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BlackBerry creates a unit focused on IoT, embedded software

BlackBerry's new unit could reap rewards
BlackBerry's new unit could reap rewards

BlackBerry has launched a Technology Solutions group focused on embedded software, Internet of Things and BlackBerry's approximately 44,000 patents. The unit is led by former Sony-Ericsson CTO Sandeep Chennakeshu.

BlackBerry Technology Solutions (BTS) comprises the QNX, Project ION, Certicom and Paratek products. BlackBerry launched Project ION in May to create a secure public application platform (PAP) to help grow a network of developers and carriers in order to enable IoT-focused partnerships. The QNX operating system, formerly known as RIM, is crucial to Project ION because it powers PAP.

It is vital for BlackBerry to develop a lucrative line of business beyond traditional enterprise smartphone technology. Blackberry's smartphone market share continues to tumble, down to 0.5% compared with 2.8% last year. The platform was only shipped on 1.5 million devices this quarter, compared with 6.7 million devices during the same quarter last year.

BlackBerry's rebound?

BlackBerry has 7,000 employees - down from more than 17,500 in 2011. BlackBerry CEO John Chen recently said the company will make strategic acquisitions to boost future sales. BlackBerry acquired Germany enterprise mobility management firm Secusmart.

Last month, BlackBerry named former LiveOps Chief Executive Officer Marty Beard Chief Operating Officer. As COO, Beard is responsible for BlackBerry's marketing, BlackBerry 10 Application Development, customer care and quality control.

Chennakeshu joins the company after more than 25 years in the wireless, electronics and semiconductor industry. He most recently served as President of Ericsson Mobile Platforms and CTO of Sony-Ericsson. He also served as the Chief Development Officer of Freescale Semiconductor.