It’s a moon shot, but could eBBM ever lead to global IM dominance for BlackBerry?

By Chris Umiastowski on 26 Feb 2014 02:50 pm
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BlackBerry is moving fast under the leadership of John Chen. I’ve never seen the company make as many changes as it has in the last few months. Not even close. I don’t think I’m alone in saying this has turned me into a big fan of Chen.

One of these changes has been to place the BBM leadership in the hands of the enterprise team led by John Sims. Not even a week after I wrote an article talking about how I hoped to see enterprise BBM services roll out, BlackBerry announced it in Barcelona.

Obviously I think this makes perfect sense. And while we haven’t seen a live demo of how this will work in the real world, I think there’s some interesting potential synergy in offering enterprise-grade IM features in the exact same client that they already use to chat with friends and family outside of the work environment. It’s almost like BlackBerry Balance baked into the IM experience, or at least that’s one way to think about it.

With the announcements around BES10 pricing and the integration of both legacy and new enterprise server functionality glued together inside of BES12, and now eBBM, it’s possible that BlackBerry could see some excellent traction in the workplace.

This could lead to more viral growth. If you’re working for one company and your buddies are working for other companies who all use eBBM, perhaps it would be more likely for you all to communicate over “regular” BBM. It only makes sense. It also makes sense that if  several  people in a group of friends use BBM because of work while a few others in the gang don’t use eBBM at work, they still may choose BBM as their social chat tool because their friends already use it.

In a recent article I wrote for the Globe and Mail, I made my view pretty clear. Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp could lead to the company dominating the future of mobile communication. Given that I was writing with a limited word quota and to a less technical audience, I didn’t get a chance to dive into the details of  I feel this way. But I do believe most of the world will move towards a single winning IM platform in the next decade. SMS will essentially die, and data-oriented IM will take over. I think there will be one major winner because I don’t see the alternative, an open standard, gaining any traction. So the biggest player will win, by default. Facebook may become that biggest player if nobody stops them.

I think Facebook is going to win, and as disclosure, I’m both a Facebook and BlackBerry shareholder. But what could BlackBerry do to win?  It’s a moon shot, but it is possible.

What if BlackBerry was to find a way to make eBBM so darn easy to deploy and so darn cheap that most major enterprises used it as the obvious IM platform for employees? Considering how many people work for medium and large companies, considering that BBM is now cross-platform, and considering the security features that eBBM will bring, it could be the company’s new pry bar to get themselves back to huge growth in user adoption. With this in mind, I wonder just how aggressive BlackBerry might want to be in seeding eBBM licenses at very low (or even no) cost in order to stand a chance at global dominance.

But even if eBBM doesn’t help BlackBerry dominate the global scene for consumer-oriented IM, I still think there’s strong upside in being a niche market winner … that means winning in businesses that are heavily regulated.

162 comments

Observation Junkie

BBM will have a slow growth, and there is a market for it and that's clear.

What I'm really concerned about is Chen's comments is that he could sell this off, spin this off from BlackBerry.

Personally, that's like me ripping my arm and selling this off. BBM & BlackBerry should stay as a combined unit.

Understandably, with all this mumbo about shareholders value and the crap. This is short term mentality, even if it takes 5 years to do this.

Posted by the Crackberry Pirate

masterful

Disagree because they might already have something else in the game in the near future. When bbm was a subsidiary of black berry then it was written on the wall

Posted via CB10

mcstravi

I think the sell off comment was taken out of context. I think he was basically saying that the price for whatapp was high. Of course he'd sell BBM for 19B, he'd be crazy not to at it's current valuation.

Posted via CB10

Razor8Tie

I agree with you. I thinking he was really just joking around.

koolrosh

I agree. He actually said that he was not currently looking to sell BBM, but if (hypothetically) they offered him 19B for BBM he would do it. Just to put this in context, the whole of Blackberry is currently worth less than 6B, so for 19B you would have to give up a small portion of the company that currently makes no money. I would do it too!

AnimalPak200

His comments were just hypothetical. He said that he works for the shareholders, and if someone were to offer him $19B for BBM... then he would sell it. And I would hope so.

Observation Junkie

Thanks for your input everyone, it helps.

Posted by the Crackberry Pirate

Pdoody

His comment pretty much screams "hey world, this is worth something, keep your eyes on us for a little longer! ".

Also, the comments on money transfer are HUGE! That is something that Whatsap can never do. Who would trust Whatsap with money transfer?

Next we will see retailers using secure Bbm enabled terminals for NFC payments.

All of this will reap BlackBerry far more revenue than Whatsap makes (without selling ads and information).

I pay my bank $1.00 per email transfer now. Imagine what a tiny piece of the retail pie is worth?

Posted via CB10

Mr.KLScott

Your link is bad, and the bank probably is as well

Posted via CB10

BB30000

BlackBerry as a whole was only valued at 4+ billion only a mere few months ago, of course he would sell bbm for 19 billion!!! And would be laughing all the way to the bank!!

Via The BlackBerry Z10 Experience.

HaberNik

I'm glad to not be the only one to feel this way. All the investors seem to think that it is a great idea for share value, but he'll they also like the idea of a big buyout. I am a shareholder as well, but I would like to see the company survive and flourish as soon a whole piece.

Tapped and flicked from my BlackBerry Z30!

HaberNik

Same auto correct has made me lazy. That is bad.

Tapped and flicked from my BlackBerry Z30!

HaberNik

Arghhhhhh damn auto correct not same...

Tapped and flicked from my BlackBerry Z30!

mICRoMaTe

Hey don't take his comment literally. He's just saying whatsapp is lucky to get 19b. Besides, I support him selling BBM for 19B at this current market evaluation.

Posted via CB10

thymaster

Here's what I think could make BBM a global dominance:

By spring, they need to have video chat out for iOS and Android
By summer, they need to have BBM for Windows phones
By winter, launch eBBM
By end of year, BBM for Mac OSX and Windows 8 for versatility
By mid 2015, BBM for SmartTV to make it a true multi platform (Skype is already on SmartTV)

Time is money, every time they missed the deadline, they will miss the windows of opportunities.

tonyblaze

+1

Remember every moment with Dayly for BB10...

