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Halliburton and NOAA say "Goodbye to BlackBerry." Can RIM Maintain its Strength in the Enterprise?

Enterprise RIM Train On or Off the Tracks?!
By Chris Umiastowski on 13 Feb 2012 10:25 am EST
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In the last week we've seen two significant stories that further suggest RIM is losing what was once its iron-clad grip on corporate IT departments.

The giant energy company Halliburton, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are both said to be giving up BlackBerry deployments in favor of Apple's iPhone and iPad.

In fact, in the case of NOAA, an official memo obtained by The Loop reportedly says that BlackBerry is being removed from the administration's list of supported devices.

So what does all this mean in the short term and long term? What is RIM doing to address it? That's what I'd like to talk about.

If we think back to how RIM became such a strong force in the smartphone marketplace, it started with the enterprise. BlackBerry was built as a solution for mobile access to email in the corporate market. It was built to address the needs of IT departments and executives. As with all new technologies, it was expensive, and a luxury item for those who had one.

RIM ended up in the consumer market "by accident", as they often explain. That's probably not the best explanation because it surely wasn't an accident. Laser printers started in the enterprise, but now they're commonplace. I wouldn't call that an accident. It was just the natural evolution of demand.

Same with smartphones. They got cheaper, and instead of just corporate types wanting them so did spouses, nannies, children and friends. And let's not forget the self employed or consultant types who have no need for BES, and are buying through ordinary consumer channels.

Today, the consumers hold the power. This argument was well explained by David Lynch in his recent article at the Ottawa Business Journal.

A friend of mine who works in engineering sales for a $20 billion electronics supplier explained to me how his regional president simply "decided" that all VPs would get iPads. Despite pushback from IT, the technical folks had to find a way to make it work.

So IT departments are facing pressure from employees who want to bring their own device, and from heavy-hitting executives who (acting like consumers), just enforce their wishes on the company.

The result? The focus on security is lessened, and companies settle for "good enough" .

Now let's talk about Halliburton, NOAA, and any other company that shifts from BlackBerry to iPhone. The fact is, this is inevitable if you believe that consumers are driving the market.

Put another way, these corporate moves are the tail rather than the dog. They are the lagging indicator rather than the leading indicator. The consumers are the ones to watch. The corporations simply follow.

What is RIM Doing About it?

RIM understood the need to serve consumers a few years ago. They may have been slow in getting moving, but they're well on their way to delivering a compelling consumer experience.

Unlike the Java-based BlackBerry operating systems of today, BlackBerry 10 is built around the needs of a consumer, rather than the needs of enterprise. But because of RIM's enterprise legacy, the OS also gets all of the IT-friendly goodness baked in.

BlackBerry Balance is a perfect example. First introduced as part of the BlackBerry 7 OS, Balance gives employees a personal partition on the device, while IT gets to have full control over the enterprise partition. Work emails can't be copied and pasted into a personal account, for example. If an employee leaves a company with his personal BlackBerry in his hands, the IT department can remotely wipe just the corporate email and apps, leaving the personal part of the device untouched.

The importance of BlackBerry Balance shouldn't be understated. If given the choice between two platforms that are equally powerful and user-friendly, IT will naturally chose the platform that has better security and manageability. But the actual user (the employee) could care less.

So BlackBerry Balance gives IT a way to push back against executives who ask for a wholesale shift to another platform, such as seems to be the case with Halliburton and NOAA.

But as we've seen, IT pushback is futile when the consumer friendliness of the alternative platform is far superior. This explains why it is so critical for RIM to deliver a top notch user experience to consumers first, rather than worry about the feature list of BES.

Here's the bottom line as I see it: Losing corporate customers is never good. But in the short term, it's simply the obvious result of RIM's mistakes over the past few years. Let's face it - the iPhone and iPad and iOS are fantastic products. It's natural to see some companies defect. It's not a death blow to RIM by any means.

And in the long term, if BlackBerry 10 delivers on its promises, I think RIM stands an excellent chance of remaining the defacto choice among corporate mobility solutions. But this depends entirely on their execution.

It always seems to come back to execution, doesn't it?

Reader comments

Halliburton and NOAA say "Goodbye to BlackBerry." Can RIM Maintain its Strength in the Enterprise?

124 Comments

Yes - It is all about execution.
- While BB delivered several devices, others concentrated on making a few very capable devices.

When issues arose they were very VERY slow to fix them
- BB storm was a great device, but would die if you tried to install and run more apps (used the ltd system memory)
- BB playbook was another amazing device but useless in corp environment. With all its issues is basically a browser on limited security networks. It does not do wifi or VPN into majority enterprise networks (if it is working on yours you better look at your security)

Any time you innovate you WILL have issues, it is how you deal with them that is key ...and BB let a lot of people down for too long. Still, they are a strong company and can bounce back if do not repeast mistakes of the past.

I think the Playbook original OS was a great corporate device. Blackberry Bridge made it a nice secure tablet that I think is what made it such a crap consumer device. I honestly don't know if there is much of a future for Blackberry without Google or Microsoft in front of it. I think they have stumbled too much of late. If the latest gen of devices don't sell out of the gate, look for the For Sale sign. And at this point in the game, no matter how fantastic and amazing this next gen of phones is, I think bad press and poor marketing has already ear-marked them for failure.

Fortunately, Microsoft does support blackberry with their cloud and office 365 services to enterprise. I believe one of their directors came to the dev. con last year in October.

Oddly the Sear's Canada repairman that came to my house gave me my invoice print-out by using a Playbook, BB phone and thermal printer that he pull out of a small pouch he carries. He informed me they were all issue this combination last December. Don't hear about that nor will you. Eventually it will be revealed what organization is behind all the negative media about Blackberry.

this is a joke right? sears is in even worse condition than RIM is with vastly dropping profits quarter after quarter. i would not be surprised if Target also bought them out.

Well, playbooks would be better value than ipads. So I think Sears would be obligated to save money.

