BlackBerry got a lot of chaff from the press for issuing full-page print newspaper ads effectively reminding customers they’re not dead, likely to counter rumors to the contrary in a lot of headlines and article feature art. Now, maverick interim CEO John Chen has issued another missive proclaiming BlackBerry’s non-death, showing he clearly has nothing in common with his predecessor Thorsten Heins (who was in charge the first time they did this).
This letter is different in tone, however, as it aims at BlackBerry’s enterprise customers and suggests that’s where BlackBerry will focus the bulk of its efforts going forward. Chen opens by noting that there’s no longer a “For Sale” sign on the company as a way of reassuring that it’ll be around to back up whatever services enterprise customers might buy from it, then clarifies that they do mobile device management (MDM) for just about every type of mobile gadget out there, not just BlackBerries. It ends with a call to focus on security, followed by a sales pitch for BES10, its multiplatform MDM product that launched last June.
This letter is more information and “setting the record straight” than the previous full-page ad, and it’s targeted instead of a general, clearly reactionary blast to negative press. Chen’s open letter is more of a defense against the buzzard of other MDM providers, which are no doubt having a feeding frenzy trying to lure BlackBerry customers away from the incumbent to their own solutions given the perceived unstable ground upon which the Canadian telecom giant currently sits.
Sending a letter to remind people you exist isn’t new to the BlackBerry playbook (this pun is and will remain too good forever), but at least this time Chen and co. clearly aren’t trying to plug all the holes in the sinking ship. They’ll shore up in the saucer and separate the stardrive, and maybe this time, that’ll be enough to save the enterprise and her crew to fight another day.