BlackBerry Ltd.’s (BB) shares rose 5 percent in post-market trading on Monday, a day when more than $100 billion was wiped off the biggest tech stocks, after the once-struggling Canadian mobile phone maker announced a new partnership with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT). Its shares were trading up almost 4 percent early Tuesday morning.
In a joint statement, the two companies revealed that they are teaming up to provide enterprises with a new service designed to protect corporate data on mobile devices. BlackBerry Enterprise Bridge has been billed as “a first-of-its-kind” way to provide a secure environment for users of Microsoft’s mobile apps, such as Excel, PowerPoint and Word.
The tech duo said accessing Microsoft’s apps through Blackberry’s Dynamic platform provides customers with security to “the highest standards,” as well as a "consistent experience" when opening, editing, and saving files on any iOS or Android device. The new product is being targeted at the world’s largest banks, healthcare providers, law firms, and central governments.
In the statement, BlackBerry said many of its largest customers had already expressed an interest in the new platform. (See also: BlackBerry: A Story of Constant Success and Failure.)
“We saw a need for a hyper-secure way for our joint customers to use native Office 365 mobile apps,” said Carl Wiese, president of global sales at the Canadian company. “BlackBerry Enterprise BRIDGE addresses this need and is a great example of how BlackBerry and Microsoft continue to securely enable workforces to be highly productive in today’s connected world.”
Microsoft’s own spokesperson was similarly bullish about the benefits of the two companies joining forces.
“In an era when digital technology is driving rapid transformation, customers are looking for a trusted partner,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president of worldwide commercial business at Microsoft. “Our customers choose Microsoft 365 for productivity and collaboration tools that deliver continuous innovation, and do so securely. Together with BlackBerry, we will take this to the next level and provide enterprises with a new standard for secure productivity.”
Under the terms of the partnership, the two tech juggernauts also pledged to integrate Blackberry’s Secure platform, used to connect people, devices, processes and systems, with Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. BlackBerry UEM Cloud, BlackBerry Workspaces, BlackBerry Dynamics, and BlackBerry AtHoc are all now available on Azure.