John Chen looking for his own dance partner to compete against IBM and Apple

John Chen BlackBerry CEO

A half-year into his tenure as BlackBerry’s CEO, John Chen has developed a reputation for delivering great quotes with a dry wit. Chen was in fine form earlier this week when he told the Financial Times he wasn’t concerned about the recently announced deal between Apple and IBM, likening the partnership to when “two elephants start dancing.”

While Chen acknowledged the current industry perception that his company now faces an imposing challenger, he also declared that the partnership could be seen as good news for Blackberry, because it “validates what is a huge market.”

While market validation is desirable, market share is preferable, and Chen knows that BlackBerry can’t provide a complete enterprise services offering alone. The CEO also indicated to the Financial Times that he is working on potential partnerships.

“I am working on some, and maybe we will collaborate with others,” Chen told the Financial Times. “If I focus on security and identity management then we will be a good solid partner in this enterprise world.”

Analysts have pinned SAP and Oracle as two potential partnerships for BlackBerry, as both companies are placing greater emphasis on cloud services (BlackBerry just this week announced that BES10 is now available as a hosted service). It remains to be seen if Chen’s history with SAP will be of use in that regard, or if his former company has tired of him hiring away its senior executives. Whatever dance partner Chen chooses, expect him to make the decision as quickly as possible

[source]Financial Times[/source][via]Financial Post / Globe and Mail[/via]