Since BlackBerry’s announcement to go private, which I blogged about in late September, Good has spoken with many customers about their BlackBerry transition plans.  In particular, we conducted the first two webinars in Good’s BlackBerry Transition series.


Our first webinar was called A CIO’s Blueprint for Migration Planning, and focused on platform migration planning best practices.  We asked three (3) poll questions and the responses underscore the urgency enterprises and government agencies are feeling to solidify their BlackBerry transition plans, and their desire to maintain a similar secure mobile architecture that supports new iOS and Android devices.  With an average of 211 responses per poll question, the results are summarized below:


  • 13% of respondents are already migrating or will be migrating within 3 months, and over 60% plan to migrate within the next 3 months to one year.  25% of those surveyed have no immediate plans to migrate.


  • When considering moving to a new mobility architecture, 51% consider a “certified-secure architecture” to be Very Important or Somewhat Important, as opposed to simply relying on proxy- or VPN-based connectivity required by most MDM solutions.  Interestingly, only 6% thought a similar secure architecture was not important to a new solution.


  • About 60% of those surveyed felt their organizations have a strong planning process for mobile platform migrations.  However, 40% either minimally agreed or did not agree. So while the majority of respondents feel comfortable with their organizations’ planning processes and capabilities for migration, there are many that still have work to do.


As a follow-up to A CIO’s Blueprint for Migration Planning, Good conducted the 2nd webinar in our BlackBerry Transition series, entitled Technical Considerations for a BlackBerry Migration where we delved into the specific apps, services, and platforms offered by BlackBerry.  Given a more technical audience, we were able to ask more detailed questions regarding respondents’ BlackBerry usage and transition plans, as follows:


  • Over 70% have not polled their users to gauge their BlackBerry behaviors (e.g., what apps and features do they use frequently). Good Professional Services considers this an essential best practice for planning your BYOD app strategy.
  • Over 50% surveyed still do not have a BYOD policy in place. Enough said!
  • Over 90% specifically prefer a BlackBerry-like architecture for device connectivity to enterprise services to additional investment in proxies and/or VPN required by most MDM vendors
  • About 75% are using a monitoring solution to ensure BlackBerry messaging uptime, but less than half of those actually use the free BlackBerry Monitoring Service available in BES 5 (although not available in BES 10)
  • Almost 2/3 of respondents estimated little usage (<25% of users) of Documents to Go, BlackBerry’s free document editor, estimating less than 25% of their user base uses the app.
  • About 50% of respondents estimated broad usage (>50% of all users) of BlackBerry Enterprise Instant Messaging, which secures Microsoft Lync and IBM Sametime environments for mobile usage.
  • While 23% reported having no mobile app development program, well over 50% have significant interest in containerizing apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.
  • While 31% of those interviewed expressed interest in distributing apps to non-employees, such as contractors, partners, and customers, almost 40% still have no formal app distribution program

What does all of this mean?  That there are still many BlackBerry customers comfortable with their BlackBerry architecture and not seriously considering life after BlackBerry.  But given the confluence of recent events, these customers are now under tremendous pressure – from users, lines of business, and C-Suites - to have a viable migration plan to new mobile platforms like iOS and Android. There is simply no path to avoidance anymore.

We have talked extensively in previous blogs about Good Technology employing a NOC-based that requires only a behind-the-firewall proxy to enable messaging, collaboration, and other enterprise services.  No investment in additional VPN infrastructure is needed. There is no weakening of network security by opening inbound firewall ports and adding DMZ-based proxies. 

In fact, Good has recently announced many of the certifications and accreditations for iOS and Android devices that BlackBerry has had for its pre-BlackBerry 10 devices, such as Common Criteria EAL-4+, Australia DSD, France ANSSI, and UK CEGS.  

Combined with the fact that Good offers app. parity for transitioning BlackBerry users - secure email, browsing, and instant messaging apps on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone – it’s easy to see why over half the Fortune 100 rely on Good Technology as an alternative for transitioning BlackBerry shops.