I agree Chris.
With so many companies/corporations switching to the BYOD model, RIM merely has to build a consumer smartphone that competes better with iOS and Android (perhaps even Windows on Nokia's soon) so everyone wants a BB again and then we will find that people will naturally bring them back into the corporate world once again.
Still love my BB and PB.

The truth is, just about nobody cares about security.

The consumer market does and will continue to drive enterprise.

I beg a differ. If Blackberry converts 70% of android apps, fills their app store as BB10 allows this to happen. Essentially, BB10 is equal in OS capability to Android with a good number of Apps. So how would you differentiate your product besides hardware?

Ans.

Security: Android < iOS < BB10
OS capabilities: All =
Apps currently: BB10 < Android < iOS --> After android port
BB10 = Android < iOS

To be honest, this is a chess games with high stakes. Rim decided to go it alone on their strengths, i.e. security and communications. They now will position their phone to do everything else as well. Hopefully, giving the competition a run for their money. Go Blackberry!

You may be right that no one or few care now, but I don't think I'd like to build my business strategy on this statement, since there is s big risk that someday they will.

Furthermore, it makes $$$ sense. When you bring your own device, you are provided a small allowance for having a smartphone. That was not the case when Blackberries where provided to employees. The cost for phone and data would end up somewhere around ~$70-80 per device in a pool. Not to mention, the company was on the hook for the 2 years contract per line... and if the employee left, it was still $10 per month for a dormant device. Seriously, It was one of the highest bills IT departments had to cover. So think about it, give an employee $35-40 mobile allowance or foot the entire bill??? It's a no brainer no matter what phone they decide to bring in.

first...I guess third LOL

I blame the RIM salespersons. They are the ones who should push the new BB7 and Playbook to corporate IT depts. Showcase the abilities, provide support, do whatever necessary to make corporate America aware of the new line of BB phones. Just looking around on the commuter trains, I can not spot one BB 7 phone...why, well it's because people and IT depts DON'T KNOW OF THEIR EXISTENCE..

The problem is that corporate IT departments don't have the sway to make the decision, the lines of business do, and LoBs want a more capable environment than what BlackBerries traditionally offer. You can sell all you like the to CIO or IT Director, but it's the VP of Sales who matters.

RIM needed (past tense) to provide apps and services that users (not IT departments) want. Selling security is nice, but when iOS devices are good enough for most people, and BlackBerry's app ecosystem was not good enough for most people for a very long time.

This seems to be changing, but the question is: is it too late?

I have issue with this stance. A corporate Blackberry is procured for the usage it was deployed for. For pretty much 95% of companies that was for mobile (secure) email and voice. The use of "Apps" was not even on the radar of any IT shops, at least not consumer focused ones.

Don't confuse consumers wants as needs of a business. The top 25 in the AppStore is telling to how the bulk of iOS devices are being used.

I put it this way, if we deployed a iPhone locked down similar to a Blackberry and it's purpose was email and phone would you still be sweating the iPhone?

are you kidding me? have you seen the 'top' selling apps in the blackberry app world for playbook? ALL old games recycled from iOS. this alone should tell you what blackberry users REALLY want (an iphone/ipad).

No .. due to the bulk of Playbook sales thus far have been to consumers. There is not a huge corporate presense buying Playbooks.

Just because a company first develops a game for the platform doesnt mean when they develop it for another platform that its being recycled from the original platform. And right - BB users REALLY want iToys. GTFO troll.

"would you still be sweating the iPhone?"

I would if the email wasn't secure.

And at the end of the following year, after seeing the 10-20% increase in communications costs, I'd quietly move back to using BlackBerry.

Haliburton etc clearly haven't done their homework. Then again they're subsidised to the hilt by the US taxpayer so I guess costs aren't a major concern.

Wow--yet another example of how far some people here are disconnected from reality. "Halliburton clearly hasn't done their homework." Luckily this major corporation with its giant IT organization has you, br14, to save the day. How stupid could they be??

And this 10-20% increase is related to what, data costs because our blessed BBs are so "efficient." Right--luckily for Halliburton an unlimited data plan costs LESS than a BES-enabled unlimited BlackBerry data plan. If I switched to an iPhone from my 9850, my cell phone bill (that I submit with my expense report for reimbursement) would be LESS.

Nobody is coming back until BB10 delivers on the "wow" factor we've been promised.

Good point here, but maybe not as good as you think. Once we see a major shift (and Hali ain't it) to the iPhone and similar (including BB10). You can say bye bye to unlimited data plans. AT&T and Verizon will have companies exactly where they want them, and they are going to squeeze hard!

You are correct. For IT, it is a PITA to support all of these devices. Without the heavy investment of Citrix, I am not even sure how you would push an app or an update to an iphone. The truth is, the BYOD model is cheaper for companies. Heck, people who are not even reimbursed want to get their e-mail on their personal phones. Users also hate policies and restrictions placed on phones. So you are correct, if the iphone were to be locked down, they would complain the same about it. Someone on here said something about corporate unlimited data plans though... Maybe if you use Sprint, but end users hate Sprint reception. But why would the company care about overages, they would only cover the company related utilization. The rest is on you. See the allure?

This is it exactly. I can stand in front of my VIPs and explain point after point after point why the Blackberry platform is the only device that makes sense for a secure, corporate infrastructure, but when all they can think of and want are the devices that are buzzing. Their kids want iPhones, their friends have iPhones. They want an iPhone and when they write the checks... they get what they want and we make it work. I miss the days where I only had to train my techs in the world of blackberry. Now i carry 2 devices (alternate between iphone and android for second) and stare at my blackberry certs and wonder if i've wasted my time.

I am a LOB manager and fully agree with you. We push our IT dept to make our requests work; where 3 years ago we went to them asking what will work. There has been a change.

You've really hit this out of the park here. If you are trying to sell something (a product, an idea, etc) and the consumer (joe blow on the street or IT manager) doesn't quite understand why they should go with you and not the other guy...that ain't the consumer's fault...its yours.

