BlackBerry is bringing Athoc, its secure networked crisis communication platform, to India, seeing potential for it in the background of events like Chennai Cyclone that hurt connectivity in the city.
Having initiated discussions with enterprises for potential deployments, Blackberry will soon initiate pilot projects with some enterprises within a month’s time, while full commercial contract may come towards the second half of this calendar year, Adrian Szwarcburg, Director, APAC/Africa Sales at AtHoc, BlackBerry told ET. The company is bringing the solution through its AtHoc division.
The executive said that the potential for the solution is huge in India, and it could contribute 15-20% of its revenue here over a period of time, as the market size for the technology could reach multi-million dollar per year in India.
“Starting from a pilot, the contract value could be in tens of thousands of dollars per year,” Szwarcburg said, explaining a typical deal size for the solution.
During the recent cyclone in Chennai, Microsoft used AtHoc to warn their staff about and asked them not to come to the office, Szwarcburg said, adding there are some other global companies that are using the solutions in India.
BlackBerry’s AtHoc is looking at tapping defense & security, government agencies, airports authorities and metro train projects like Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), besides enterprise verticals like healthcare.
“So far, Indian customers that we are meeting are companies with large employee base across multiple locations. You need crisis management plan in such cases. A lot of companies have actually started creating functions for these. It is no more an additional job for IT, IT security, or HR. There are specialized people to do this job,”
AtHoc, which was bought by Blackberry, specializes in critical communications and provides solutions to 80% of the U.S. Federal Government. The critical communications technology is used by the White House, the Pentagon, and almost by every other department in the U.S. Federal government. It operates in commercial space as well with companies like Microsoft using solutions to ensure communication for the safety and security of their staff around the world.
“We also got some sense of the market here from existing Blackberry customers. Everyone says yes, this is the time…A number of companies we met in India use Microsoft Skype for Business. So, you can get a message on Skype for Business as well. We also have our desktop pop-up. It can be integrated with a lot of systems in a building,”
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