BlackBerry

Desktop Video Chat coming to BBM for the Enterprise (eBBM)

More QWERTY phones are coming, Desktop Video Chat for eBBM and the company’s enterprise head promised better integration with Microsoft platforms.

BlackBerry is to continue making high-end, QWERTY phones, with a few touch-screen models as well, but the company isn’t putting all of its eggs in the handset basket, CEO John Chen and global enterprise services head John Sims told a reporters’ round-table.

Don’t expect to see inexpensive BlackBerrys popping up on U.S shelves before 2016. While BlackBerry has some room in the consumer space in countries like Indonesia, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said,

“the only people we can really interest are the prosumers, at least for the next 2-3 years,”

Chen said he’s being kept up at night by the loss of the service activation fee BlackBerry gets from every BlackBerry 5 legacy device brought online. Sims said this is all part of moving to a completely platform-independent services business.

“From an enterprise perspective, the positioning is very much cross-platform,” Sims said. “The relative profitability across those [platforms] is for all intents and purposes relatively the same. In the past, when BES10 was introduced, we would have mumbled that we also support iOS and Android; we don’t mumble any more,” he said.

John SimsSims mentioned that Desktop video chat will be coming to the enterprise version of BlackBerry Messenger (eBBM), although probably not to the consumer version because “we haven’t seen the pull from the consumer market” for a desktop client.

BES 12 will also be available as a cloud deployment so businesses in developing countries can deploy it more quickly without dedicated hardware. The server will support Windows Phone devices and in the future, integration with Microsoft Office 365 is coming, he said.

“I kind of look at it as our own BlackBerry iCloud,” Sims said. “We’ll start to offer more services that can be consumed as a service by enterprises.”

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