Halliburton and NOAA will get hacked along with the other corporate dummies who choose convenience over security. The government agencies who have adopted iOs devices have it coming too...

That's not enough - to say that it will happen. If RIM isn't working with hacker groups to try to expose iOS's flaws, then they should be. RIM needs to learn how to play hardball. They are too nice. Don't get me wrong, I like that they play nice, but they are going to lose if they don't get aggressive. I like that they keep building their phones outside of China, but like Nokia, they will probably have to change that just to compete. Pretty sad.

Phrase anonymous for all their driving forces. :D They'll be back in black for sure once a major hit arrives! HOME RUN DATA BBBBBBBRRRRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEAAAAACCCCHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol

all i can say to blackberry is .. wakeup from your sleep and hit the road. do something innovative. else you will see many more in coming months.

I do. You must not have spent any time in the BB7 device forums reading about all the issues (both hardware and software). Bad parts/ poor construction back buttons; devices that fail to wake from charger; device media processor errors. Not to mention the unforced error in planning (no autofocus camera, no ffc; plastic touchscreen, etc). The freakin touch screen flag ship has already been EOL on 2 major NA carriers. There is 8-10 months before RIM has BB10 devices out there and BES admins can get them tested and the servers running them. That is a M_F lifetime in Tech Land.

I have never seen anything so fox new-ish as the tripe you just posted. Fair and balanced there Hannity - right? ROFL!

First of all, all devices have issues, if they didn't, you could just keep releasing new os updates until a breakthrough in technology came around. As for NA carriers dropping the BB, it is not hard to believe. Being a Canadian, I know NA consumers have the attention span of a 2-month old baby. When they see something shiny, they change their focus. Case in point, iphone 4 vs 4s. The phones are identical. Add a improved camera and a lazy feature (siri) and you have hooked the brain-dead people onto a new device. And if you didn't know, NA is not the center of the world, there are 2+ billion people in China and India alone. Let me know how BB is doing there. Yep, thats what i thought.

Your ignorance is amusing.
Blackberry sales in China are abysmal at best. Very very few people are purchasing the devices...a simple Google search would have told you that. Common sense would also have told you that BlackBerry messenger (the main draw for most consumers who buy BBs) will NEVER be allowed uncensored (or even allowed at all) in China.

As we speak, indian and African sales are under increasing assault from sales of cheap android devices.

Finally, the iPhone 4S has an improved processor, improved GPU and increased storage over the iPhone 4....Not just the camera and Siri. On a hardware level it is much more powerful than the Bold 9900. I know because I have both devices.

could't agree more,coz I live in china,and,all the people aroud me ,what they want is a iphone or ipad. and ever the most popular apps did't support bb,what a disaster!

Excellent article, and agreed that if RIM can become more popular with the BB10 OS with consumers, then it will help support them back into the enterprise. Really still having any footing in IT can help them maintain and grow there. Apple products got popular for consumers and are now showing up in the work environment, so why can't RIM up the game and pull a 180 while their enterprise #'s are still strong. Apple's consumer popularity got them into RIM's playground. RIM can do the same thing with BB10, but it will be a return and not a 1st time thing unlike how things have went for iOS and others.
Boldly sent from my 9930

I'm not quite sure we are talking about the same planet. Imagine an IT Manager who has gone through the time and effort to allow other devices (android iOS) onto their system. So what blackberry comes out with a version 10? It will just be another device that uses active synch like the rest. Plus users are going to stick to what they know. And right now they are getting to know android and apple.

I expect things to change, but not until the public gets the bad taste out of their mouth. Remember apple went through the same thing and I did not turn around in a year. It took YEARS.

Rim, needs to get off their arses and start moving. New devices should be coming out instead of being talked about !! Also QC is one of the things that has been lacking for some time with the Blackberry products. That's also a big factor these days and needs to be acknowledged. I am a big time Rim supporter and hate to see it go this way.......Hope it all turnes around sooner than later !!

RIM supporter or not, you've made an oxymoronic statement.

You talk about RIM shoving BlackBerry devices out the door rather than talk about them, then RIGHT after you mentioned that QC is lacking. Well, QC will prevent the devices from being shipped out.

This is not pertaining to doni01:

I think, as brilliant as everyone thinks they are, RIM is doing just fine with device releases. None of these pontificating normies have a company like RIM to manage, so what gives you all the right to complain? Or offer any sort of suggestion?

It's an internet blog about RIMM and Blackberry. With a request to comment.

And from having been here for several years, I know that RIM is listening - they may not hear a bloddy thing, but they are listening and reading. Trust me, in the early days they shut down more than their share of leaks on CB.

Don't get me wrong. I know for fact that they, or employees OF RIM are listening. I just find it funny that people think the company would consider even the LEAST far-out suggestion. Having been here for so long, you must know what I mean.

You need to get your product out the door but built with quality. Apple doesn't release that many products. Android seems to release a lot cause damn it's just the same OS on every device. They can only differentiate on hardware. However, if you were blackberry why would you release a product that lacks security which what your known of. This will make you as irresponsible as google wallet scandal. Which we all know must be hurting android users right about now. I expect IT people to be saying, waaaaaaaaaaaaa?

Excellent read!

I wonder if the deployment of BlackBerry 10 devices will bring back corporations that have abandoned BlackBerry in place of iOS. What kinds of adjustments had to be made to bring iOS devices in and will a similar need be necessary with BlackBerry 10?

I think that by the we get phones running BB10, there should be a nice ecosystem between the PlayBook and devices. As of right now, while the PlayBook is a powerful tool (even more powerful with our current BlackBerry devices), the app ecosystem isn't there. When devices are released, PlayBooks will be seen as an even more powerful tool in the enterprise when used in tandem with a BB10 phone.

Is it possible to see a bigger push for PlayBook integration in the enterprise a bit after Tablet OS 2.0 is released?

