Blackberry is continuing its shift from traditional smartphone market to emerging technologies. The company is acquiring leading artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity firm Cylance for $1.4 billion in cash.
Founded in 2012, Cylance provides cybersecurity solutions powered by AI, algorithmic science and machine learning. These solutions can efficiently predict and prevent known and unknown threats to fixed endpoints.
Cylance’s AI and cybersecurity capabilities will accelerate the development of Blackberry Spark, the Enterprise of Things (EoT) platform for ultra-secure hyper-connectivity. Spark is an open and extensible platform which comes with ready to snap-in IoT and other solutions from partners including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, Microsoft, Nvidia, etc.
By acquiring Cylance, Blackberry will also integrate the AI and cybersecurity capabilities of Cylance into its UEM (Unified Endpoint Management) and QNX solutions.
“Cylance’s leadership in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity will immediately complement our entire portfolio, UEM and QNX in particular. We are very excited to onboard their team and leverage our newly combined expertise,” said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO of BlackBerry.
“We believe adding Cylance’s capabilities to our trusted advantages in privacy, secure mobility, and embedded systems will make BlackBerry Spark indispensable to realizing the Enterprise of Things.”
Blackberry UEM, a part of Blackberry Enterprise Mobility Suite, enables enterprises to securely manage endpoints on premise or in the cloud. It provides endpoint management and policy control for the various enterprises apps and devices.
Whereas, Blackberry QNX provides development tools, operating system software and services for embedded design. These solutions allow enterprises to build reliable and scalable applications for telecom, automotive, medical instrumentation, automation, and security markets.
“Our highly skilled cybersecurity workforce and market leadership in next-generation endpoint solutions will be a perfect fit within BlackBerry where our customers, teams and technologies will gain immediate benefits from BlackBerry’s global reach,” said Stuart McClure, Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Cylance.
“We are eager to leverage BlackBerry’s mobility and security strengths to adapt our advanced AI technology to deliver a single platform.”
The acquisition is expected to close prior to the end of Blackberry’s current fiscal year (February 2019). Following the closure of transaction, Cylance will operate as a separate business unit within Blackberry Limited.
Image source: Blackberry