Thursday 12 January 2012

RIM and Blackberry – It’s Death May Be Bad For Business

We have had our fair share of beefs with BlackBerry and the BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express (BESx) over the years.

When it works it works. But when it doesn’t it can be a real angry bear to deal with as OWN has recently demonstrated:


While we have had our own issues with BESx 4 and 5 over the years, much of our experience was with clients that were local to their region. Meaning that most of our clients no matter where they were in the world did not do a lot of travelling.

Lately we have been working with a relatively new client that has offices in Canada and South East Asia as well as folks that travel to many parts of the world.

They all carry BlackBerry (BB) handsets and subscribe to their services.

In our discussions with our new client about BB and our experiences they acknowledged that indeed there can be some pain associated with the service but for the most part it just works.

However the principle reason that BB was so vital to their business was that their handsets worked _anywhere_ they went in the world to do business. RIM and BB are in _all_ of the foreign markets they travel to.

There is no need to figure out if the carrier has roaming agreements with carriers in the foreign markets. There is no need to figure out if the handset or handsets they need will work in each of the foreign markets that the users would be visiting.

BB just works no matter where they are (though they have had a few issues on this front lately), it is secure (relatively depending on which rumours we believe about governments, back doors and BB services – see point before this one), and every handset no matter where they are in the world can be managed from one point.

So, if Research in Motion does go belly up where will this leave all of the International Enterprises, Small to Medium Enterprises, and our SMB world travelling client?

Probably in a place both accounting and IT would not want to be in managing all of those foreign handsets and cell provider accounts, or huge roaming expenses.

Talk about a possible nightmare with a huge expense attached to it. :(

Given this newly found perspective: Go RIM!

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

1 comment:

Doug H. said...


Good post. :-) I'll add a few more points:
* No other smartphone can beat the data efficiency of RIM handsets. Even though emails are small in size, the data compression still adds up to significant roaming savings when out of the home country for weeks at a time.
* RIM market share is actually growing in many emerging markets, meaning international companies are MORE likely to have customers and suppliers that use BlackBerry in the future. That means more customers you can PIN/BBM instead of sending $0.50 text message when abroad!
* BlackBerry handsets without BES, (and the related BESx or forthcoming BB Business Cloud Services) are no more secure than other smartphones (I believe the only thing on top of SSL is a hash common to all BB). BES is for business so if you're a business with BlackBerry's your business should use BES.

Indeed RIM has a lot of challenges ahead of it, but I too wish them all the best in prevailing as a long-term player in the mobile marketplace.