VMware Tells BlackBerry Users To 'Let It Go' - InformationWeek

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11/3/2015
02:06 PM
Pablo Valerio
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VMware Tells BlackBerry Users To 'Let It Go'

When one of the top execs of VMware starts singing "Let It Go" everyone pays attention. That is what Sanjay Poonen, VMware VP for end-user computing, did during his presentation at VMWorld Europe 2015 for the few BlackBerry users in the audience.

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After acquiring AirWatch last year, VMware became the most popular Mobile Device Management (MDM) provider. Recently, BlackBerry acquired Good Technologies, VMware's closest competitor in mobile management. Now, VMware is asking BlackBerry users to let it go and move to iOS, Android, or Windows Mobile instead.

When one of the top execs of VMware starts singing "Let It Go" (from the movie Frozen) everyone pays attention. That is what Sanjay Poonen, VMware VP for End User Computing, did during his presentation at VMWorld Europe 2015 for the few BlackBerry users in the audience.

Poonen was addressing more than 10,000 VMWorld Europe attendees last month at Fira de Barcelona, when he asked the audience how many of them still used a BlackBerry smartphone. He saw two hands go up. Then he said, "I've got two words for you. In the words of my daughter's great movie 'Frozen': Let it go! Or if you want me to sing it …"

Poonen also reinforced the concept that mobile is the new desktop, and announced VMware's acquisition of Boxer. He described Boxer as a company that has developed "a mature Personal Information Management solution for enterprises that offers a container approach to mobile application management and security."

According to the VMware blog, "The combination of Boxer and AirWatch by VMware will create a world-class suite of services that will enable businesses to provide their employees with secure access to their email, content and apps."

VMware's Sanjay Poonen at VMWorld Europe 2015.
(Image: Pablo Valerio/InformationWeek)

VMware's Sanjay Poonen at VMWorld Europe 2015.

(Image: Pablo Valerio/InformationWeek)

Why is it important for VMware to "kill" BlackBerry? Probably for two reasons:

  1. BlackBerry is a complicated platform to support. VMware's AirWatch supports almost all platforms and operating systems in the mobile ecosystem. The decline of BlackBerry users makes support for its OS expensive and difficult to maintain.
  2. With its recent acquisition of Good Technologies, BlackBerry has become a competitor. During his presentation, Poonen cited IDC research that puts Good Technologies second to AirWatch in MDM market share.

[Where will VMware fit after Dell merges with EMC? Read VMware's Value Lies In Modern Data Center Management.]

BlackBerry is now focusing its efforts on MDM and services, rather than handsets. Although it recently announced the introduction the BlackBerry Priv, its smartphone business is basically gone. With the Good Technologies acquisition, BlackBerry has an opportunity to challenge AirWatch in its core market. Previously, BlackBerry was only able to support a few platforms with its BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) system.

While the combination of BlackBerry BES and Good Technologies could create serious competition for AirWatch, VMware is still clearly the leader in MDM.

Another possible disruption of the market is the Dell-EMC deal. It is difficult to know how Dell (which after the deal is completed will own about 80% of VMware) will incorporate the AirWatch product portfolio in its offerings. VMware's CEO stated that it would remain public and independent.

Time will tell. But the message from VMware is clear: Let BlackBerry go!

Pablo Valerio has been in the IT industry for 25+ years, mostly working for American companies in Europe. Over the years he has developed channels, established operations, and served as European general manager for several companies. While primarily based in Spain, he has ... View Full Bio
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Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
11/7/2015 | 1:59:55 AM
Re: VMware Tells BlackBerry Users to 'Let It Go'
Blackberry is targetted to specialized area with high and stringent security demand. I don't agree with the comments from Sanjay - Blackberry is unique on many aspects and will gain its marketplace it keeps trending up.
CharlieHipHop.111
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CharlieHipHop.111,
User Rank: Strategist
11/4/2015 | 10:36:49 PM
Re: VMware Tells BlackBerry Users to 'Let It Go'
Airwatch is a joke. BES is literally 100x better. It's more featureful, easier to manage, and more secure. Oh -- and less expensive.

Http : // www DOT cio DOT com/article/2382090/consumerization-of-it/what-s-behind-the-ipad-hack-at-los-angeles-high-schools-.html

http : // forum DOT xda-developers DOT com/google-nexus-5/general/how-to-bypass-airwatch-mdm-root-t2567649

To reiterate: it's a joke. Not even in the same league as BES, and not trusted by the likes of NATO, etc.
CharlieHipHop.111
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CharlieHipHop.111,
User Rank: Strategist
11/4/2015 | 10:28:45 PM
You know what I let go?
I let that overpriced junk VMWare virtual machine that I used to use at work go. Got tired of spending days debugging every single build just because the version went up by 0.0.1. Using VirtualBox now. It's free, and I'm happy as a clam with it. Free and better -- who can argue with that?

As for my BlackBerry, I will let that go when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers, and even then my secrets will be safe within its encrypted walls.
AdamK708
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AdamK708,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/4/2015 | 5:33:19 PM
Re: VMware Tells BlackBerry Users to 'Let It Go'
Well I think he does not know that Blackberry has released secure Android smartphone called Blackberry Priv! he thinks Blackberry is an old school company that should just die. well that's not happneing, now he is face to face with them as they are now his main competitor in the market when it comes to mobile device managment. 
Pablo Valerio
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Pablo Valerio,
User Rank: Ninja
11/4/2015 | 3:07:46 PM
Re: VMware Tells BlackBerry Users to 'Let It Go'
"As a professional, how can you give respect and pursue a business relationship with such an Organization?"

I attended the entire presentation, which you can find below:

I don't think Sanjay Poonen was unprofessional. He was funny, and he spoke mainly about the products under his division. The Blackberry joke was just a small trick to get people's attention.

I don't think VMware is scared of the competition at all. They have an excellent platform with AirWatch and they have a new partnership with Microsoft to support all MS mobile offerings, including tablets and laptops.
JamesC641
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JamesC641,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/4/2015 | 12:54:19 PM
"I've got two words for you..."
Let it go, is three words.

Maybe it is just me but not sure how much we should we trust our security to a VP of an organization who does not even appear to know how to count to three correctly :(
IqaluitZenZ461
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IqaluitZenZ461,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/4/2015 | 11:19:56 AM
Vware is scared
Sounds like they're scared now that Blackberry has acquired Good Technologies.The combination of Blackberry's BES12 servers and now Good's clients and technology has them scared.

Dell probably isn't going to focus or care much about this.

Blackberry cares.
Otherwise they wouldn't have just spent $425m on acquiring Good.

 

 
AntW498
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AntW498,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/3/2015 | 8:39:36 PM
Re: VMware Tells BlackBerry Users to 'Let It Go'
For a Senior Executive to denigrate a competitor's mobile platform in such a manner speaks volumes on the quality of the Company.  As a professional, how can you give respect and pursue a business relationship with such an Organization?  I would seriously question my business dealings with an Organization that lacks decorum and maturity.  Furthermore, I would question the quality of the good or service rendered by such an Organization.  When you are presenting for an Organization, you are the face of the Organization.
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