WASHINGTON — BlackBerry Ltd. is setting up a completely separate subsidiary in Washington, D.C., to strengthen the company’s ties with critical U.S. federal agencies that require highly secure cloud-based services.
The new subsidiary will be focused on ensuring that more BlackBerry products and services meet the strict U.S. requirements for assessing, authorizing and monitoring products and services that use cloud computing.
BlackBerry’s AdHoc service for crisis communications was authorized in March 2017 and is now used by 1.1 million licensed users including at the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice and Department of Energy.
BlackBerry Government Solutions will be led by Robert E. Day, Jr., a retired U.S. Coast Guard rear admiral who joined the Canadian technology firm in 2016 to head its cybersecurity operations centre.
The company didn’t disclose how many people report to Day but said that BlackBerry Government Solutions will have its own offices, board of directors, IT infrastructure, security systems, and employee badges.
BlackBerry executive chairman and CEO John Chen said the new subsidiary will “deepen our reach” within the U.S. government sector as it manages a “tidal wave” of internet-connected devices.
The U.S. government and its agencies have long been a significant source of revenue for BlackBerry, which has been stressing its expertise in providing highly secure software and services since exiting the smartphone hardware business.
Based in Waterloo, Ont., BlackBerry is scheduled to release its 2018-19 financial results on March 29.
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The Canadian Press