SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Michael Finneran
Michael F. Finneran, is President of dBrn Associates, Inc., a full service advisory firm specializing in wireless and mobility; services...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Michael Finneran | October 20, 2011 |

 
   

RIM: How Not To "Hit the Ground Running"

RIM: How Not To "Hit the Ground Running" The smartphone business, both consumer and enterprise, is driven by new imperatives and RIM is losing by continuing to stick to its old ways.

The smartphone business, both consumer and enterprise, is driven by new imperatives and RIM is losing by continuing to stick to its old ways.

Research In Motion (RIM) has announced yet another plan for how they intend to reverse their precipitous slide in the smartphone business, a business they helped to create. Speaking at the BlackBerry Developers Conference in San Francisco, Co-CEO Mike Lazaridus announced a new plan for the company's software migration. The old plan was to phase out the current BlackBerry operating system (currently BlackBerry 5 or BlackBerry 6) after the next iteration (BlackBerry 7) and begin using QNX, the operating system on both the BlackBerry PlayBook and the smartphones. Now the plan is to have another operating system called BBX, which will combine the BlackBerry and QNX--no date for that new operating system was provided. As this was a "Developers Conference", I just pray no one was injured in the stampede to the exits.

Watching this story unfold reminded me of a trick I heard many years ago for working on roofs--I never tried it. This guy told me that if you're working on a roof and start to lose your balance what you should do is "Run down hill". This sounds rather counterintuitive, but he said the problem is that you've lost your balance because your center of gravity is off kilter and what you want to do is get your feet back underneath you again. Of course it is important to recognize the obvious limitations of such a strategy (i.e. the edge of the roof!), or you will give a new meaning to that phrase "Hit the ground running".

RIM is sprinting down that roof with total abandon. Back in 2009, I wrote a piece called "Standing on the RIM--(And Staring into the Abyss)", that predicted the ascendance of Android, the demise of WebOS, and a rapid decline for RIM unless they get their stuff together quickly and came up with something to slow the defection of consumer users. Well it's two years later and all of this is playing out with depressing fatalism. I also suggested RIM buy Motorola Mobility to get a play in the growing Android market; I think someone beat them to that. About the only thing I failed to predict was the bring your own device (BYOD) movement that triggered similar losses among enterprise users as well.

As everyone has given their assessments of how RIM managed to fall so far so fast, here's my list:

* Do Stuff People Can't Notice Real Well: RIM builds great products (for specific purposes) with a depth of quality engineering and design that's truly astounding. When you look at bread and butter capabilities like battery life, audio quality, radio/antenna technology, user interface design (for the aforementioned "specific purposes"), RIM builds a great product. Unfortunately, the first few iterations of the iPhone proved that people will bend over backwards (i.e. turn off Wi-Fi when not in use, charge the thing at every possible opportunity, etc.) if you do the stuff they really want to do. At this party, "bread and butter" doesn't hold up to ice cream and chocolate cake.

* Ignore Stuff People Really Want: Top of that list is apps, speed, simplicity, and a compelling touch screen interface. Apple flat out kills RIM in web access and network dependent apps that just work faster. RIM’s browser is "plodding"--Apple's sings. Even getting simple stuff to work on a BlackBerry is too much trouble. I was in Europe recently and had turned off the 3G data service on my BlackBerry to avoid the international data rip off; when I'm on vacation, I can wait for my email until I get back to the hotel. We stopped into a Starbucks in Vienna that had free Wi-Fi, and I was able to associate on the Wi-Fi network with no problem. However, when I tried to open a web page (to trigger the "I Accept" page) my BlackBerry told me there was a problem and I should contact my mobile operator. "Hello?" Those are the people I was trying to avoid.

* If you do Have Something People Want, Don’t Tell Them: The crazy thing is that there actually are a bunch of great apps for the BlackBerry (not "tens of thousands", but "a bunch"). They have Pandora and Slacker (Web Radio), Flixster (movies), Poynt and Superpages (local search), ScoreMobile (sports scores), Carfinder, WeatherBug, and BlackBerry Travel, which is hands down the best travel app a business user could every have. Have you ever seen an ad touting BlackBerry apps? The last major media campaign was to launch the PlayBook, a device that has virtually no applications at all.





COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

November 1, 2017

Your customers (internal and external) demand that you offer them the ability to connect by any means. With the adoption of cloud communications tools you now have access to an expanded portfolio o

October 18, 2017

Microsofts recent Ignite event had some critically important announcements for enterprise communications. Namely, Microsofts new Team Collaboration offering, Teams, will be its primary communicatio

September 20, 2017

Customer experience can make or break your business. But how do you achieve outstanding customer service when you're dealing with outdated organizational structure, lagging technology, dated proces

September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.