Interop: BlackBerry Says Voice Is Still The 'Killer App'

"Cellular phone calls are the main motivating factor for carrying a mobile device with you," RIM CTO David Yach said during his keynote speech at Interop New York and the Mobile Business Expo.

But RIM is looking to change that, by integrating applications such as SAP and CRM that look just as native as they do on a smart phone screen as they do on a laptop. There's a long way to go, he said, noting that there isn't much that can be done for an application that looks nice on a 21-inch monitor to offer the same experience on a 2-inch smart phone screen.

Size, however, isn't the only constraint inhibiting mobile application use. Bandwidth issues and finite battery life also come into play.

RIM is looking to application developers to help mobilize their offerings and make them more suitable for a smart phone environment.

Sponsored post

Currently, RIM is working with SAP to offer a mobile CRM application through which users get one or two click access to SAP CRM directly from their BlackBerry address book, inbox calendar or applications; and can have a seamless synchronization of CRM contacts and tasks, Yach said. RIM will also hold a developer's conference next month to give application creators' perspective on the challenges of application use on a smart phone.

Still, Yach said, mobility is changing the way the world works, creating challenges for both IT and end-users in the process.

While looking to increase usage of applications on mobile devices, RIM is also hoping to capitalize on voice being king. Yach said RIM's Mobile Voice System extends desk phone functionality to smart phones, giving users one number reach, simultaneous ringing on both machines, one voicemail box and a host of standard desk phone capabilities, like mute, hold, transfer and more.

Yach admits that mobility is a more challenging environment than the wired world, but he urged IT departments to work together to develop mobile strategies and plans around managing mobile businesses. He said for mobility to become a true business tool in the enterprise it needs to be secure and reliable, and IT needs to manage and control it. It also needs to be scalable.

"The data that you house and you manage is a core corporate asset," he said.

Yach cited statistics that indicate that 56 percent of enterprises are increasing mobile voice spending and 63 percent increased mobile data spending in 2007. He said that's a sign that mobility is about to boom and IT department should take note.

"The whole mobility thing is coming," he said.