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BlackBerry Looks to Benefit from Value-Added Services

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BlackBerry made strategic acquisitions in WatchDox and AtHoc

In the previous part of the series, we discussed the pricing pressure that BlackBerry (BBRY) is facing in the EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management) market. However, the company is preparing itself to cope with this pressure.

During the fiscal 2Q16 earnings conference call, BlackBerry’s chief executive officer John Chen mentioned that the company is trying to focus on value-added services rather than its EMM solution, BES12.

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BlackBerry has made some strategic acquisitions such as WatchDox and AtHoc to grow its value-added business. A few months back, BlackBerry completed its acquisition of WatchDox, a software startup with a product that allows companies to control and secure files. WatchDox gives companies full control over how files are copied, forwarded, printed, or edited by employees.

BlackBerry also acquired AtHoc in the last quarter. AtHoc is a crisis communication company that helps to send emergency alerts to employees. BlackBerry plans to integrate AtHoc’s technology with its BBM messaging service in the long term.

WatchDox will help BlackBerry leverage the fast growing cloud storage market

WatchDox was classified as “visionary” in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for the EFSS (enterprise file synchronization and sharing) market because of its robust security features. This was an important acquisition for BlackBerry simply because the cloud-based storage market is growing at such a rapid rate.

According to a report from Cisco Global Cloud Index, and as the chart above shows, consumer cloud storage traffic could grow from two exabytes in 2013 to 19 exabytes by 2019, a 57% compound annual growth rate.

Meanwhile, along with this growth comes increased security threats. To safely cater to this market, IBM (IBM) acquired SoftLayer for $2 billion a couple of years ago. VMWare (VMW) also acquired AirWatch for $1.2 billion last year to enhance its enterprise mobile management and security solutions.

With WatchDox, BlackBerry will also compete with Box (BOX), another cloud-based company that helps enterprises to store and secure documents.

For diversified exposure to IBM, you can invest in the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA). DIA invests 5.3% of its holdings in IBM.

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