JDM08

Not to mention it can come built in to cars, with a deep integration.
With the acquisition of Tungle me, in 09 I think, some great integration can come along with automated calendar scheduling. for business appointment to car maintenance requests.

Koepman

Will be difficult / but possible!

Since 2010 

BlackJack-21

Personally I like to see the ability to customize BBM such as colour in the background, colour in the letters etc. Also the ability to change the background picture. This customization in BBM makes it unique and personal for everyone. As for eBBM, cool. Time to make money.

Posted via CB10

jojo beaconsfield

@BlackJack-21...sounds like a great idea,make it fun and they will come,HAHA

menshawy

I second that. I still believe people get drive away from BBM because it doesn't look fancy and easy at the first glance. Look how ridiculous WhatsApp and this new Telegram look like. Green and blue are cool and eye-friendly colors, not mentioning the graphical backgrounds here. What BBM needs is simplicity of registration, usage, finding friends and interface

Posted via CB10

neller2000

No, it was mostly the fact that it's a BlackBerry thing that drove them away. And those people aren't coming back. Why would they? They're all on Whatsapp and KIK, which in my opinion is slightly one too many as it is. The winner of the two will most likely be Whatsapp.

BBM? In a distant deep hole, dead and buried. Not because of the functionality as such or the quality but because most people have zero reason to switch.

Vijit Coomara

Agree. They need to find a way to give them a reason to switch. Let's see what they come up with?

Posted via CB10

BB Super Junior

I like you comment BlackJack-21

BlackJack-21

I've used Whatsapp and I can see the appeal. Who remembers ICQ back when it was popular in the late 90's on desktop computers. Other than the sound "uh oh" on incoming messages you could change colour scheme and letter fonts. Why can't we do that too with BBM?

I've also repeated myself about SMS 2.0. BlackBerry should talk to carriers and add BBM as part of their bloatware and as their default messenger.

Let's say people with iMessage or Whatsapp sends a message to the recipient who receives the message but the recipient doesn't have neither app, therefore, as BBM is the default app on their intercepts both either or app.

We are talking about innovation here. John Chen can take BBM to another level. At the moment Whatsapp is to Whatsapp, iMessage is to iMessage and BBM is to BBM. Food for thought. ;)

Posted via CB10

imcurved

Also emoticons in bigger font size. And don't you think for a second that enterprise customers don't care about emoticons and eye candy UI.

 CB10 

thisiscjay

This. Bigger emoticons..

drmike

I don't know any enterprise users that use emoticons. My 13 year old son does...and when he overuses them it drives me nuts.

Posted via CB10

BlackJack-21

I might add, something like having a company logo in the background on eBBM could differentiate it from personal BBM otherwise how can you tell? Unless it looks completely different.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerryRules2006

How about just being able to send more than the current 6MB....or whatever it is. Also, when I send pics I use MMS so that the person doesn't have to request HQ like you have to do with BBM. They have to fix this.

Posted via CB10

Killjoyhere

I would like that that too.

Posted via CB10

gokulesh

Agree with the limit. Not with HQ request. You may want to send it but I may not want to use my bandwidth. They have implemented that well.

Posted via CB10

BCLoco

Should be selectable.

Automatically receive HQ pictures? Yes/No

Posted via CB10

BlackBerryRules2006

Does receiving pictures in bbm in regular resolution really eat up data? It can't be that much with everyone using snapchat, instagram, etc.

Posted via CB10

StoicEngineer

I understand this. But the 6MB limit is 1MB larger than our current corporate limit of 5MB.

Have you ever been overjoyed to receive a 15MB bumpf file from a friend? Yeah, I love spam too.

Having the same send/request controls on large files as for BBM images makes sense to me.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerryRules2006

Looks like BlackBerry listened to all the requests again. 6MB gets bumped up!!! I still think automatically send the picture at normal resolution. Also, being able to make your profile pic at regular res as well.

Posted via CB10

RezzaBuh

Open BBM, open protocol, be as open as possible and then I believe it can happen. But not in this very closed nature of BBM.

Posted via CB10

djenkins6

they need single sign in instead of this ridiculous one sign in one device. In fact you should be able to sign in twice or more times on any device (one personal, one work) and just have all your messages on any device you look at. I run two insnaces of skype on windows ones with personal and one with work so why not?

boldbalance

+10! I completely agree with you on that! BlackBerry really needs to get rid of that stupid limitation. -_-

Doolittle2

I agree. I want to be able to access BBM from multiple devices. Just like Kindle and Audible books remember your place on several devices, I want to be able to pick up my chats from any device.

Posted via Z30

Prem WatsApp

The device-to-device (PIN to PIN) is a security feature as well.

A simple username+password login can be hacked, captured or otherwise circumvented, but with PIN it's safe, it will only be displayed on the one device, which is owned by the recipient.

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

Prem WatsApp

Maybe they allow to add and register devices onto your BBID, and make it accessible across all devices registered / logged in under one BBID?

Sounds good and do-able to me.

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

Carterbits

Facebook is not an enterprise tool, at all.

Whatsapp is not an enterprise tool, at all.

How will putting them together be competition for eBBM?

[URL="http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/vendor/17581"]Download [B][COLOR="#b03060"]Noted[/COLOR][/B], my 5-star rated, native BB10 notepad app.[/URL]

yacoby54

I completely agree with you. No one with any common sense would ever try to deploy Whatsapp in an enterprise environment.

THBW

I'm with you. I think Chris has got his rose colored analyst's glasses on and hasn't really thought about the details. Communication is tied to security and the real mistake whatsapp made was using a phone number as an identifier. This will be a big limiting factor as users want to move across platforms, to a car or a computer (something that is coming down the pipe very fast). Further to the point, IM between smartphones is not the pinnacle of the communication revolution. You will need voice (and not the crappy stuff you get with Skype), video and screen sharing. You will also need to integrate key services like glimpse and file sharing. This is something BBM has a real advantage over whatsapp. Further all of this will have to be packaged in a mobile HUB that includes all your other forms of mobile communication and social media. This is the future of communication, not some dinky IM app.

fxiddy

Agreed, remember some organisations actually block staff from accessing facebook or other social sites. There is no way facebook or WhatsApp would be adopted in any capacity for business.

It is eBBM all the way.

Posted via CB10

needforbbx

For sure, because Facebook is blocked at work ;)

Chris Umiastowski

Carterbits - allow me to clear up your confusion.  Nobody said Facebook or Whatsapp was an enterprise tool that would compete with eBBM. I am not sue where you got that from.  I suggest you read again.  What I did say is that eBBM could get a large user base and that this could create growth in the consumer market, since eBBM and regular BBM use the same client.

eBBM becomes a leverage point to grow regular BBM.

playbookdrew

I think the focus should be on Microsoft Lync for the business side and Skype on the consumer side as the real competition for eBBM and BBM. They have the codecs and good compression to make everyone else look bad they just need to get the video out iOS and Android and Windows 8.1 PC/phone and it will be a must have app, the voice call recently added for other platforms is amazing quality.

I don't think there will be one messaging app that everyone will use as you suggest. There never has been and never will because there are so many options and everyone is adding new features that appeal to more people. There has always been options, ie. ICQ, MSN Messenger, AOL messenger, SMS, Google Talk, BBM, iMessage, Skype, Hangouts, etc.. That's like everyone driving the same car as the unified car or everyone will wear the same outfit some day.

the_igg

They need to make it reliable first. And get word out to people to actually use the service. Right now, still a moon shot to me. But excited to see where it will lead.

Posted via CB10

Oys

BBM is unreliable? As compared to which IM?

WhatsApp just went down this past weekend, and that's the 2nd time this past 6 months.

Apart from that, I had my WhatsApp messages not sending through, or reaching the recipient hours later after I sent it, while BBM delivers in seconds.

Posted via CB10

1magine

I have started to see many folks in the corporate world including their BBM PIN alongside their particulars in their email signatures. I always thought this was a movement that Crackberry should get behind and regularly push. The more folks that do this, the more folks will use BBM and the more folks will chose BB as their next device. It is a good cycle that needs a little push to get going...

John Smith
KIRK & ENTERPRISE LLP
666 Lex Luthor Avenue ● New York, NY 10022-4611
Tel (212) 555-1212 ● Dir Fax (212) 555-9900 Blackberry PIN -XXXXXXXX

dusdal

With an NFC tag in the card to add pin with a tap.

Posted via CB10

Prem WatsApp

Wooohoooo!

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

Prem WatsApp

QR code. Old-school, I know. Better for noobs, though. They won't realized the tag is there!

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

Doolittle2

Nice. You would only need one business card.

Posted via Z30

abwan11

What about the carriers? Sms may want to up their game, considering whatsapp and Facebook want to threaten their services, maybe BlackBerry has a place to join the carriers in a assault.

Posted via CB10

dreamgreed

Open up public development for stickers in bbm store. Would allow a lot of choice and people would be interested in making stickers to make some profit leading to an increase in customer interest as well

jupiter8

There won't be a single provider for enterprise. Too many variables, security being to top most. Enterprise will not trust such communication to a data agitator like FB.

Posted via CB10

digitalsurfboard

i think bbm has a better chance in enterprise than the consumer market.

the biggest gripe i keep getting from people who don't like bbm is the cumbersome PIN method of adding contacts. they prefer giving apps access to their contacts. personally, what i love most about bbm is the fact that you don't have to use your cell#. however, convenience trumps privacy in the consumer world.

psypher22

The fact that BBM does not use your phone number is huge for me. Facebook already tries to collect my number on a regular basis, and i constantly have to refuse. I like the features of WhatsApp, but the truth is, BBM will even the score sooner rather than later, if the BBM team can roll hard on getting new features out, reliability improved on iOS and Android, and get that Windows Phone version out as well.

Prem WatsApp

Don't let it slurp up your data. ..... Burp...

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

Hockey711

Hell no. All my friends deleted it within the first month

Posted via CB10

BB30000

Yes.

Via The BlackBerry Z10 Experience.

chrysaurora

I really want BLACKBERRY (BBM team) to FIX two (2) big issues (most of my friends CONTINUE to use WhatsApp because of these two issues, and are not 100% on BBM yet):

- 1. BBM on iOS and Android often has DELAYED message deliveries. It’s not instant. Sure, there are probably technical challenges but BB needs to figure it out and fix it.

-2. BBM Group Chats/Multi-person chats do NOT allow sharing of photos, videos from within the chat window. You’ve to first EXIT group chat, go to GROUP PHOTO ALBUM, and upload PICTURE there. Then Go back to GROUP-CHAT and tell your friends “hey, just uploaded a picture, check it out”. Whereas in WHATSAPP, you can upload picture right from chat window and even a small thumbnail appears in chat window inline. So convenient!
(when you make a feature as complicated as photo sharing BBM Group Chats, it’s as good as not having this feature).

These are top 2 things that have prevented my friends from using BBM as their primary messaging app. They use BBM (I usually respond on BBM even if when someone messages me on WhatsApp or text-message) but they are NOT willing to ditch WhatsApp or use BBM as their primary messaging app because it's just too cumbersome to share media with groups from within chat window.

Delayed message delivery is another big irksome but delayed message delivery is not something that happens everyday, but it happens routinely enough.

There are other small issues too such as --
* - emoticons are TOO SMALL. They need to be atleast 2-font sizes bigger.
* - when you want to send emoticons, you can't insert multiple emoticons in one go. Everytime you select an emoticon, the emoticon drawer disappears and you've to open emoticon selection again to insert another emoticon.
* - the app is laggy (slow) on iOS/Android. SPEED is a feature. And it's lacking!

Flog Gnaw

Finally someone mentions this. BlackBerry to blackberry BBM is instant. But when I bbm my iPhone friends sometimes it's 2 seconds behind sometimes in hours. None of my android friends use bbm except one. His are more consistent with that of a blackberry.
Should be worked out by now, they've had months.
Also agree with the pictures in groups. Definitely a pain.

Posted via CB10

Carterbits

Same boat here. It's very annoying and if it's not fixed soon, could be the Achilles heel.

[URL="http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/vendor/17581"]Download [B][COLOR="#b03060"]Noted[/COLOR][/B], my 5-star rated, native BB10 notepad app.[/URL]

40blind40

I agree that's Whatsapp has the legs today Chris , but IM is a free service, there is a vast amount of competition in this game. !9 billion Chris for essentially a free service, don't see the logic. I also believe that once whatsapp starts making there customers pay they will be chopping of there own legs. Today privacy doesn't play apart in most people's minds for IM, but with the open nature of Facebook and Whatsapp I believe it will only take one major breach of information for the walls to crumble on this !9 billion dollar party. If BB gets to 200 million users and can make money off EBBM there is no need to care who wins this race effective secure reliable is all BBM needs to be, you should reconsider your position in Facebook this Whatsapp buy is fools gold!! LOL.

psypher22

Totally agree. When it comes to Android phones, there is very little these players can do to seperate themselves from each other. Blackberry lacks Apps, but what it DOES have, is an ironclad reputation for privacy and security. In this global digital age, and hackers stealing bitcoin accounts, security will at some point take center stage, and BlackBerry will be there to clean up shop: through BES 12, through eBBM, and through rock-solid new devices.

NamelessStar

Great article always love to hear your view. As an IT admin BES12 was a hugeeeeee announcement first MDM to manage all devices. I would love to see the impact this now has on the enterprise market and how eBBM works with it.

Posted via CB10 on my blazing fast Z30 on 10.2.1.2102

Huey Newton

If channels is apart of it. I see it as a twitter tumblr Facebook combination that could make headway but it has to be pushed not by the company but movers and shakers

Posted via CB10

Jubei Raziel

I don't see BBM trying to compete at being the most used messaging app in the world. Just the most intelligent premium one known for security, productivity and efficiency.
Once BBM goes desktop, is available on Windows Phones and Nokia X platforms and eBBM is more fleshed out and rolled out, let's revisit this conversation Chris;)

BerryRipe

BlackBerry is bad at too much talk and not enough action, when BlackBerry finally takes action it's too late.

I hope Mr. Chen slices the opponents before the opponents even realizes he's been cut!

Keep The Faith  BlackBerry Q10 

samvel2001

It has to be an absolute product.

1. Better reliability (outages are not. acceptable especially for enterprise)
2. Unified UI across all the platforms
3. Uncompromisable security.
4. More emoticons (maybe GIF)
5. Secure desktop client
6. Better group chat and picture sharing options
7. Cross platform Video call and screen sharing option.
8. WebEx like functionality during screen sharing.
otherwise it is doomed.

Posted via CB10

samvel2001

+ if it is going to be an enterprise communication tool it probably need to have a reliable conversation back up option, since the emails can be used in legal processes why not the BBM messages.

Posted via CB10

fromhereonend

Agree about Chen... really appreciate how he does what he says and respects the timelines

Posted via CB10

psypher22

Chris, BlackBerry showing up its presence in the Enterprise, i think, is actually the best way to rebuild its credibility with ordinary consumers. Why?

If people in big business, successful people, people with money, are using a certain phone, using a certain messaging service, and they enjoy it, then its only a matter of time before that trickles down to consumer level.

Thats exactly what happened before.

I dont think how many people are using a messenger service is as important as WHO is using it. The Enterprise is the key to BlackBerry restoring its luster as an ASPIRATIONAL brand.

psypher22

BTW, Chris, whenever ANY BB news spills, i always eagerly await your thoughts.

So Stoked that BB actually is going full throttle into this eBBM thing, because I agreed with your post completely when you suggested they take BBM into enterprise. Its a no-brainer, a way for BBM to grow without having to take on WhatsApp head on.

Im excited.

joforg

from the cheap seats again...but doesn't the acquisition by Facebook re-enforce a potential security perception bias?

crjohnston

Privacy is becoming bigger and bigger. Right now Facebook is not very secure. If Facebook is going to mine whatsapp for better advertising etc which seems obvious then it leaves a security hole. Messages will never be completely private.

BBM BlackBerry has to take advantage of this. Don't have to slam the competition just that it's completely private.

Not sure if it is possible but they should if possible do BBM email.

Posted via CB10

parapep10

It will easily get traction in the business community. I would love to have BBM for my clients and Co workers on a whole different BBM pin. It will really make life and work easier. Then switch to have my personal pin after work. That is totally amazing, my Co workers just love the idea.

Posted via CB10

Prem WatsApp

Two separate PINs for work and play?

Could this be or is this already integrated into BlackBerry Balance? Without a dedicated BES, can I use BB cloud service hosted BES for small biz "prosumers". How much for a monthly plan? Happy to shed a few bucks.

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

james pisano

I don't know, but I like the sound of "global dominance!"

Via CB10 & Z10 or Q10

laketrout73

The biggest advantage Whatsapp has in replacing SMS is that it's based on your phone number. Once it's baked into the backend on the carrier side and installed by default on phones, when both the sender and receiver have Whatsapp it will send using the WhatsApp protocol rather than plain text. Think iMessage for everyone. That's where it's heading.

Z10 STL100-3 |10.2.1.2141 | Bell | CB10

Chris Umiastowski

Yes. Agree. Once everyone has it they could implement a different user authentication method. They've been smart. BlackBerry has unfortunately been slow, despite having a better service.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

RyanGermann

BlackBerry could trump the "phone number" advantage by moving more toward a BBIDs vs PIN approach... that has begun, but both PIN and phone numbers are tied to a single device, although the phone number is more tied to the SIM card, and BlackBerry device PINs can't (easily?) be moved... but BBIDs are actually superior to phone numbers in a "phone? what's a 'phone'?" brave new Jetsons world.

if anything, it's MS and Google and Apple and Facebook "id"s that are future proof, not "phone numbers".

An ID that follows me from device to device (MS's vision of forcing (actually, tricking) Windows 8 users to adopt a Microsoft ID at first run with the promise of "sync your apps and documents" via cloud jiggery pokery that is going to drive Whatsapp to obsolescence if Skype wasn't such unreliable pre-millenial dodo. "So when I log in to another computer it'll be just like my computer at home? Neat!") is what will win out and Microsoft and Google have the undeniable lead...and Apple hasn't got a prayer unless they can displace MS on the desktop and/or embrace open source / open standards in a manner that's 180 degrees from the way they do things now.

THBW

Absolutely, using a phone number is a big mistake and something that is going to limit whatsapp in the short term. Within 18 months, communications similar to your phone will be in cars and on your computers. The phone number era is done.

Prem WatsApp

Sorry Apple, this is Canonical/Ubuntu's territory. Ubuntu cloud, phone, desktop, TV... all open source!

Get out and play your proprietary games.

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

gokulesh

Hmm hasn't BlackBerry been ahead of Whatsapp on this? They have agreement with some phone manufacturers to Pre install BBM. How many such agreements does Whatsapp have?

And you think apple and Samsung will Pre install them out of goodness of their heart?

Posted via CB10

Kiddo2050

The problem with this idea is why don't AT&T, Verizon, TMO etc. just create their own app preload and tell what'sApp to take a flying F. THey control everyphone before it goes out the door - except iPhone it seems.

drinkmorejava

This completely neglects that modern workplace chat clients are not just chat clients. For instance, Cisco Webex integrates chats, teleconferencing/screen sharing, enterprise video conferencing (real video conferencing, not just individual webcams), and meeting creation in one platform. Just chat does not cut it for large companies.

BBM for blackberries is where it needs to be, but all off these features need to be available on all platforms for it to be adopted.

gokulesh

You are making a whole lot of assumptions that BlackBerry will only be providing a chat function.

How do you know they won't provide everything we become does and more?

Let's see normal chatting is not exactly easy is it on webex?

BlackBerry already has video and screen sharing. I would say they are well on their way.

Posted via CB10

quizm

Nice idea. But long term global dominance of anything is unlikely, and unprecedented. But I am still in awe as to why really IM has evolved the way it has...what does it really have over email..? I mean, why do we need do many addresses?

Posted via CB10

johnnychest

Chris, your articles typically are really fluffy to me and lack substance. Like great if you believe FB and whatsap will win the IM battle, i can appreciate that. But answer the most crucial part of your statement, why?!? Is it the obvious answer of more capital, and more users? Then say that. Explain. You will lose credibility. I believe you have a wealth of useful information to share. Please share it as I do enjoy your opinion.

It's like when your at work trying to tell an employee to be a better leader and they say " what's that mean?" and you can't give then a good answer because you think you know how a good leader acts but you really don't. Think about it.

It's like saying I believe in animal rights... but you don't really know what right is.

Explain please. Tell me why.

Posted via CB10

Chris Umiastowski

Yes. Size and huge financial support called Facebook. Simple thesis. BTW I'm way past earning credibility in this market.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

johnnychest

Haha +1

Posted via CB10

Kiddo2050

Hmm in their heyday RIM was the powerhouse in mobile, Myspace had social dominance. Even with Facebook, nothing is certain. In fact Facebook is just as likely to kill whatsapp than it is to advance it.

wincyUt

Thanks. People seem to forget too quickly.

Xadion

Bbry BBM vs ms lync... and lync is terribad

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beubeu67

Small things make the difference:
- improve the UI to death: it must be easy, clean, efficient, easy, clean, efficient, easy, ...
- add additional/optional openGPG encryption to attract security freaks and play against concurrence. It is so easy to play with the loss of confidence towards facebook.
- let people discover which friends already have an account (in a transparent way). A very simple feature which makes user base grow almost *exponentially*

Just play a little bit with usability and security, it definitely makes it so easy to bring more users. No effort to use, no effort to find friends, no security concerns: those are the simple keys to succeed. And the best of all: it doesn't require any investment for BlackBerry. Just a simple vision.

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Cruncher04

Most of you miss the point. The IM competitor in the enerprise space is not WhatsApp but Lync. I currently do not see BBM as having even close of the features and integration of Lync.
Sure not every company is using Lync, but i can not see any company having deployed Lync switching to BBM.

GrandMaster Bash

Exactly. Lync + Skype integration in an MS dominated environment - eBBM wouldn't be able to catch up now never mind take over.

It's a shame BBM has the usability quirks as outlined by others such as group pics sending, that alone means users will not migrate from WhatsApp even with security and privacy concerns. Although why they are jumping to Telegram baffles me, who are they and what proven track record do they have??? If BBM could have the group usage and performance issues on other platforms sorted I'm convinced it would take off.

royfakhry

All this is nothing, no matter what BlackBerry does, If they don't get their logo next to all the billboards that say 'Available on iOS and Android' it is a losing battle.
Apps, Apps, Apps...

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jj311

I think if they expand the group features so people work more in bbm in a shared environment it will get huge traction. Cloud storage, share documents etc.

And multiple profiles, one for work, friends, family, etc or allow you to select what profile each sees.

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yacoby54

Thinking eBBM would take over the enterprise IM world is a little ambitious. Now if BB worked to integrate other major enterprise IM platforms into their eBBM platform then it would be extremely useful. For example, if a company uses Lync on their desktops/laptops, if eBBM allowed a Lync extension to be used on a mobile device by just using the BBM app then I would buy up the service in a minute. Nothing special to integrate no matter what mobile device it is as long as it runs BBM.
I realize that is a long shot too but man would it be nice and make my life a lot easier.

RyanGermann

there is something to this... Facebook exists, but LinkedIn is massively successful.... I think there's a parallel for IM when you want to keep your personal and professional lives separate.

Ironically, the platform that leads the way on "work/ life balance" (BlackBerry) makes it imppssiblre to manage multiple Twitter or Facebook or Linked in or BBM accounts on a single device, or organise multiple such accounts in the Hub with a method as straightforward as "nested folders".