RIM will respond like they always do, they will continue to say that they are strong everywhere but the US, they'll wait a year or more after they've lost most of their US business and government customers, and then they will respond by saying that they will increase the marketing in the US targeted at businesses. RIM is a lethargic, reactionary entity that neither realizes or admits to a problem until investors hammer away the stock. The problem with BB10 saving the day is that customers already transitioning away from Blackberry are gone, and won't be coming back without a damn good reason. RIM needed BB10 about a year ago not, the end of 2012. They just better hope that all these multinational firms that are more US influenced don't convince their new overseas markets that Apple is way to go.

I think RIM will notice the the US consumer market are a bunch of entitled twats and they will likely care less about catering to them specifically.

The "fan" happens to be the worst enemy and RIM needs supporters right now.

US consumer market is just what you say... but they spend a lot of money each year on new cell phones... the turn over rate on a cell phone is faster than a normal 2 year contract

we want what we want, and spend the money to get it...

i waited a long time with my blackberry 9000 to upgrade, RIM failed to provide me with a product so i switched with the hope that they can put out a product that i want to use and spend my hard earned money on

if im going to spend the big dollars for a communication device im not going to settle for sub par blackberry, when i have more compelling options, though i miss my blackberry, i still cant get everything that i want with the current 99xx- the war in the US over phones is pretty nuts, take samsung vs apple they are pushing each other to put out the best specs possible... i want to know will bb10 devices be enough for me to go back to or again will it be to little to late

if BB10 comes out and can deliver what im looking for then i will switch back- i am a RIM fan, i still check this site daily in the hopes that i will get a device from rim that i can drop my android device, till then its just a waiting game

RIM needs to push out BB10 as fast as possible sooner then expected. And get the message out ASAP!

I have a friend who's a manager for Key Energy, a major oil and gas service company. Not Hallilburton, but a company with an impressive worldwide presence. When he joined Key a few months back they required him to buy a BlackBerry.
Obviously, that's subject to change at any moment, but for the moment their IT guys are winning that conversation... my friend much preferred to stay with his iphone.

Companies that have BES, are still using and likely purchasing BB's for their employees, what you are seeing more of, definitely for us as well, is that employees actually opt to buy or use their own phone/service rather than have an issued blackberry. If rim can't start making devices that people want to have, then especially with Exchange 2010, you will see more and more companies powering off their BES in favor of a straight EAS infrastructure

RIM will not have the first BB10 handheld out for 8 months minimal. Before it can be tested and BES implemented 10 months minimal. Meanwhile 5 of the top 20 A list law firms / previously with thousands of users have opened up to IOS with plans for Android to follow. This has been long expected and overdue. Once you lose the heart of the young user, you have lost. This happenned some years ago, and all those young interns carrying old BBs and new I-pods, then I-phones, have moved up the ladder to be in positions of power and now demand these changes. While their are still those who expect that things will improve. You are very silly indeed. While the BB10 experience will likely be millions of times better than what is currently out there, there will not be enough of corporate users who will want to give it a chance. Not if they have moved from an OS5, OS6, or OS7 device to IOS or Android.

Someone from CB should go to Grand Centralor Penn Station in NYC and interview some business users.

How can you speak so assuredly of this? I look at their flagship QNX device, the playbook. It was rushed to stores and almost universally hated. Now look how much more bad press they are/have received at delay after delay over the OS2, and boy, it better be worth it, because when it launches if it is anything less than stellar, RIM has not yet seen how deep the hole gets...

Rim delay in OS2? Myth busted. They said February still two weeks left last time I checked.

Don't know what time zone you live in!

Big Troll of Doom - Why bother going onto Crackberry if your going to go troll doom. Heck let's sell Blackberry cause it's profitable at the moment. Number one in several countries but not the States. Roll over and die, bet Nokia should do that too. In fact, only 38% of the US market has been tapped for smartphones that have been converted.

Also, Blackberry fusion will be soon tapping into those lovely iOS and Android devices for income. They will basically, use momentum gain from their competitors by license. Not over until we get to see blackberry 10. Then you can say your doom message.

At this point, the best case scenario would be for RIM devices and platform to achieve feature parity. There is simply no way for a new platform to leapfrog the likes of Apple or Google. They had a chance to inspire confidence last year, but they failed quite miserably. I work in IT in a local Government agency in the US, and we have gone from a BB shop to everything but BB in 2 years. I own a 64 GB PB that I purchased on launch day, but it sits unused, save for the occasional beta update. Most of the guys I work with just could never get their heads around the fact that RIM, a company who's core business and claim to fame is mobile corporate e-mail, released a product that lacked that very feature. Not only that, the device has been out for nearly a year and still the core business process that made RIM what it is today (or was) is nowhere to be found. If anything, I just hope to haver e-mail available when 2.0 comes out, so it won't be as depressing to look at my 800 dollar paperweight. Can't really expect anything else.

I don't understand how an intelligent person can spend $800.00 dollars and not have a clue what he is getting.

I purchased a 16GB Playbook on day one and have loved it. I actually have gotten ten people thus far to get Playbooks and they all love them. I actually upgraded to 32GB and got my wife the 64GB one (we gave the other two to family and now we all video chat.)

Faster processor than iPad2, better speakers, better cameras, more portable. On and on. Since I have a BlackBerry phone it just rocks on e-mail, calendar, etc.

I'm glad the native e-mail will be released this month but frankly, with the Bridge feature I've saved enough to completely pay for my often used device in full. The only thing I use more than my Playbook is my Bold 9930.

I enjoy my Playbook as well but it does not have a faster processor (either CPU or GPU) than the iPad 2. Ignore clock speed, the A5 still competes with the quad core Tegra 3 and even beats it on the GPU side.

