It’s been awhile since we’ve heard anything from BlackBerry. Today, the company announced that it will be purchasing privately-held AtHoc, a secure messaging company. BlackBerry has stated in the past that the company will be focusing more on software and BBM (messaging service), and this step proves that the company is still headed in that direction.
What AtHoc Does
AtHoc is a San Mateo-based company that focuses on crisis communications. The company’s software is used by a number of secure businesses in addition to the Department of Defense and Homeland Security in the U.S. The software that AtHoc provides essentially makes it possible for these departments and various companies to reach employees in times of crisis by smartphone, radios, digital displays, and other means. Typically, AtHoc’s services help people to reach out to loved ones and department members during times of crisis.
So why does BlackBerry want a secure messaging company that is mostly used during times of crisis? While the terms of the transaction have not been disclosed, company representatives have told press that BlackBerry wants to make AtHoc’s services richer by adding on things like voice, picture, and video sharing to messaging options. This way, people that use the service during times of crisis can send a photo, voice message, or video in addition to a text.
An Interesting Move
BlackBerry has stated before that the company wants to add services to its existing software options that bring value to the table, and acquiring one of the top companies that is used to send emergency communications does just that. From a consumer standpoint, nothing really changes in the world of BlackBerry, but stockholders will be happy with this purchase that brings some value to the otherwise flailing company.
BlackBerry has also recently purchased WatchDox a secure file company, so the purchase of AtHoc makes sense. What does this all mean for consumers that are still using BlackBerry products? Nothing changes drastically where BlackBerry’s phones are concerned, but these new purchases and new focus does mean that the company is not focused on phones as much as it once was. You could see additional acquisitions in the near future, but it’s not likely that we will see many more upgrades to BlackBerry smartphones and other devices.
A New Focus
As BlackBerry focuses more on software and bringing value to the company to appease stockholders, the company that once tried to compete (and failed) with the smartphone market seems to be fading fast. The team at AtHoc is also happy with the new purchase stating that BlackBerry will help the company to grow faster. BlackBerry does plan to keep the AtHoc team intact as it moves forward with the acquisition.
How much BlackBerry has spend on the purchase of AtHoc remains to be seen, and the company has not disclosed details of the acquisition yet. Those may or may not become public within the next few days. BlackBerry seems to be snatching up the secure communications market, and that’s likely where the company will go in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead.