KPMG Italy orders 3,500 BlackBerry 10 phones

BlackBerry Ltd. got a much needed vote of confidence from KPMG Italy, which announced today that it will be purchasing some 3,500 BlackBerry 10 smart phones and will be migrating its mobile communications to the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution.

The good news also comes a day after BlackBerry bought full-page ads several newspapers in a dozen countries assuring customers that they can “count on us” despite a series of downturns which has resulted in the company having to write down some $900 million worth of unsold handsets and laying of thousands of its employees.

The professional services firm is a longtime customer of BlackBerry. Its decision to stick with the troubled Waterloo, Ont.-based smart phone maker and upgrade its entire mobile fleet to the company’s current mobile management system is based on security, usability and cost effectiveness, according to KPMG.

KPMG employees need a reliable smart phone with strong security features because they regularly share confidential information, according to David Grassano, IT lead partner at KPMG Milan.

“With BlackBerry 10 we have found the best solution in termrs of usability, security, connectivity and price,” he said in a statement. “The BlackBerry solution allows our users to have access to shared files and other internal resources, while also working to prevent the accidental leakage of business documents and attachments.”

BB10’s Balance technology keeps corporate information separated and secure from personal content. The feature allows customers to access corporate resources when they need to and enables them to switch the profile of their BlackBerry 10 phone in order to use personal apps, multimedia, the Internet and public social networks.

KMPG employees can also use productivity features such as Documents To Go which enables users to view and edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on the go on their BlackBerry 10 handset, said Alberto Acito, managing director for South East Europe at BlackBerry.

Last week, BlackBerry previewed its new multi-platform cloud-based EMM solution. It offers users a business mobile device management (MD), mobile application management (MAM), security standards and self-service capabilities.

Special features of EMM include:

  • Simple and fast deployment without the need for hardware or software installs
  • Controls that enable administrators to use a Web-based admin console for activation and deployment of BlackBerry, iOS and Android smart phones, apps, security policy configuration and compliance monitoring
  • Features that enable administrators to secure and manage apps and build a catalog of public apps from the App StoreSM, Google Play and BlackBerry World
  • Features that allow users to manage their own devices through a self-service console

In an open letter to the public yesterday, BlackBerry tried to assure subscribers that the company has “substantial cash on hand,” is debt free and on a restructuring path that will cut expenses by 50 per cent.

The full-page ad bought by BlackBerry explained that while there are doubts among financial and industry analyst that BlackBerry can pull through its current problems the company is making “the difficult changes necessary to strengthen BlackBerry.”

Release of the letter comes at a time when BlackBerry’s books are being scrutinized by Fairfax Financial Holdings which is working to lead a consortium to make official its tentative offer to buy the company.

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Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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