But I did know what I was getting into. I was certain, at the time, that RIM would be a force in the enterprise market. I love how condescending you are. That is a gift. At least I bought into the hype and have the balls to admit that I del cheated.
I own the 64 GB PB, An Asus Transformer, An iPad and an iPad 2. I also have BB Bold and a Galaxy Nexus. I am a Tech Junkie. I am also not blinded by zealotry. You cannot possible believe all the stuff you're saying, not if you have actually seen and used competing products. You must have some integrity. BB was an excellent platform, when there was nothing else that came close. They did not adapt. They pretty much refused to. But now they're not even the underdog. They are just a once big player stuck in a rut. You all keep talking about letting OS 2.0 cook, and that RIM needs to take their time to make sure everything is perfect. That is unrealistic. They are way behind and in a downward spiral. Their competitors are much faster developing and incorporating features. It will very difficult for RIM to catch up, at their current, albeit deliberate, pace.

So you suggest they release product that lack security and ruin their key differentiation compared to the competitors. They are betting on being different with their products, they don't release a dozen androids that are the same experience.

It is interesting how the Red Cross is handling BlackBerry. I think it helps people understand how this great productivity tool is just not being properly utilized. They handed a friend of mine a laptop and a BlackBerry.
Until last night, when I helped her actually set it up, she used it to make phone calls. No BB Conference, No BB Traffic, No BB Music, nothing.
After I took 20 minutes to set it up, I explained a few simple things to her and she was just amazed she had all this capabilities all along.
"I can speed dial my husband and other friends by just touching a key?", "what do you mean I can go silent by holding down the Q? that is amazing", "You mean BB Traffic allows me to get free voice navigation free?". "I can launch my calendar by tapping the L?".
"What do you mean this is a secure phone that encrypts my communications? Really? Wow!"
Honestly. I think it says something about our society that people in the U.S. are so in love with apple and don't appreciate BlackBerry.
Apple is easier to use but it does not do as much nearly as fast. If you want to have a productive workforce then use BlackBerry (and teach them a few basic things about it). Honestly, I don't mind competitors getting iPhones. I think in business every little bit helps and if my competitors are sitting in a meeting playing angry birds, so much the better for me.

What surprised RIM was not that Apple was so easy to use but how little value they placed on security and reliable push e-mail and messaging. Remember that Apple did not even have this until iOS5. But their devices were dominating in the U.S. long before that.

I'm a big BB fan and when I show my Bold vs. an iPhone the users tend to go with the BlackBerry. Not always but often. The new CEO gets this and is focusing on better marketing. The BlackBerry is not a toy (not to say that the iPhone is just that. It is way more, but it is still behind on productivity though certainly not in marketing).

Seriously. Despite the relentless negative media attacks from the U.S. the BlackBerry, when properly presented and used is an awesome device. Is it for everyone? No. not really. But it does not need to be. Unlike apple that won't be happy until every single person has an iPhone (notice the new Samsung, Nexus lawsuits), BlackBerry can do just fine without being the only or even the biggest.

You will NEVER appreciate anything will you?
I love my blackberry bold 9900, I love all of my computers (netbook, desktop, tablet), digital cameras and camcorders, including the television, my life, my house and all it's belongings regardless of how old/outdated/obsolete they are. Nothing I have is new. It's old or used. :D I am ever so glad I have it all!!! :) RIM is doing just fine. The article is good. Companies have to REALIZE.

I work for a Telecom were BB's are issued for employees. The iPhone is being tested and the iPad is being issued. The IT department is scared but doing what they are told.

Being number 1 means greater security risks. RIM's OS have been rock solid thus far.
iOS has risks, and Android have risks.

I know both iOS and Android include remote wipe like BB Protect, but by the time you figure it out they have bypassed the security and it's too late. I password protect my BB 9900 and sleep easier at night.

This is a very good post chris, but we shouldnt forget the other side of the coin. for example, i know of a company that just took on 2000 new BB`s. so yes, some enterprises are leaving, but some are also joining. i wouldnt want to say these two will ever balance out, but i just wanna say traffic is flowing both ways, not the `one way exit` like so many try to make out.

Im afraid that BB security ones at the cost of having a single point o failure, as millions have found out every time BIS goes down. This days that is simply not enough to sway anybody. Music, Turn by turn directions, calendar, all this things are available and free on other platforms. These are simply not unique features, and they have been added quite recently. This is simply RIM catching up.
I do believe they need to market their wares better. But it is also a sign that BB lacks an intuitive interface.

Halliburton are leaving the secure environment of BES? If there was ever a company that due to its actions needed a secure environment then Halliburton could be a poster child. When they get hacked and they will get hacked they will be begging RIM to take them back. I can't wait for the posts on the internet about these companies secret actions. It will make great reading.

If a person was to define "evil corporation" with examples, haliburton and monsanto would be atop the list. Considering the american economy is failing and haliburton and apple are american "firms" - then it makes sense how the filthy companies would abandon a "foreign" platform, like rim.

This is just menatally challenged. Competition is good, but I highly doubt halibrton cares one iota about secirity, mobile scalability, and all the other compelling device management features the blackberry platform offers. All haliburton has is money and assets, no real morals or ethics. Oh, apple doesn't "compete" by the way, they "bully" and mislead, steal, cheat, and lie. They just pretend to be "cool".

It is amusing to be how an ipad / iphone combination can be deployed on a grand scale, confidently. I really think they're going to regret this decision. But, all that matters is dollars, so whatever.
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in the time of your life, live so that in that good time, there should be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life that your life touches, seek goodness everywhere

RIM keeps customer in the dark when it comes to release dates. This is one of those complaints. The need to learn that "still baking" is not a good response from a billion dollar corporation.

As does Apple, Samsung, HTC etc... RIM is now no different in that respect. They announce the launch when ready.

I find it funny that everyone complained that they gave info month in advance. Everyone said they should not give release dates untill right B4 the date, just like Apple......Now that they are doing that people complain that they arent giving release dates.....They can't win.

btw I like them not giving release dates. That way if there are delays ect, people won't know

Fusion is a server-side solution (kinda BES add-on, to simplify) that will allow an integrated "Bring your Own Device" solution for BBs, Iphone, Ipad and android based devices.
So, for instance, banning BB devices does not mean necessarily that it is baning RIM (while I may bet, in the short time, it will).