When BB10 has resolved those issues, THEN they retake the the undeniable lead in B2B, B2C and just plain old human to human communications management. I think they have the lead now, but it's still debatable.

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Kiddo2050

Good observation. Linked in buys BBM for 17.5 billion. I'd like that :)

Drmoe

I think in time it will be dominant in many aspects.

Posted using the best phone ever, the Z30!

Martin Green

I agree with the broad themes in this article, but I have to disagree with one of the assertions. I really don't see SMS going away anytime soon.

SMS costs the carrier's absolutely nothing. It utilizes an unused portion of the control channels that orchestrate call connections and completions. It's 160 character limit is more than adequate for all those "pick up some bread on your way home" and "I'll be there in 20 minutes" messages. Perhaps most important, SMS is the single common denominator that all handset types, even the now defunct analog devices can communicate via. My mother will NEVER own a smartphone, or even a feature phone, but her large-button prepaid emergency phone can do SMS.

What I think will disappear though is the MONETIZATION of SMS. As I said earlier it costs carriers nothing to provide SMS since it piggyback on underused secondary channels used for call signaling. For quite a while it has been a cash cow for carriers with significant portions of their revenue coming from texting, especially while roaming. As IM alternatives to SMS gain traction and diminish the income carriers derive from texts, look for one of them to offer free, unlimited, worldwide texting for a competitive sales advantage. Once one of them does, the rest will follow.

I'm sure that one day SMS will be relegated to the scrap heap, but by then the devices we carry won't look much like current smartphones.

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TioPepe78

I don't know if there will be just one IM at the end but there are too many right now, let's hope at the end BBM stays in the final podium.

BBM with Channels is for me the perfect combination of IM + Social network, if I could find and grab all the info I need and also send the info I need the masses to reach for my business and personal purposes I would only use BBM, for now Facebook, Twitter and also Instagram are a must to reach everyone (at least in my case), do I like there ones? definitely NO (except for twitter which I find very practical), Facebook has become an standard even for login purposes in third party sites, BBM should do the same for secure login.

peter0328

Lol nobody who cares about privacy and security would use WhatsApp.

BBM especially eBBM will succeed.

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DaSchwantz

Careful on your FB Chris...it's easy to gain numbers fast by negative option phone number harvesting of contact lists. Facebook grossly overpaid, IMHO, and it's almost entirely being done using FB shares as currency.

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WPMan_Canada

eBBM kind of already exists. BES admins have been able to replace the key used for BBM encryption with their own making it a secure tool for internal communication. The problem is once you do that you cannot BBM anyone who is not in your company. So I think they are simply going to allow two instances of BBM, one on workspace with private key and one on personal side with global key. They already allow dual instances of other apps so should be very quick to deliver.

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soxfan04

They really need to improve the BBM experience on Android and IOS. It is still not even close to the reliability it is on BlackBerry. As a long time BlackBerry user who has moved on to Android I am frustrated with BBM. It is not reliable enough yet.

christoph77

Great article Umi. I think you're right. It's the way to go for BlackBerry in terms of bbm and im.

C0038297E Quote of the Day (BBM Channel)

snpd

I think lync will dominate in the IM enterprise market for bigger companies. I guess even regulated businesses use and will use it.

But who knows :-) Maybe eBBM bridges/connects someday somehow.

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WPMan_Canada

I think SMS will decline because the use of phones decline or people stop paying for voice and only go with data. I am a Scout Leader and very few of my youth have phones but use iPods and free school Wi-Fi. My personal Z10 I only use a data plan with since I can make calls using numerous VOIP clients. Now we have data only devices that are tablet size but eventually we will not have a voice network. On my work plan it is cheaper to make a VOIP call at 1 cent a MB with it being about a half MB a minute then a voice call at 1 cent a minute. If you need to send an SMS to a phone only user you can use data and an app like Fongo to do that. I am really intrigued to see if the video and voice still works with eBBM because secure voice is really important for certain organizations and is usually not cheap.

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Zirak

Lots of good comments on this one,
Back in the old days I ran a fairly large BBS, one thing people liked was the ability to customize a bunch of it, similar to the way android (and bbos) allow user customization. Give us dark/ light, font changes, font colour changes, etc. Maybe slim down the eBBM but add to the regular one.

Sent while driving from my Crackberry.

Sluggo123

I think for BBM to take the enterprise market by storm, they need more than just messaging. They need to compete by supplying offerings similar to Cisco Webex and Microsoft Lync. Conferencing and screen share capabilities without the extra apps these others need. And it needs to be cheap. Lync is part of the Microsoft Office 365 package and is trying to compete against the expensive market leader of Webex. BBM on the desktop to compete, needs to make inroads on it's messaging strength, but ramp up the other offers very quick to stay there or it will die by the wayside.

needforbbx

Remember when AOL purchased ICQ? Things change quickly in the world of tech. Of course BBM has a chance..... these are early days.

wincyUt

Yep, anything is possible.

PostMortem

Yeah, especially if they can deploy "eBBM"to BYOD BES users.

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NotGoodIMO

"I think Facebook is going to win, and as disclosure, I’m both a Facebook and BlackBerry shareholder. But what could BlackBerry do to win? It’s a moon shot, but it is possible."

Facebook is in a major bubble territory. With facebook acquiring WhatsApp, Whatsapp best days are behind. Blackberry needs to make BBM bug free and I think it will have a bright future.

ricocan

Whatever BlackBerry does going forward it's success will need to have some key feature, not currently on the market, that is ahead of everyone else. eBBM, BB10 and BES should be pieces of that 'thing' and it should be introduced and sold in the corporate world. As I have mentioned before, the majority of new technology that eventually became consumer products started in the corporate world, think PCs, printers, Internet, cell phones and smart phones. Bring together the desktop phone, desktop PC and Mobile computing into one device for the majority of a corporation's staff (thee will always be a need for desktops) and reduce the computing footprint, then I think we will find the next revolution in technology. BlackBerry likely wants to be the backbone and nervous system to this.

