BlackBerry Moves Deeper into Consulting with Encription Acquisition

BlackBerry’s ambitions to turn into a software-focused company to break out from its image of a smartphone maker have received a greater push with the company announcing that it has acquired Encription, a cybersecurity consultancy based in the U.K. With this acquisition, the company has waded deeper into the services sector as it explores unconventional avenues for growth. The company’s recent moves have led analysts to believe that BlackBerry now has its sights set on stressing more on its software capabilities.

This fundamental shift – though it is yet unclear how it will play out – came after the smartphone pioneer was alarmed by a progressive dip in phone sales and began to seek out alternative growth channels to sustain revenues. BlackBerry’s smartphone business has had to bear the brunt of the intensifying competition in the smartphone industry.

BlackBerry has Sights Firmly Set on Becoming a Leading Provider of Security Software
Now that the company has put a decidedly sharp focus on the security software space and software services, it hopes to tap into the massive potential that these business areas have to offer. According to market estimates, cyber security consulting is a US$16.5-bn industry globally per year.

However, the terms of BlackBerry’s deal with Encription were not immediately disclosed to members of the press. The deal, which closed Friday, will add a 40-people strong team of security professionals to BlackBerry’s operations. Encription boasts a veritable reputation in the security software industry for having worked with prestigious government agencies to fix plugs in network security and software. The consulting firm has also worked closely on big ticket corporate projects.

Venturing into Security Services a Natural Progression for BlackBerry

James Mackey, who heads BlackBerry’s corporate development department described this move as being a “natural extension” of the company’s current path of progress, further defining the addition as being “complementary” to its current security portfolio.

Now that BlackBerry has brought Encription into its folds, it also hopes to cross-sell some of its existing security products. This acquisition comes closely on the heels of another deal that Blackberry had signed in September 2015 to acquire Good Technology. The former shelled out US$425 million to acquire the security software developer. Prior to this deal, BlackBerry had bagged AtHoc, a company that provides secure crisis communications.


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