BlackBerry has introduced Safe Work Space, an additional security feature for enterprise customers, in a bid to give it an upper hand with business clients. The feature provides an extra layer of security to protect sensitive work information from personal data and will work with Google Android and Apple iOS devices.
With Safe Work Space, BlackBerry hopes to attract more business clients even if their employees use smartphones made by BlackBerry's rivals. BlackBerry has seen its market share dwindle as iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy smartphones have become more popular.
"Supporting devices with the best, most secure, and easiest-to-use mobile solution should enable RIM to transform into what we believe is an attractive model," said Jefferies analyst Peter Misek in a Reuters report.
Having introduced new smartphones running BlackBerry 10 operating system, Z10 and Q10, BlackBerry is looking to shore up its enterprise business, which could rebound with Safe Work Space.
BlackBerry 10 OS has a feature called Balance to keep corporate and personal data separate. With Secure Work Space, Balance is being extended to other platforms, David Smith, BlackBerry's head of mobile enterprise computing, said in a statement reported by Reuters.
BlackBerry said Secure Work Space means clients would not need to configure and manage expensive virtual private network (VPN) infrastructure in order to give workers' devices access to data and applications that reside behind corporate firewalls.
"Secure Work Space also offers the same end-to-end encryption for data in transit as we have offered on BlackBerry for many years, so there is no need for a VPN," Peter Devenyi, head of enterprise software, said in an interview.
Late last year, the company changed how it charges for services, lowering fees for customers that don't use advanced security features.
The new Secure Work Space feature will be available before the end of June, and will be managed through BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, the platform that allows BlackBerry's corporate and government clients to handle devices using different operating systems on their networks.