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Blackberry launches new federal arm

BlackBerry said Tuesday it has launched a subsidiary based in Washington, D.C. exclusively focused on the federal market in order to accelerate government cloud computing initiatives.

Given the parent company’s headquarters are in Canada, BlackBerry Government Solutions will have a separate corporate governance structure in order to follow U.S. national security requirements.

Retired Coast Guard Rear Adm. Robert Day will lead the subsidiary as president and be responsible for guiding BlackBerry’s products through the government-wide FedRAMP cloud product approval process, plus authority-to-operate certifications at individual agencies.

Day, who first joined BlackBerry in 2016, will also oversee mandated continuous monitoring and maintenance of BlackBerry’s cloud services once they go through FedRAMP.

In a release, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said the company aims to position itself in a market where “a tidal wave of connected devices is in sight.”

The company also wants “to help the U.S. government securely build and connect all ‘things’ from ATVs and drones to documents, emails, and the data that flows between,” Chen added.

Federal agencies that use BlackBerry’s mobile security products include the departments of Defense, Energy, Homeland Security, Justice, Transportation, Treasury and Veterans Affairs. BlackBerry said its crisis communication tool covers at least 70 percent of the overall federal civilian workforce.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also find and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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