One of the big problems RIM has it's people, both corporate and consumers, comparing old blackberries with lets say, the new iphone/android. If you had your 8320 for 3 years (or even a bold 9000), of course it will look and feel outdated. I would not trade my 9900 for any other existing phone on the market (even if I would get it for free) but probably I would switch from my old 8200 to an iphone/android if no better Blackberry around. RIM needs to push OS7 in people's minds and when OS10 comes out, to spend huge on promotion.

Yes! I fully agree. But it's not just consumers that push this. I cant't count the amount of times I've seen ads for services (XFINITY, for example) that have apps for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry. They show an iPhone 4, an Android-based device, and a Curve 8300. People think BlackBerry is outdated because when they think or see BlackBerry, they think of devices that were released in 2007-2008. Not many think of the Bold 9600 series or the Torch 9800 series. I'm fairly certain that almost no one thinks of the 9900/9930, 9850/9860, or the 9810 when they think of BlackBerry. The perception that BlackBerrys are outdated needs to be changed quickly.

Yes, exactly. If you're looking at buying a 2012 automobile, you don't look at what was available in 2010. Look at what is currently in the offering.

The 9900 is a great device. Love mine. Problem is perception, pricing by carriers, and they rely on the carriers to push devices. I doubt most people know that the Bold has a touch screen because carriers don't push them. Also other than the touchpad and thinness it doesn't look much different (not a bad thing per say) than the 9000, but people equate that and the negative press with same old Blackberry. Carriers are oversubsidizing the iPhone in the US and it is actually cheaper or same price as a Bold, even though the MSRP is $100 more. Tons of cheap Android devices floating around. RIM ran no promotions when Bold came out in the US at all, and basically waited till New Years to do anything. How do you expect people to buy something that isn't advertised and isn't being pushed by carriers, and from the stories we see here carriers are trying not to sell them even when you ask for them? Now they are going to try to push them even though they've said new phones are coming. I think they'd be better off doing zero promotion of OS7 in the US, and save their marketing money for a huge BB10 push, and get BB10 to market by end of October 2012 at the latest so they can get Holiday sales.

What's even worse, some carriers sale reps mislead people or are simply dumb. I witnessed a conversation between a client and a Bell rep in London,Canada (White Okas Mall-Bell outlet) and the sales guy was telling to the potential buyer (who asked for a BB) that RIM is switching to Android very soon anyway so he better get a Samsung phone. The Bell guy said he has this "inside information" from their RIM rep. Maybe I should have said something but instead I left disgusted. RIM must work harder on promoting their products

I'm from London too and I like to just stand around and observe shit like this. These idiots who sell these devices we all love so much really are just that. Idiots.

"I doubt most people know that the Bold has a touch screen because carriers don't push them."

I have met a number of people who see the 9900 & say, "Oh I hear it doesn't have a good Camera" BUT are shocked to see that it has a touch screen.

I would think a touch screen would be a bigger component then a camera that is a good Camera as long as you don't want to focus on something close....sucks for close up shots though :(

ITs all the bad press. People only know what they hear & all they hear is i this & i that, & BlackBerry will cease to exist next month.

2nd that. THEY WILL BE BACK! When people see how ineffective the others are....they'll miss the BlackBerries.

Today smartphones are so usual, everyone has a smartphone or can have one... so who wins the market??? The best device? Nope!!! THE BEST "DEVICE / PRICE " !!!

I had a torch 9800 but once hands on the bold 9900 I gave it to my girlfriend. She is in love with the torch but to love it she has to pay 20 usd extra for 400MB of BIS.

The problem that makes RIM loosing their loyal customers or that prevent new ones to join is simply the extra price they should pay to use just BIS. Loyal companies that have been using blackberry for years are reducing a lot of their operative costs. They still like blackberry but can not effort any more their extra price for the service. Other platforms in market like android or iphone don't ask extra money just to have internet on their phones....
Ok RIM is offering data security for coorporate's needs but what about consumers? The market has changed, it belongs to simple consumers now. Should they pay extra bills for the high-level IT - security-like???

For those who get gelous of RIM products:
Maybe RIM had problems with the new os 7 and got nervous a lot of their customers but this is not the end of the world... every time a new platform comes out it need sometime to get fixed properly. Microsoft and its genious owner had to try 3 versions of windows til they got the fixed one, win xp. Try os 7.1 and you'll see life goes on! :)

It's good to read this. So many folks here overlook this point. Or they want to overlook it by choice. Let's just a look at a prepaid carrier for example. An additional $10 to use BB Data plan. Already a negative to consumers right there. Now, when you do have said device, your internet is not as fast as other devices (due to going through RIM NOC) and previous browsers being slower. Now, let's look on the corporate BYOD side with postpaid. One cannot simply put in some settings, like with the other platforms, and get their work e-mail access. First, they must have BES service. That is an additional charge for the owner of the BB from their carrier and in some cases an additional departmental cost to service your BB (versus Free for the other phones). So, now you must pay more for your personal plan (which may or may not be paid by employer) and your boss has to approve additional expense.

Additional cost. Additional setup. Some people could easily use their own personal phone and add their work e-mail and now have one device to do all. Those can be hindrances. That is what they aren't getting with BB. The ease of not having to carry more than one device. They personally like a device and now they are able to use it for work too. What can be better than that? Let's get off the apps for games thing as who cares if they play games on it. It's their device. BB just needs their device to be just as easy to use for personal as well as work. No additional cost and just as easy to set up.

I think it may be an issue with the carrier and not necessarily RIM. Or it may just be US carriers. I live in Barbados and our two carriers LIME(Cable & Wireless) and Digicel have separate data plans for BB and for other smartphones. It is actually cheaper for the BB data plans.

So I believe it is the carrier who is stipulating that the BIS be an extra charge, they don't want to cut up their data fees to give RIM any.

Oh, the BES is an extra cost though.

Heyyy mister new CEO!!!

Make your products to work without BIS just for simple customers!!! If my friend can browse internet with his android without extra bill why I can not do so???!!!

