TORONTO - BlackBerry's chief operating officer says the former smartphone leader's shift to being a software company is complete, but branding itself as a software player remains challenging.

Marty Beard said the company has 100 per cent completed its transformation from making smartphones to focusing on its growing software business.

He said BlackBerry (TSX:BB) is now focused on capturing what it sees as a significant trend, connectivity, and securing all the devices consumers and businesses connect to their Internet networks.

One burgeoning market it feels poised to capitalize on is self-driving vehicles, where Beard said security is a big concern for the industry.

The COO believes BlackBerry's reputation for developing secure software positions it as a leader in that space, but with its legacy in smartphones it's difficult to inform potential clients of the company's new direction.

He said BlackBerry has amped up its marketing efforts to ensure clients understand it has the software products they may need to secure a broad range of devices.

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