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Transitioning BlackBerry inks NZ govt contract

Parliamentary Service New Zealand has entered into agreement with BlackBerry, in a move that will see the government organisation deploy BlackBerry’s WatchDox software solution and other cross-platform BlackBerry software solutions.

The move comes following Blackberry's exit out of the smartphone hardware business, as the company looks to focus on being a software and services company.

The New Zealand Parliamentary Service provides administrative and support services to the New Zealand Parliament and is the largest of the agencies housed in the parliamentary precinct.

The news comes as Australian research firm Telsyte released its 2017 Australian Enterprise Mobility Market Study that reveals a growing concern about the security of personal cloud storage services, and ranks BlackBerry as the leading MDM (enterprise mobile device and application management) vendor in Australia and New Zealand.  

Paul Crighton, vice president for BlackBerry in Asia Pacific, says that the Telsyte study and customer wins in government and healthcare underline the continued adoption of BlackBerry enterprise software.

“Our customers increasingly want to improve workplace collaboration within a secure mobile environment, which is a huge challenge for them,” says Crighton.

“With security at our core, world-class support and cross-platform capabilities, this is how BlackBerry is helping our customers to achieve truly secure mobile working, which is why we are seeing such great momentum in our enterprise software business.”

According to Michael Middlemiss, chief information officer for New Zealand Parliamentary Service, the organisation’s Bring-Your-Own-Device policy was one of the drivers behind the agreement with BlackBerry, as the organisation ‘wanted a solution that would enable staff to do more on the move, but it needed to adhere to the high levels of security’.

“The sensitive nature of government work means there is a growing need to securely share documents while retaining control of them across Parliament,” Middlemiss says.

“WatchDox by BlackBerry helped us to solve this issue, as it enables members and staff to securely share DRM-protected documents, while retaining complete control of the content,” he explains.

“We believe WatchDox is a valuable contributor to our data loss prevention strategy and from a security point of view, this gives us peace of mind but importantly, allows our team to be super productive.”

According to Telsyte’s 2017 Australian Enterprise Mobility Market Study, the leading MDM vendors in Australia, according to Telsyte research, are BlackBerry (following the acquisition and integration of Good Technology), IBM and Samsung in that order.

Telsyte says the growth in MDM is being driven by a high rate (86%) of enterprises still concerned about the security of enterprise mobility.

Crighton says the new data shows businesses need to ensure file-sharing systems are secured, rather than doing away with them completely. 

“It makes more sense to increase protection at the document level rather than trying to change the storage platform – whether that’s in the cloud, on a device or within a network,” he explains.

“That way you can still provide a high level of protection, but in a user-friendly way that will maximise workflows.”

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