Chris Pepin

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BlackBerry, enterprise, RIM, smartphone

2013: The year of RIM BlackBerry

With 2012 winding down, I’m starting to think ahead to 2013.   From a mobile enterprise perspective, 2013 is shaping up to be the year of BlackBerry.

I know what you’re thinking, RIM is becoming less relevant in the post Google and Apple and some enterprises are dropping BlackBerry altogether.   RIM’s new smartphone platform, 10, was scheduled to be released earlier this year and has slipped to early 2013.   However, the point is that the majority of enterprises are leveraging BlackBerry today, in addition to Apple iOS and Google Android, and they have some key decisions to make in 2013:

  • Do I support BlackBerry 10?  BlackBerry 10 devices won’t work with existing BlackBerry Enterprise Servers (BES) deployed at most enterprises and instead require new BlackBerry Fusion infrastructure
  • Most enterprises are in the process of deploying MDM software.  Do I leverage Fusion?  Another solution?  Or a combination of the two?
  • Do I sunset BlackBerry and migrate to iOS and Android?
One of the key advantages of BlackBerry is that it includes encryption, MDM, separation of work and personal data as well as VPN in one package.  With Android and iOS, multiple third-party solutions are required in most instances which increases cost and complexity.
What are your thoughts on the future of BlackBerry inside the enterprise?
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  1. Speaking as a BlackBerry employee it's very clear where my thoughts lie.
    But the biggest issue is not with the technology, it's with modern culture. People just don't care about security… until it's too late. By people I mean Joe Public, not Companies.
    Companies obviously want their data secure, but then you get Joe Public who has a nice shiny new phone and wants to be able to read their work email on it. It's very easy to set it up. Every smart phone can do this. And that is when the problems start. When a person leaves the Company, or a phone gets stolen, or even, dare I say it, hacked. By then it's too late.
    Obviously if you don't care about your emails then there is no harm choosing the cheapest or flashyist phones going. But how many people actually know what can and cannot be done on a phone. Ask the next person you meet in the street, and I bet they can't tell you. More to the point, they probably don't care either.

  2. I think the whole BYOD thing is overrated. Its fine for mail and calendar, but enterprises are starting to get serious about deploying mobile apps to their workforce.

    It just does not make sense from a corporate standpoint to allow users to run any platform if that means they will be forced to develop, deploy and maintain internal applications on iOS, Android, Blackberry, and Microsoft mobile platforms.

    Not everything can or should be run in a browser, either.

    Now, if forced to choose one platform for internal apps, RIM is a good choice from a security standpoint as well as a 'complete solution' standpoint.

  3. BlackBerry has had it times. There is still some place for them. But companies are looking into more user-friendly (or better: user-known) devices. As of today iOS and Android are the best opinions to choose. I've moderated several customer meetings and webinars in the past weeks and nearly all of those companies are replacing BB/Nokia/WinMobile with iOS. Android is IMHO a topic for BYO, but that's another story. Take a look at Barclays Bank – they are deploying iOS…

  4. Great feedback. Thanks everyone. I agree BlackBerry handsets and the associated applications haven't always kept pace with the competition. In addition, enterprise users don't always think of the back-end infrastructure and security – there is an intense focus on the end user experience. There are no one size fits all mobile solutions and competition will continue to drive innovation and differentiation.

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