We are a challenger

We are a challenger

Value added distributor Kappa Data has added BlackBerry to its portfolio as a vendor in 2020. Rubin Zwanenburg (Sales Manager Kappa Data), Rafaël Lepoutre (Business Development Manager Kappa Data) and John Schaap (Senior Director Benelux & Nordics BlackBerry) about their collaboration, ambitions and unique way of working.

Kappa Data’s ambitions do not lie. “Our goal is to grow from 40 to 100 million euro turnover within five years,” says Rubin Zwanenburg, Sales Manager at the value added distributor. “We will do this by expanding internationally, focusing on specialization. However, we are 100% channel oriented and will continue to operate as a value added distributor.”

Zwanenburg describes Kappa Data as a challenger, a challenger in the market. “We’re a little opinionated. We like to start the conversation and trigger the customer. We understand the customer’s business. It’s very important to think along with the partner’s revenue models and challenge the customer to get the best out of their business. What you see now is a shift from a transactional to a subscription model. We have specialized products and services in our portfolio that align with this transition.”

“We try to find growth before the competition does,” adds Raphael Lepoutre, Business Development Manager Kappa Data. “We do that through tactical and strategic discussions with partners. What sets us apart is that we have the knowledge and expertise to support the customer and also facilitate training and workshops.”

Performance Commitment

A lot of companies and organizations enter into a performance obligation, says Zwanenburg. “In short: ‘You ask, we turn.’ With us, however, it is possible to agree on a performance commitment. The moment a product or service does not deliver the desired result, we do not enter into an agreement. This way you ensure that you have a good and substantive conversation with the partner and the customer about the solution. We prefer to start the conversation and not ‘just’ come up with a proposal. The solutions we offer can therefore sometimes come as a surprise!”

Kappa Data and BlackBerry

BlackBerry was added as a vendor to Kappa Data’s portfolio in 2020. Lepoutre: “Before that, we already had Cylance in our portfolio – before it was acquired by BlackBerry. The Cylance products with the typical AI technology are now perfectly woven into BlackBerry’s security portfolio. So we at Kappa Data have had the knowledge and experience for a number of years to work with partners to roll out large and small projects from the initial product presentation and Proof of Concept (POC) to the final implementation of the solution at the end customer.”

John Schaap, Senior Director Benelux & Nordics at BlackBerry: “BlackBerry has existed for 37 years now. The general public still knows us for our phones, but that is no longer what we do. We have transformed from a ‘device company’ to a ‘software security & services company’. Initially we responded to the need to manage your smartphone with our mobile device management tools, later this was transformed into a mobile application management tool, with a secure container in which you could separate your business environment from your private environment. We eventually developed this platform into a unified endpoint management environment. Our solutions are able to recognize malware, viruses and other nastiness without signatures. It is therefore not necessary, for example, to download virus updates every day; our tools look at the behavior of software.

Our tools look at the behavior of software. Prevention is better than cure’

Our adage is: prevention is better than cure. Most security solutions focus on detection & response; our solution stops threats even before they reach the endpoint. If something is detected that is not right, you can automatically define follow-up actions in the policy of your unified enpoint management environment. That offers great cost advantages.” BlackBerry’s solutions are mostly used in regulated environments, think governments and banks. “But we also created a separate division for the automotive industry. There are now more than 175 million cars driving around using BlackBerry software. Recently, we entered into a partnership with Amazon, developing a platform for securing self-driving cars.”


Channel is of vital importance to BlackBerry. Schaap: “Kappa Data as a distributor plays a crucial role in this. Channel is the ‘extended team’ for us. As BlackBerry we cannot possibly serve the entire market. It is therefore very important to have good partners who deliver added value. And that’s where Kappa Data and BlackBerry come together.” Rubin Zwanenburg: “BlackBerry is really an Enterprise class solution and Kappa Data supports the partners in the Netherlands to be able to deliver and implement that solution also at the smaller organizations.” BlackBerry offers solutions to both the top end of the market as well as to SMEs. “It is a misunderstanding to think that BlackBerry is an Enterprise product pur sang,” explains Rafaël Lepoutre. “A particularly user-friendly solution like BlackBerry Protect and the Cyber Suite can be perfectly installed for 50 users, for example. Certainly with our certified technicians, we have all the knowledge we need to start supporting partners with installation and implementation.”

“Unknown makes unloved,” emphasizes John Schaap. “It’s up to us to put the advantages of our solutions and the cooperation with Kappa Data in the limelight.”

[This article was previously published in ChannelConnect 2 – 2020 (Dutch)]