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thman558

Blackberry can differentiate their product by utilizing it as secure messaging rather than individuals using your telephone number.. separate the two!

"Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes"

Paul Callahan

+10000000

Posted from my Q10 (TMobile) Running OS 10.2.1.2102 as of 2.14.2014!

BlackberryFan777

I'm not sure. MS has long had an enterprise messenger and so has Novell. It didn't help MS in the consumer market.

Look, in the United States and to a lesser extent in Canada, enterprise is usually the inferior solution. It's not BYOD because your company deploys devices you really want to use. As a BlackBerry enthusiast, I bought by own newer devices to avoid the older bricks that my big law firm was distributing. I can't imagine someone saying let's use eBBM for personal messaging because that works for work, but I can imagine someone saying let's use the new FB solution at work -- it's so easy for us to use at home and we all use it all the time.

People are going to have to realize that "enterprise" means a profitable, but far less kick ass version of BlackBerry. This isn't 2002. The future of both enterprise and consumer will be determined by consumer sentiment. Chen offers us comfort and survival at the expense of greatness. When will Crackberry do some IR and let us know what the terms of the Mike L. / Cerebus / Qualcomm deal were? Chen will eat the company in service of Watsa and a stock price that responds positively to Chen's future-sabotaging "realism."

eBBM means Chen is retreating back to enterprise, where he will find things less friendly than he'd hoped.

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jrmiller200

To compete in enterprise they are up against Microsoft lync and Cisco Jabber. These solutions are part of larger unified communication offerings that let you see user presence such as if they are on the phone, in a meeting, integrated with your calendar availability etc. Companies are getting all that as upgrades to their phone systems. In the enterprise it's less to do with IM and more to do with the whole UC experience. Maybe they have the vision to say MVS was a not the right direction but to me all companies of any size are going to have pbx integration in their UC offering. From what I hear blackberry gutted their MVS team...

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Rohit Anand Das

With his comments abt selling off bbm and even that thought has made retract my earlier statement - 'John Chen you've truly been a saviour leader for BlackBerry'.

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Prem WatsApp

Quoted totally out of context. If someone offered 4 times the current market price of the whole of BlackBerry just for BBM, he would sell it (in reference to the sale of WhatsApp to Facebook for a staggering 19 billion)

But because that is unreasonable and unrealistic, he never actually said he was going to sell or was planning to sell off BBM.

-----------

Another popular example to show how quoting out of context can totally mess up what's been said:

You can make the Bible say,

"... there is no God."

if you skip over the

"The fool had said in his heart, ..."

Zzzzwiped from a Zedevice....

Prem WatsApp

* has said

Zzzzwiped from a Zedevice....

nabollocks

We are now using BBM at my workplace for the emergency evacuation team and the company is considering BBM for implementation in all offices. To be continued...

Reasons given: secure, wireless, group messaging, cross platform.

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Prem WatsApp

Awesome! More if this!

Zzzzwiped from a Zedevice....

ofutur

Joyn will win. BBM is asking for way too much personal data when one registers now. It's a much bigger barrier to entry than Whatsapp.

wincyUt

Totally agree with you. Hopefully BlackBerry will gradually overhaul the Invitation process and at the very least modify it.

mjolnirgs

No enterprise IM solution can succeed without a desktop client. The last thing I want to do is have to pull out my Q10 while sitting in front of a 23 inch monitor and full sized keyboard to respond to an IM.

I deployed a Jabber server at my workplace because there is a client for everything, and it's very secure, because I operate the server, I control the encryption keys and don't have to depend on some cloud provider, even as good as BlackBerry is.

Bring eBBM to the table with a Windows and OSX client, and allow clients to talk directly to the BES server bypassing BlackBerry's servers and I'll consider it. Otherwise, no thanks.

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Snooze_Ann

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Snooze_Ann

- Zaza =. bb! 9;opahb,,,b L
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zsssaq

My Top Apps: 1.Crackberry 2.Gasbuddy 3.USA Today 4. Word of the Day PLUS 5. Super Hexagon

allengeorge

I doubt it. That ship has sailed. I do think BBM can make a play for enterprise IM dominance though.

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bbx93719

Good strategy. Every company needs a secured IM.

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ricocan

Dominance should never be the objective anyway. Providing a cool experience that you like it was goal, if others agree then they will sign on.

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Jonathank

A moon shot or a shoot to the moon?

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Just_Jay

Ok, so here is what I would like to see:
1. Desktop integration: using BES system, you get the best of Lync built in with all the functionality of BBM (voice, video, share screen and IM), add location via glympse. Except you go one further and integrate that into BBM on your phone so you can call and do all that straight from the work network. Included in that must be the ability to allow the desktop application to contact your non BES contacts (maybe reduce the functionality to only allow IM because of security etc).
2. There must be a clear and distinct separation between eBBM and pBBM (private). So you must have the ability to separate status messages, profile pics etc.
3. There MUST be integration between smart phone and tablet. I don't care that the PB was a failure, it is what it is, but I would desperately LOVE to have BBM on my tablet. BBRY must get this working. (ideally I would prefer to have a foxconn built tablet that runs BB10)
4. Glympse must be extended to allow full time location (even if it is just aGPS or a location of a cell tower it's connected to). In the eBBM world, I want to know where my people are. (Similarly in the pBBM world I want to know where my kids are)

There are so many "nice" messaging systems out there:
1. Lync is good but there is no connection to the private world
2. Skype is good but it doens't integrate nicely into the business world (despite being owned by MS)
3. BBM is great but doesn't come to the pc
I want the best of all worlds to come to BBM to join all the functionality that I get in all the above in one place. Connected... that would truly be #BB4ALL!!!

Christoph Molitor

I did not read anything here about BBM protected. In some German news I was reading that this might come as an add-on in summer (as in app purchase) and would allow an end to end encrypted communication if the partners exchanged a key during a personal meeting. Would we nice to have CB to follow up on this. Here a lot people are leaving Whatsapp but BBM seems to be no alternative. They are moving to Threema or Telegram...

