BlackBerry: HK banks shifting internal apps to mobile platform

Mike Ding, senior sales director for North Asia, BlackBerry

FSI companies in Hong Kong have been moving internal business applications from legacy systems to the mobile platform, according Mike Ding, senior sales director for North Asia at Blackberry.

“About 40% to 50% of banks in Hong Kong have started migrating their internal applications used for their office work to the mobile platform,” said Ding during a press briefing last Tuesday, adding that banks in the city are running on average 50 applications in their backend operations.

This switch is one of the reasons for BlackBerry’s robust growth in the local market this year, Ding said.

“We almost triple the revenue in Hong Kong in 2017 compared to the year before,” he said. “About 90% of Fortune 100 banks are using our enterprise mobility and security products such as secure email and secure mobile Office. And the banking and insurance sector comprise the bulk of our customers in the city.”

Securing mobile access to corporate assets – business tools and sensitive documents – has been BlackBerry key differentiation in the market. It is a differentiation that allowed the erstwhile smartphone manufacturer to successfully transition into a software company.

“Our value proposition is to provide the most secure and comprehensive way to connect people, devices processes and systems for the enterprise of things,” Ding said.

“We guard against data leakage with containerization for all devices – meaning data is always protected in a secure container,” he said.

For its fiscal year 2017, BlackBerry returned to profitability with operating income recorded at US$55 million. Its software and services business doubled in the last 12 months, contributing 50% of the company’s revenue mix.

With enterprises expected to adopt IoT in the coming years, BlackBerry is optimistic about the continued growth of its software and services business.

“By our continued vertical and platform expansion, our total addressable market will grow from US$4.9 billion in 2015 to US$17.6 billion in 2019,” Ding said.

In Hong Kong, BlackBerry is eyeing an expansion into other vertical markets, particularly the government sector.

“We have been reaching out to relevant people and partnering with some organizations. But it will take some time before our business with the government sector gets off the ground, given that this market segment has a longer decision-making cycle and budget constraint,” Ding said.

Meanwhile, BlackBerry is bringing to Hong Kong its IoT offerings.

“We are in discussion with some of the shipping companies in Hong Kong for the deployment of BlackBerry Radar which provides secure transportation asset tracking,” Ding said.

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