It's time!!!

Security and OS interfaces aside, this is also as much to do with American corporations supporting other American businesses.

Absolutely. They are becoming more protectionist during financial uncertainty. They've made no bones about it.

As they outsource as many jobs as they can out of the US? Sorry the only thing I see US corporations doing is what gives them the best bottom line so the CEO and upper management can get the huge bonuses. BYOD for Android and iPhone costs the company no BES licensing, no BES tax from carrier charges, no company issued Blackberry, and leverages the EAS they have with Exchange anyway. If people wanted to bring Blackberry devices and pay everything necessary to use them (BES tax and all) then I'm sure companies would let it happen. Nope people want to use their Android and iPhones and not Blackberry devices in the US. Sorry this has nothing to due with Patriotism/Nationalism in the US, and everything to do with cost cutting and making employees happy at the same time. I would also hope that people realize that the "Designed in California" iPhone your probably supporting a couple hundred US employees and thousands of Chinese to make it.

I am in agreement with the fact that its consumers driving he decisions as I work in between IT and the business in a Global investment bank. I possess a personal BB, a work BB, an Android and two Playbooks. I previously had every iPhone since it was released and also an iPad (all sold).

What I find when discussing with users what they like is that most don't know about the capabilities of Blackberry esp. the new devices. I show them things and they are amazed similar to guerllamo7 experience as to what their devices can do. It also doesnt help that they compare their locked down corporate BBs versus their 'open' personal devices.

To the person who complained about BIS outages, I think you should actually look at RIM's BIS availability over the past 20yrs before making such an ill-informed comment

THE DAY THE GOVERNMENT SWITCHES IS THE DAY I WILL BE WORRIED FOR RIM....Those companys don't need security....DID HOMELAND SECURITY SWITCH? I DON'T THINK SO

Halliburton was partly responsible for the deepwater horizon catastrophe, so I could care less if they went from a secure platform to a less secure one. They've been led by a bunch of idiots that put a priority on cost-savings and profit rather than security and safety, so I'm not at all surprised by this decision. Once an idiot, always an idiot - just wait until they get their sensitive info stolen...

Ans as time has proven again and again. They both will realise their mistakes when they see how terrible iOS is for businesses compared to the combination of BB Handset with the Playbook. Don't get me wrong, haven't got anything against the systems themselves...it just don't work for buiness and it doesnt have no where near as much experience as BB does.

One thing I have noticed is that there is no survey of how the smart phones are being used in the company. I have seen survey where they estimate employees that have smartphone produce about $1000/yr of un paid overtime of productivity (I would say that is really conservative). I run the IT dept in the company and had many request for Iphone so I agreed I would be the guinee pig and try it for 3 mths. My results were that I wasted minimum 45 mins a day playing addicting games instead of work. Yes it received email, yes I hated the onscreen kb and autocorrect, yes I dumped the phone as soon as I could. Great entertainment device/time waster, not a great productivity tool. Hopefully Fusion will allow us to start seeing these issue and keep BYOD and security firmly in RIMs hands till we see some compelling apps and devices.

over the weekend i sent Dear Berry a question where i am hoping to get an answer! my company recently announced they are eliminating the BlackBerry Server relationship so for us BlackBerry owners we would have to switch to a non-BlackBerry phone to maintain our Exchange e-mail, contacts and calendar relationship. i sure hope they will allow the functionality of MicroSoft Active Sync without any BES interface? if not i will be forced to leave BlackBerry and i really dont want to...

that support of ActiveSync alone will help tremendously. For those who love BB, it would help as they wouldn't have to choose another platform simply because they couldn't use BES.

Weird that Chris says they dropped BB from their list of 'supported' devices. That sounds insane. Why would you no longer support it? You want to yank out your BES server, OK - your issue. Why would you tell someone they can't use a BB? That's weird...

these are some of the headlines that we will start seeing more of in the future. Unfortunately I dont think that RIM will be able to bounce back like every one thinks it might (I hope I'm wrong)

People want toys! its simple. This whole new marketing campaign of "tools not toys" will backfire so RIM should drop it now (don't know if its sponsored by RIM).

I've been a loyal BB user for about 10 years now, but I've told myself that 2012 will be the last chance I give RIM to provide something that's on par with Andriod or iOS.

I don't see it coming.

Unless RIM completely turns around it will be come a sinking ship (most say it already is). The popularity of Android and iOS is just too big

Looks like its the end of the road for RIM. Without the enterprise customers what is left? Explains why Kevin only has 3 shares of a company he loves.

My poor eyes can't read anything after "could care less". It stops my brain.

Now that I've got that out of my system... Apple has had a 4 year head start, and 90 billion dollars in the bank to prove it. If RIM does BB10 devices right, there will be a second viable alternative to iOS and Apple will simply have to settle for less revenue year over year. There will be plenty of money for each vendor, and each platform will have its strengths.

Too many doom sayer trolls in this post. Let me attempt to summarize this. Blackberry 10 will bring an equal or greater capability of consumer oriented capability to the platform. However, security will be a key differentiator when compared to the iOs devices, android phones have no such differentation. In fact, the flaw recently discovered in their nfc google wallet points to this fact.

To Sum it up.
Consumer devices of google and apple are built on a consumer perspective, they do patch work on security afterwards. Rim is betting big that if given a choice between a bb10 with competitive capability of that of iOS plus greater security. Companies will opt out not why change, and risk security breaches? This will be the key to their success, but they need to make the market aware of this when they advertise these two points.

BB10
(1) Does the same thing as iOS and android --> Blackberry experience reinvented, an integrative experience.
(2) Greater security --> Your data belong to you, why risk getting another device?

*The amount of time being taken to release strongly suggest they take security into strong consideration. I hope for a come back. So speculation is pointless and give them a chance.

Chris, one of your best articles. Execs and other employees of these firms are moving to iOS or Android due to costs savings. No need for BES server and other related charges / fees:

"It all comes down to economics," Joe Klimavicz, NOAA's chief information officer, said in a phone interview on Friday. "I've got a lot of pressure to cut our operating costs."

