It’s no question that BlackBerry is pushing ahead with the launch of BlackBerry 10. It’s evident in the employee morale, the developer support and even the carrier support. While Kevin was in Waterloo at RIM headquarters, he discussed the carrier support of BlackBerry 10 with Frank Boulben. Mr. Boulben was quite adamant that carriers shared a similar enthusiasm for the new product. Recently I had the chance to visit the TELUS Toronto office during an event and got to talk shop with James Bishop who is Manager of Product Marketing at TELUS, and Brent Johnston who is VP Mobility Solutions at TELUS. Keep reading as we answer the question: Is TELUS behind the all-new BlackBerry and the BlackBerry 10 OS?
The short answer, is yes, TELUS will be behind BlackBerry 10 as they feel that their customers should have choices. Choices in rate plans, contracts and handsets. As for a longer answer, Brent Johnston also went on to discuss marketing efforts behind various products and stated that in the history of the Canadian wireless sector that individual carrier marketing efforts for devices were needed. The reason Mr. Johnston said that marketing efforts from a carrier standpoint were needed is because before each carrier had exclusive devices, and they needed to differentiate against the competition. As we move closer to 2013 carriers no longer get the exclusive handset treatment as they once did, carriers now need to market their network and service to compete against their competition. In my discussions, Mr. Johnston was adamant that the manufacturers needed to up their marketing efforts to ensure customers understand why product A is better that product B.
Mr. Johnston wouldn’t exactly say what TELUS was going to do with the launch of BlackBerry 10. What he did tell me was that people using RIM products make up for a large portion of their customers base, and they are always looking to please their customers.
Knowing that TELUS would be giving BlackBerry 10 the treatment it deserved, I quickly shifted gears into an issue that would hurt current and future sales of BlackBerry devices if not fixed. The issue you ask? That is the employee outlook on BlackBerry products and services. A pressing issue that has been on my mind with TELUS and other carriers around the world. Mr. Johnston agreed that with any new product launch they would need to ensure that their front line staff have the knowledge needed in order to properly position new products, BlackBerry 10 in this case. Mr. Johnston also continued on to say that TELUS doesn’t commission their staff in a way that favors certain manufactures, each TELUS employee is to sell based on their individual customer needs.
I went on the ask Mr. Johnston about what he thought of BlackBerry 10 and he said that he couldn’t comment yet as he hasn’t seen the new product. All of which will change as RIM continues on their carrier roadshow in the coming weeks.
So there you have it CrackBerry Nation, while Brent Johnston of TELUS Mobility hasn’t seen the final iteration of BlackBerry 10 he still seems optimistic and knows that BlackBerry products and services are important to TELUS customers.
From my discussions my take away was, if RIM can deliver with BlackBerry 10 they will receive the support they deserve from TELUS.
*Please note that when CrackBerry visited TELUS head office, carrier discussions with RIM were limited. At the time of writing this RIM has been working with Canadian carriers and showing the true power of BlackBerry 10.Image source: urbantoronto.ca