Verizon teams with BlackBerry to offer $150 in credit for each device switched to BES 10

BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) is teaming up with Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) to give $150 in bill credits per device to enterprises that upgrade their legacy BlackBerry devices to newer BlackBerry 10 smartphones and the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 platform.

The companies announced the new offering in a promotional video and said the credit can be used to purchase BlackBerry technical support services, sign up for BlackBerry Messenger Protected (which comes with enhanced enterprise-grade encryption) or other enterprise services. The companies are clearly hoping to get large enterprises to upgrade their entire BlackBerry portfolios to the new platform, noting that 1,000 upgraded devices translates into $150,000 in credit.

According to the video, the Verizon deal applies to the BlackBerry Z10, Q10 and Z30 smartphones and requires new two-year contracts. It's unclear if the offer will apply to future BlackBerry devices from Verizon as well.

The promotion and direct partnership with Verizon, a longtime BlackBerry partner, is notable in light of the fact that in April BlackBerry essentially severed ties with T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) just after the two companies' CEOs got into a spat over T-Mobile promoting the iPhone to its BlackBerry customers.

BlackBerry is also offering free licenses and free technical support through Jan. 31, 2015, to enterprises that switch to BES 10. The video also touted BlackBerry's "EZ Pass" program, which lets customers move from BES and other mobile device management platforms to BES 10. For existing BlackBerry customers, the EZ Pass program matches any active existing on-premise BES license and any active license customers may have from other MDM vendors with a corresponding Silver BES 10 perpetual license, though terms and conditions apply. Customers will also receive free Advantage level technical support with their new license.

Earlier this year, BlackBerry simplified its BES pricing and licensing structure. The company's Silver tier of service includes full device, application, email and security management for BlackBerry, iOS and Android devices, including BlackBerry Balance, which separates personal and work data on BlackBerry 10 smartphones. The Gold tier adds BlackBerry's Secure Work Space containerization solution for iOS and Android, and advanced BlackBerry 10 management and security features for security-focused customers in the government, financial services and healthcare industries. Customers can get an annual subscription or a perpetual license. In the case of subscription, Silver service is $19 per user per year and Gold is $60 per user per year.

For more:
- see this Wireless Week article
- see this N4BB article

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