BlackBerry AtHoc, BlackBerry Radar customers will be able to improve productivity, compliance, security, and driver satisfaction via real-time alerts on a range-of factors. This may include weather, port congestion, and exact location of pick-ups with the integration of BlackBerry AtHoc and BlackBerry Radar.