No person in the business world can be unfamiliar with BlackBerry. It pioneered the smartphone revolution since its launch in 1985. Trust in the brand relied to a great extent on the level of its security, so it's no surprise that this long expertise lay behind its 2015 transition from being primarily a mobile device manufacturer to becoming a cybersecurity enterprise software and services company. Of course, this has always been a software business. Known for secure handsets that changed how people work, now BlackBerry is looking ahead, utilising artificial intelligence and machine learning to protect large private- and public-sector operators from present and future cyberthreats.
Robin Wright, Strategic Account Manager with BlackBerry, has been working in IT and cybersecurity for nearly 22 years and has seen the industry evolve from the on-prem IT security model into the present age, where data is front and centre. In 2019 as a manager with Cylance he came to BlackBerry: “I manage major customers to make sure they get the support they need, but a big part of my role is evangelising new technology to them to address perceived business needs as well as needs they may not yet be aware of. We are always making customers aware of what's coming, because it's our job to look for technologies, threats and solutions coming over the horizon.”
Leading precision measurement and instrumentation company Spectris is one of Wright's key customers. Like BlackBerry itself, Spectris has moved with its markets – a long way from its inception as Fairey Aviation in 1915: Just as an example Spectris is positioning itself as a key player in the field of autonomous vehicles since it acquired VI-grade in 2018 to boost development of advanced electromechanical products.
Partnership with Spectris has been altogether positive, Robin Wright confirms. “Spectris was in a security transformation process, looking for a standardised approach across their operating companies. We achieved that, starting with a 'tabletop' approach from leadership right through to the operational teams. What they liked was that our team could do this from end to end, with one point of contact, rather than bringing in third parties to integrate the solution. Collaboration has been great, with weekly calls since the project started in 2020, they remain amongst our biggest customers in EMEA. Transparent and honest dialogue has been a feature of the partnership. We put a lot of work in, and as a result Spectris has been happy to recommend us to other prospective clients!”