Canadian Manufacturing

BlackBerry’s Movirtu acquisition gives business users more tools

Businesses will now be able to easily set up employees with separate personal and corporate phone numbers on a single mobile device

WATERLOO, Ont.—BlackBerry Ltd. acquired London-based Movirtu in a deal that will give its business customers the tools to easily set up employees with separate personal and corporate phone numbers on a single mobile device.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

BlackBerry executives said that the acquisition will address issues that arise when employees bring their own devices for work-related use, or when employees are allowed to use corporate devices for personal reasons.

“Our strategy is to broaden BlackBerry’s solutions and services that enable our customers to fully embrace the potential of enterprise mobility,” John Sims, president of BlackBerry’s enterprise division, said on a blog posted on BlackBerry’s website.

Sims is part of the new executive team put in place by BlackBerry chairman and chief executive John Chen, who has been reshaping the company to focus on its business-oriented enterprise division and some of its more cutting-edge technologies.

Chen was brought in after BlackBerry, a pioneer of the smartphone industry, was unable to compete in the mass market against devices with Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android operating systems.

BlackBerry’s first new handheld devices to be released under Chen’s leadership—an old-style BlackBerry dubbed the Classic and a new format called the Passpor—are expected to be officially announced later this month.

The company is planning invitation-only events on Sept. 24 in Toronto, London and Dubai, but hasn’t provided details.

Carsten Brinkschulte, Movirtu’s CEO, said one of the benefits of joining the Waterloo, Ont.-based smartphone company is its network’s direct connections to hundreds of mobile operators around the world.

“Leveraging these existing connections would be the best way to offer quick and reliable deployment of the Movirtu Virtual SIM solution with minimal effort for the operator. Additionally, BlackBerry will help bring the solution to market through their wide network of mobile operators,” Brinkschulte said.

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