"RIM charges a fee for use of its servers and data centers, which compress and encrypt email and other sensitive data. The company's early success was due to a reliance on BlackBerry smartphones by lawyers, bankers, politicians and bureaucrats.

But with budgets under pressure and competitors improving their security bone fides, BlackBerry is no longer the only game in town."

Also, where are the innovative enterprise apps on BBOS or PB OS? Just search iTunes and Android Market to see all of the innovative small business apps available but not on BB devices.

If a company wanted to save money, install Blackberry Server Express. 100% free. No CALs, no extra cost. I have 100 users using a $15 at&t data plan. It's the cheapest mobile email solution out there if you want some management of the devices.

Everyone acts like these companies are using Exchange ActiveSync. I'll bet you the majority are moving to another MDM (Good Technology, MobileIron etc). No one is going to forgo management of devices once you have 500+ devices be it BB or iPhones.

What Apps? On my BB right now:

Concur, Webex, Citrix, Google Maps, Poynt, iSpeech Translator, Blackberry Travel, Blackberry Traffic, Open Table, VLingo not to mention things like MVS, Lync support etc.

My Blackberry is as functional as my iPhone 4S which is mostly used for entertainment.

Where are SAP mobile apps, Oracle WebCenter apps, IBM Sametime app, IBM Connections app and Square app for easy payments and receipts?? The only one, I can see, is Salesforce finally releasing BB app for Chatter and Salesforce Mobile.

These are enterprise apps that BB needs.

This should not be a surprise given the fact that even Canadian companies like the one my mom works focred her to use an iPhone over a BB. When Canadian oil and gas companies are on iPhone's side plus some ferederal workers also got iPads, I think the stage is set to RIM's downfall.

US protectionism is another important factor that surely plays into this, especially in bad economic times such as those that US is facing right now. Halliburton is a major contractor for the US government and as such is very likely to follow their "guidelines" on who to do business with. Apple is a US based company, and purchasing their products and services guarantees a number of tax breaks and other benefits to any corporation that adopts their products, kinds that they would never get by purchasing products and services from non-US based vendors. I actually work for a company that has a number of US government contracts (state and federal) and while we operate out of Canada we have to have US subsidiaries that we do business under in order to win virtually any business.

US market is not as open as many think, and there is always two sides to every coin. It's not just a matter of "this is popular, so let's use it". If you want popular, cheap, and easy to use why not go with a multitude of Android offerings then? I can tell you why...none are US based.

Yes,thank you for that comment. And this is the main reason Rim should not focus primirily in the US market. The us economy is serious trouble and its going to get worst. Why support an outside entity, thereby straining an already stressed economy? Another proof of that, that recently US military has switched to android as their main os deployment. The US is getting desperate to save anywhere they can, to the point of sacrificing security. And in time will begin to regret that choice, and leaving itself wide open to all kinds of cyber attacks.

Rim, needs to distance itself away from the us market, if only to protect its valuable and security conscious infracture. Rim will not go under, and still remains a strong contender in the mobile space. Canada will continually stand behind Rim, for it knows the support is there. The companies who continually stand behind Rim will be that much more advantagous in the long run and in the marketplace, due to the effcienty and security of their company. This will be proven in the long run.

All of these business migrations into android and ios are all short term goals to relieve the already strained US economy, and for now makes perfect business sense, for the survival of its economy. Time will tell if their have made the right choice.

Peace

On data usage. I have found many users complaining about using 3+ GB a month on their iPhone's or Android phones. I have been amazed at the level of usage I have combined for my BB 9900 and my Playbook. I use the connection through my phone all day at work, and out an about. My kids use it while driving in the car. Playing you tube videos, looking up movies, or just simple web browsing. I have yet to go above 500MBs and typically see my usage around 280MB. I don't stream music to my device and maybe that has something to do with it. Maybe RIM should do an actual comparison on downloads and the efficiency of the BB systems vs the competition.

Hello freaks

At this point ... BB needs android and exchange client server... But number one BB needs a good APP Market like android.. Love BB i know that many of you users are thinking that Apple is the brand must have in the pocket.. Common be unic.. Thanx... And to the Apps maker out there... you are to many working only for android and apple... bye from switzerland

Blackberry has been slow to be able to respond to changes in the industry since the iphone came out thats was about 5 years ago, so if a company waits half a decade for you to step your game up and then switches on you, you only have yourself to blame whatever the reasons behind it, halliburton is 4400 employees and im certain not all of them have blackberries, i just hope there isn't a security breach because of their choice.

Current Devices:
Blackberry torch
Blackberry Playbook
Ipad 2
Iphone 4

IBM is looking into using other devices. Just think almost all IBM employees have a BB for now. In a year or so who knows.

Great article. Unfortunately, this is the little story. The big story is CNN reporting that the Army and soon government agencies are looking to move to Android phones. http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/03/tech/mobile/government-android-phones/inde... When I read the article I think I expressed my dismay out loud.

If IT in many companies is not being heeded, I think RIM could take another approach. I use BlackBerry devices because I must comply with HIPPA and the ethical requirements of my professional organizations. Adverts are expensive, but focused campaigns directed straight at a target audience are highly effective. RIM should sponsor professional conferences and advertise in professional publications. How effective would TV or radio spots in geographically dense areas be? Maybe ones that feature someone getting hacked and losing business or having to explain it to a boss? The priceless look on a CEO's face when IT explains why they should use a secure OS? A Jr. exec realizing the implications for their career because they recomended a less secure OS to a boss that depended on them for informed advice? Or violating HIPPA when it would have been so easy to comply? Using balance to send a secure business document then letting your two year old play a game?

RIM should strike at the anxiety in every professional's heart over data security, PLUS show a teenager snatching that same Berry out of their parent's hands to play on. RIM has what it takes to come back to full power, but time is the biggest barrier right now.