Page 3 of 3
RIM may have found at least one way to shake things up and make its BlackBerry brand more compelling these days, thanks to the release of its new BlackBerry Mobile Fusion solution.
This mobile device management solution is intended to help IT teams administer the variety of mobile devices pouring into the corporate world by enabling them to monitor them all through a single Web-based console. What’s most interesting about RIM’s new solution, though, is that it not only supports BlackBerry smartphones and tablets -- it supports devices running on iOS and Android, as well.
Steven Kantorowitz, President of CelPro Associates, a New York-based BlackBerry service provider and systems integrator, views the multi-device support model seen with the new BlackBerry Mobile Fusion product as a step in the right direction for RIM, as it marks the first time a BlackBerry enterprise server will be able to support non-RIM devices. More importantly, though, the solution shows that RIM is cognizant of its competitors seeping further and further into the corporate world.
"They are acknowledging that they aren’t controlling the whole market," Kantorowitz said of RIM. And, he continued, if the company stays on this security-focused path, its downward turn in the market could quickly turn around. "Even more than the 'cool' factor, security is number one in the enterprise. They need to make this their biggest emphasis."
Despite all the hype surrounding Apple and Android, many RIM service providers are rooting for the enterprise smartphone maker and hope to see it reclaim its share of the market. Without competition, Shea noted, Apple and Google may simply get too comfortable (just as RIM may have had a few years ago), and lose their bright-eyed eagerness to innovate. What’s more, a lack of competition means fewer options for end users, and could ultimately drive up smartphone prices.
"If it just comes down to Apple and Google it's sad because what will happen now is that they will get fat and happy and stop innovating. A lack of competition means a lack of price pressure. Look at the monopoly Microsoft has had for the last 25 years," Shea told CRN. "They are finally starting to feel threatened by one competitor and they’re in a complete panic. But how much better is it for the rest of us that we have choice, and that there are new technologies that come from that competition and new pricing that comes from that competition?"
While RIM declined to comment for this story, the company is still presenting an optimistic and even defiant message to the public. Upon announcing its Q3 quarterly earnings of $265 million – which are down drastically year over year from the $911 million it reported in Q3 of 2010 – RIM expressed its determination to stay in the mobility game.
"We are certainly not satisfied with the situation in the US market," said RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie. "So we are absolutely planning a comprehensive set of marketing, advertisement, and promotional plans. And you are going to see that happen imminently."