In a week dedicated to showcasing why its technology makes a difference to businesses across the continent, BlackBerry South and Southern African management has confirmed the company’s effort to invest in the continent’s development community, with a focus on apps for BlackBerry 10, and to capture and retain youth interest.
Management say the brand started out as an end-to-end enterprise solution and, with time, has evolved to merge into the consumer space and is now positioned to take advantage of what they describe as the growing ‘consumerisation of the enterprise’ facet of commerce.
Alexandra Zagury, Managing Director for BlackBerry South and Southern Africa, confirmed that there are approximately one hundred companies across Africa testing out the BlackBerry 10.
According to Zagury the brand has been the number one device for 28 months within South Africa. “It means that there are a significant amount of BlackBerrys in all your top leading regional companies, which creates a great opportunity for us to introduce our new mobile device management platform, BlackBerry Enterprise Server 10.”
This multiplatform MDM (Mobile Device Management) offering represents the company’s answer to an increase in demand for solutions that can help enterprises manage mobility effectively, particularly as the consumerisation of IT and BYOD continues to influence business.
Zagury says there is ongoing focus on the hardware to support the enterprise. The company is investing heavily in its BlackBerry 7 platform and will launch a new phone by the end of 2013.
In addition, the plan is to widen the choice for enterprises with the launch of a further five BlackBerry 10 devices.
From a strategy point of view, BlackBerry management believes that enterprise solutions are relevant to all markets across Africa and localisation and differentiation is more industry specific.
“Of course there are regional nuances, regulation and different dynamics, but when you’re looking at providing an end-to-end solution, looking at it vertically is more interesting to our customers. We are here to anticipate our customers needs and ensure that our solution fills those needs,” Zagury adds.
BlackBerry has traditionally been targeted at finance, government, legal, health and insurance industries.
“These have been the early adopters of technology. However, the consumerisation of IT has meant that a lot of small and medium sized companies run their company on a BlackBerry, especially here in South Africa,” Zangury continues.
The company will continue to push initiatives like its Developer Day, and the relevance of App Labs as part of its wider strategy to engage Africa’s markets.
In financial results for the three months and fiscal year ended 02 March 2013, recently published, the company generated $2.7billiion in revenue and confirmed a subscriber base of approximately 76 million.
GAAP income for the quarter from continuing operations was $94 million, or $0.18 per share diluted, compared with the GAAP income from continuing operations of $14 million, or $0.03 per share diluted, in the prior quarter and a GAAP loss from continuing operations of $118 million, or $0.23 per share diluted, in the same quarter of fiscal 2012.
GAAP income for the quarter, including income from discontinued operations, was $98 million, or $0.19 per share diluted, compared with the GAAP income including loss from discontinued operations of $9 million, or $0.02 per share diluted, in the prior quarter and a GAAP loss, including loss from discontinued operations of $125 million, or $0.24 per share diluted, in the same quarter of fiscal 2012.
According to report by the company, adjusted income from continuing operations for the fourth quarter was $114 million, or $0.22 per share diluted.
Adjusted income and adjusted diluted earnings per share (“EPS”) exclude the impact of pre-tax charges of $29 million ($20 million on an after-tax basis) related to the Cost Optimization and Resource Efficiency (“CORE”) program.
The total of cash, cash equivalents, short-term and long-term investments was approximately $2.9 billion as of March 2, 2013 and at the end of the previous quarter. Cash flow from operations in the fourth quarter was approximately $219 million. Uses of cash included intangible asset additions of approximately $235 million and capital expenditures of approximately $88 million.
“We have implemented numerous changes at BlackBerry over the past year and those changes have resulted in the Company returning to profitability in the fourth quarter,” said Thorsten Heins, President and CEO. “With the launch of BlackBerry 10, we have introduced the newest and what we believe to be the most innovative mobile computing platform in the market today. Customers love the device and the user experience, and our teams and partners are now focused on getting those devices into the hands of BlackBerry consumer and enterprise customers.”
Heins added, “As we go into our new fiscal year, we are excited with the opportunities for the BlackBerry 10 platform, and the commitments we are seeing from our global developers and partners. We are also excited about the new, dynamic culture at BlackBerry, where we are laser-focused on continuing to drive efficiency and improve the Company’s profitability while driving innovation. We have built an engine that is able to drive improved financial performance at lower volumes, which should allow us to generate additional benefits from higher volumes in the future.”
Chris Tredger, Online Editor