BlackBerry Limited today announced it is expanding its partnerships with Android and PLDT Enterprise, through Smart Communications Inc. to provide MiCab, an online taxi-hailing platform, with an integrated, secure enterprise cloud solution that maintains data privacy, meets compliance and accelerates service delivery.
The solution combines the ease-of-management and gold-standard security of BlackBerry Unified End-Point Management (UEM), with the flexible, customizable nature of Android Enterprise and network connectivity and devices from Smart. Together, the partners are enabling ‘mobile-first’ company MiCab to securely manage and connect thousands of drivers with millions of passengers via a fleet of tablet devices. In addition, BlackBerry is providing professional cybersecurity consulting services to MiCab.
Amit Mehta, Managing Director, BlackBerry South East Asia and India said, “BlackBerry is a software and services company that secures the Enterprise of Things, helping hyper-connected companies like MiCab get ultra-secure. We are excited to make this announcement today with Android, Smart and MiCab because it is a great example of how our secure platform and innovative partnerships are delivering measurable outcomes for customers, including accelerated efficiency and cost reduction. We are continuing to expand upon this innovative partnership blueprint to provide secure solutions for customers in many verticals, from finance to manufacturing and healthcare.”
MiCab provides tablets and mobile apps to local taxi firms in the Philippines, mostly in Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, and Metro Manila. Mounted in the front of the taxis, the tablets display map, driver, passenger and fare details and are fully locked down by Android Enterprise, only allowing drivers to access the MiCab app, while being centrally managed by BlackBerry UEM. MiCab connects drivers to passengers through the MiCab app, giving real-time access to taxis based on proximity and profiles of both passengers and drivers. Instead of charging passengers booking fees or surge pricing, MiCab monetizes its business through brands and companies that want to reach its user base. With this volume of sensitive data, MiCab needed a solution that was equally as secure, as it was flexible and scalable for the growing company.
After a successful trial, MiCab has rolled out approximately 12,000 seven-inch Android tablets to its fleet of drivers secured by BlackBerry UEM, supported by Smart, and fully integrated with Android Enterprise. MiCab plans to scale up the deployment to 15,000 devices by the end of 2018, with further plans for the solution to support future initiatives in healthcare and supply-chain logistics.
MiCab Co-founder and CEO, Eddie Ybanez says, “As an agile mobile digital transportation company, our priority is to deliver the best service for our customers, however as we continue to rapidly scale, innovate and deliver smarter services, we have to address risks such as regulation and cyber threats. We have an almost endless list of requirements – compliance, flexibility, scalability, ease of deployment, price – and especially security and privacy of our customers’ sensitive information. Together, BlackBerry, Android and Smart have delivered an integrated end-to-end service that goes far beyond meeting our needs, providing a secure technology platform and support services to enable true business and customer delivery transformation.”
Under new government regulation, licensed taxi firms in the Philippines are mandated to provide GPS and free Wi-Fi in vehicles nationwide, presenting risks to sensitive customer information. Responding to this, the partners worked together with MiCab to deliver a solution that met these regulatory requirements and addressed their business transformation goals.
For passengers and drivers, MiCab is enabling new efficiencies in service delivery, starting with connecting people in remote locations in real-time and helping them avoid queues in highly populated areas. For MiCab, the BlackBerry UEM and Android Enterprise solution has enabled several benefits such as:
- Offering taxi companies cost-friendly devices on affordable tariff plans from Smart Communications
- Flexible deployment with Android Enterprise which enables the ‘kiosk-mode’ management of devices, tracked from a single BlackBerry UEM console for complete ease of management
- Capability to deliver over-the-air installation of new applications and configuration updates, eliminating the need for any mass device recall
- Cost control by restricting data consumption through unauthorized access to applications, including the public Play Store
- The ability to identify and prevent device tampering such as rooting or jail-breaking, wiping stolen devices, and locking-out rogue drivers (ensuring the devices are used only for communicating with and transporting passengers)
- Compliance with new government regulations (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board) to regulate and modernize the taxi transport system in the Philippines
- Reducing costs to the business by reducing costs through Smart’s bundling of data and devices on tariff plans, combined with BlackBerry UEM Cloud and BlackBerry (Cybersecurity) Professional Services, which offers dedicated cybersecurity expertise to ensure smooth delivery.
Gerard Kennedy, Head of Android Enterprise, APJ, Google says, “Android powers mobile connected workforces, with multiple layers of security, comprehensive management and a range of devices for companies throughout Asia and around the world. We partner with BlackBerry globally and are excited to see how the combined strengths of Android Enterprise, BlackBerry UEM and our partner, Smart Philippines, can deliver such impactful results for innovative, young and fast-growth businesses like MiCab. This is a great example of how the affordability and flexibility of Android Enterprise, along with its trusted security, can really drive business results.”
“The Philippines is a nation of fast emerging mobile-first enterprises, creating significant growth potential for all, but exposing companies to more cyber-risk. MiCab is one example of a customer with a set of complex requirements to create a simple offering – immediate, safe and trustworthy ride experiences. Together with BlackBerry and Android, we have offered MiCab a solution that incorporates mobile security, scale deployment, remote management, along with cost controls and reliable connectivity. We are also working with BlackBerry to offer secure and flexible business bundles for several other industries in the Philippines such as banking and finance, call centers, logistics, healthcare and certain segments of the public sector,” says Chet Alviz, AVP and Head of Enterprise Wireless Products and Smart Infinity.
MiCab CEO Eddie concludes, “In the near future, we’re also planning to further leverage the solution with new services, including MiCargo which is a cargo-logistics application that connects consumers to couriers and then a healthcare application named MiHealth which connects patients to their doctors. We see an exciting future with BlackBerry, Smart and Android and how they can support our vision.”