I love BlackBerry events, period. What can be more exciting than a whole day of BlackBerry talk? Yesterday, JT and I attended the BlackBerry Security Summit hosted in New York City. I can speak for both of us when I say we left very impressed.
To get things started CEO John Chen took the stage to welcome attendees and talk about BlackBerry’s superior security and of course announce the great news that BlackBerry had acquired Secusmart, an amazing anti-eavesdropping company that’s best known for providing the SD cards to BlackBerry devices headed to the German government. Immediately after, the CEO of Secusmart, Dr. Hans-Christoph Quelle, took the stage.
Secusmart’s CEO began, with a huge smile, to explain how excited he was to be part of BlackBerry and what his company brings to the table. Listening to him speak about how easy it is to listen into someone’s conversations is quite shocking, and it makes sense why the German Government would turn to them for help after the allegations of US espionage. We did finish on a high note with the big announcement that NATO is now a new client as well.
After Dr. Hans-Christoph Quelle, we were introduced to a panel of field security experts from the healthcare, energy and financial sectors.
It was very informative and very scary to see how easy it is to have a breach in your security and how the mobile revolution is bringing a change that may be too rapid even for these guys.
I have to admit for someone who is not into enterprise security as myself, the panel dragged a little long, but to the rescue was the second panel which included BlackBerry Executive heavyweights SVP of Marketing, Mark Wilson, as the Moderator, QNX founder, Don Dodge, BlackBerry President, John Sims, and VP Core OS for BlackBerry Charles Eagen!
The team identified the main issues of security and how BlackBerry is providing the proper solutions. Issues which include Malware found in applications and how BlackBerry will use BlackBerry Guardian to help you keep your device safe with the arrival of the Amazon Appstore. Another major issue is identity breach and the consequences it can have beyond the financial burden set by the target breach example. Main point of this conversation? Don’t take security for granted.
After the panel the main session was over, everyone was instructed to go to the 7th floor for demos and lunch. Media were told to stay behind for a personal Q&A with the same panel but with the inclusion of Secusmart CEO Quelle. Per usual the head of Corporate Comms for BlackBerry Heidi Davidson moderated the Q&A (never want to let an executive say more than they should lol)
It was a very informative session with a lot of good questions. JT took the mic to ask about future marketing plans, a question that was differed to non-panel member, Mark Wilson. You can read more about that in our earlier post
If you are excited for BlackBerry Virtual Assistant the company is in the process of naming it with the hard task falling on Mark Wilson’s lap. At least now we know it will have a name!
After a lot of talk about how QNX powers both Car Play and Google’s venture into the automotive industry, I asked Don Dodge if we would be able to mirror a BlackBerry 10 device into cars powered by QNX. To my delight the answer was yes.
Things got interesting when a reporter asked about future devices and Charles Eagen began saying that the company is working on a range of different devices when a subtle look from Heidi brought that conversation to an end (hence why she moderates these things). The excitement in Charles face has beyond evident. He was almost giddy talking about what is coming down the line and it’s an AWESOME feeling to see a BlackBerry executive as excited as they were.
The Q&A session finished without me seeing a Passport and desperation kicked in. I went rogue and ventured off to see if anyone had one and BOOM! My first sighting of the device in person:
Two seconds after I got my super secret shot a BlackBerry PR person instructed me to go upstairs to see a live demo of the device. I laughed, but hey I enjoyed my few moments of investigating reporting.
And here it is:
The device was showing off a very cool medical app. I have to say this device is stunning. The resolution is amazing and it shows when you see how much you can fit in that gorgeous screen. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to touch it but I was able to take the above photo.
Now, you guys know we always try to get more information for our readers. Unofficially, JT and I were able to briefly play with the Passport and boy was it AMAZING. I can’t express how much I like this device without coming off as biased. The keyboard is beautiful and you can use it as a trackpad which we tested on a website. It worked flawlessly. The OS was extremely fluid and very fast and looked gorgeous on the Passport. I can’t wait to spend more time with this device.
Last, but not least we were shown off a FANTASTIC demo from a company called Fluid Mobility. Their demo was very impressive and it was based on Geo-location services, and geofencing. Their service gives BES administrators the ability to control the settings depending on where you are. If your employer doesn’t want you to have the camera app available when you are in the office, the camera app will disappear when you enter the building. The same goes with social media apps like Facebook and Twitter. This is a great tool and we will get into it a lot more in a separate post.
BlackBerry is clearly focused on Enterprise and security, and this is what this Summit was all about. BlackBerry, with the introduction of BES12, BBM Protected and the Internet Of Things’ Project Ion initiative is positioned very well for the future and I cant wait to see more.
The event had its secret off the record moments as well, so keep it close to N4BB for a lot of upcoming goodies!