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AdamWeishaupt

If they offer end to end encryption like threema

WAverage

Don't think so. Maybe in small to medium companies. Large enterprises going for unified communication technologies like Microsoft Lync, which provide cross platform IM en passant. Too late, again.

mercury assuzu

Chris, all I can say is that you are thinking outside the box and I honesty believe that if eBBM rolls out on the pattern you are taking about then definitely BBM will definitely take over. Please BlackBerry needs to read this article. Period.

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MarkRfitness

Another two problems that has stopped my contacts using bbm 1. They keep getting logged out, forget their password and never bother to log back in. 2. Both on ios and android my contacts are not getting notifications , which means they have to open bbm to see if they have a message. So I end up using text or what's app as I know they will not receive a notification. So no point.

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ALLYSON1989

BBM can take over the messaging world by doing one thing.
This is very urgent to get this message to john chen
Skype has a service where you can call via Skype any land line or Mobile device through for a small charge per minute. If BBM can have this service for free doing away with long distance charges completely. This would put them ahead of everyone else on the messaging business

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wincyUt

If BlackBerry can quickly implement the BBM "truly" cross platform, meaning BBM on desktops and every other platform out there, the eBBM will become a game changer. It means employers and employees can securely communicate by any preferred device.
IMHO, BBM has a fair shot to overtake WhatsApp as the IM king once BBRY gets its act properly together.

br14

90% of my clients use MS Lync or an earlier version for IM.

Given the features of the Lync product it's hard to see how BBM could displace Lync in the near future.

If BBM could integrate with Lync that might be another question, but that would probably mean partnering with Microsoft in some way.

wavemotion

Chan and his team have to find a way to bring highly sought after features and services to BlackBerry, they must be so unique (Patents and lawyers ) that they can't easily be copied or passed over by the competition.
We should have had a desktop client already.
The other stuff will require a break through. What..i don't know. Apple is about feel the bite again , the seasons are changing. Once every body can has the same features, there is nothing to make you stand out. This makes the race very close, you can win or lose by a wisker!
Google isn't Apple, BlackBerry isn't Microsoft.
Focus on the enterprise and life along side of it. BlackBerry balance is a great idea, build on it.

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D.Vader

Yeah but Facebook sucks. LOL I don't see how WhatsApp really ads value to them. I get it they get a mobile play now in the IM space, but they kind of already had that with Facebook chat. Seems redundant, but let Mark Zukerberg waste his money, that will leave less for him to spend in a political year which is fine by me.

sisko2003

Hm, i disagree on some of umis world dominance of Facebook statements...they know that they need more resources to collect our data when they want to compete with Google on the long run.
In Germany whatsapp starts to take a step into the mobile phone business. They buy capacity from Base, a quite huge provider. Maybe we see a new mobile phone provider soon or integrated services. This said it looks more to me like Facebook does interesting steps into diversification. And new ways to collect personal data. Like google did recently with the acquisition of nest.
Second...within days most of the people here i know -sure no youngsters - are looking for a whatsapp alternative because they don't want to send even more data to Facebook.
Things are fast moving and I buy that Facebook had much more in mind then only acquiring a messaging platform called whatsapp. I believe Facebook will do even more acquisition... I do agree that the Facebook share is a good bet :-)

neefer

I admit to knowing zilch about "eBBM" beyond what is mentioned here, and knowing about the same with regards to BES... but I'm a little confused by the following:

"If you’re working for one company and your buddies are working for other companies who all use eBBM, perhaps it would be more likely for you all to communicate over “regular” BBM. It only makes sense. It also makes sense that if several people in a group of friends use BBM because of work while a few others in the gang don’t use eBBM at work, they still may choose BBM as their social chat tool because their friends already use it."

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but any "single solution" type thing regarding work life and play life merging onto the same system gives me the heebie-jeebies. (*cough* Sarbanes-Oxley *cough*)

drkpitt

BlackBerry needs to publish some information about the percieved slowness. An objective third party could help. My suspicion is that Whatsapp isn't faster than BBM, but that BBM's interface exposes the inherent delays in iOS more readily with the checkmark, D, and R user interface.

We all know that in BBM the check means the server has received the message. The D means it has been delivered to the device and is ready to be read. The R means the person actually opened or scrolled over the message in the UI. When things go well the D and R are both almost instantaneous on BlackBerry to BlackBerry (or even iOS/Android when they are active.)

In Whatsapp the first checkmark means the server has received the message. It has not been delivered to the device yet. The second checkmark means it has been delivered to the device. It does not mean the message had been read (see many CrackBerry articles talking about this secret). You have no idea when the message was really read. People think that the two check marks means it has been read, and Whatsapp enjoys this misperception and doesn't offer to clear that up.

Why does this matter? Because if you look at the comparison between the two systems, we're actually comparing BBM "D" with Whatsapp's "double check marks". If you compare those two times, they are likely similar. When I used Whatsapp I noticed long delays in people responding and conversations weren't real time either. I would constantly wonder why someone didn't respond, and even when I asked then a question about something with a double check mark in person they would say they had no idea what I was talking about and hadn't read anything.

There is a fundamental design issue with iOS around app scheduling. iOS puts third party apps to sleep after a few minutes of non use to save battery. At that point it periodically wakes the app to look for notifications via the "APNS" call. When an app has woken up it can then do something. So while BBM is asleep on iOS if a message cones in it can't be delivered. Thus the BBM sender only sees the grey check mark which is frustrating. When the iOS device wakes up minutes later via APNS, the D appears. Only then can the user hope to read it.

If there's a way to get BBM to run a service at a higher priority or a real time service the way it does on BlackBerry devices that would address the problem. But I doubt Apple would do anything here to help BlackBerry.

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dannybaird

I think they could dominate if they offered the ability to add Microsoft Lync, Skype/Messenger, Google Talk, etc. contacts from various messaging services to BBM - having a single app to message all contacts from could make a huge difference to the reach of this service. Imagine you could contact your BBM buddies, chat with Lync contacts at work, and send messages to your personal Messenger contacts from the same app in an enterprise-grade secure way.