BlackBerry Launches IoT Division In Hyderabad

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(L-R) Raj Jain, VP IoT engineering and site manager, Hyderabad and John Wall, senior VP, and head of BlackBerry Technology Solutions - products, engineering and operations
  • The company said this would be its second-largest Internet of Things (IoT) division after its Canada headquarters.
  • The company aims to employ around 100 software engineers by the end of 2023 at its Hyderabad office.
  • The operations would be headed by Raj Jain, vice president of IoT engineering.

Much before the advent of touchscreen mobile phones and WhatsApp, a BlackBerry phone with a keyboard and a little wheel on the side or trackball in the middle, and a Messenger service, had found its way into the hands of every professional. The company, BlackBerry, fell from its zenith with the dominance of Apple and Samsung in the smartphone market. It scrambled back on its feet, only this time, it shifted its focus towards designing and software security. 

In a bid to expand its global software network, BlackBerry has now announced the opening of the second largest Internet of Things (IoT) division in Hyderabad which would employ more than 100 software engineers by the end of December 2023, in a range of technology positions, including senior management, technical project management, product engineering, cloud software development as well as integration and service delivery. Currently, the headcount of employees at the Hyderabad office is four. The office would be headed by Raj Jain, vice president of IoT engineering. The company currently has support offices in Bengaluru, Gurgaon and Mumbai.

The Hyderabad centre is a direct legal entity under BlackBerry and will help BlackBerry IoT to co-develop and co-innovate more closely with customers and partners based in India. Senior vice president and head of BlackBerry Technology Solutions, John Wall told EFY that cloud development for its BlackBerry QNX software for all its global operations would happen at Hyderabad.

Moving from phones to security software

An obsessive focus on enterprise over consumer tastes and preferences and an operating system (OS) that nobody was building apps for have been attributed as the headwinds that contributed to BlackBerry’s decline as a mobile manufacturer. It was in 2013, after the appointment of John Chen as chief executive officer, that BlackBerry announced that it would design phones, instead of producing its own hardware. Some of its phones would use the Android OS. After designing the phones, the company licensed its production to local companies in the markets where it still had some traction: India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh markets, with Optiemus Electronics and Merah Putih for Indonesia.

The company’s focus gravitated towards security software for the Enterprise-of-Things, referring to smart objects that require security and are vulnerable to cyber attacks, and the company acquired Cylance, which provides threat-preventative software to SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises).

Eyeing the automotive sector

At the media press briefing, the company revealed its plans to invest heavily in the automotive sector. Wall said the company had partnered with Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd for the same in 2021. Mahindra’s XUV700 SUV uses BlackBerry QNX as an intelligent infotainment system. BlackBerry QNX is a specialised real-time operating system (RTOS) that can be installed in a vehicle to power its instrument cluster and other subsystems. The software has been deployed in more than 215 million vehicles worldwide according to the company.

Apart from BlackBerry QNX, BlackBerry’s IoT business unit consists of BlackBerry Certicom, BlackBerry Radar, BlackBerry Jarvis and BlackBerry IVY.


 

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