MobileCon 2012: RIM branches out

Mike Sapien/Ovum
11 Oct 2012

RIM’s CIO, Robin Bienfait, opened Wednesday’s MobileCon keynotes with a question to enterprises: “Does your company have a plan for mobility or is it just happening to you?”

Ovum’s survey of enterprise CIOs and ongoing research on this topic suggests that although enterprises rate improving security and privacy as a top strategic priority, many are allowing the demands of their internal users to drive unmanaged growth of mobility in multiple areas within the organization.

Bienfait provided an overview of some of the key products RIM expects to help restore its brand equity, relevance, and market share following a tough couple of years in which the company has focused considerable attention on the consumer market.

These latest launches are a departure from its consumer-focused efforts and suggest a strategy in which RIM is branching out into new territory and strengthening its roots in the enterprise market.

RIM will launch its Blackberry 10 operating system in 1Q13, which will support other mobile operating systems including iOS and Android. RIM will also launch Blackberry Balance, a “dual-persona” solution that separates business and personal activities on mobile devices.

Both launches seem to be late in coming for RIM, but nonetheless address key enterprise needs that help to reinforce the company’s relevance with enterprise customers. However, Ovum is concerned that the future success of these products might not match Bienfait’s optimism.

First, both products come across as being too good to be true. RIM will likely face issues integrating the social networking and collaboration applications (which include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Webex, and Jabbar, among others) with the Blackberry Balance single client interface.

Second, success for both products will take time to develop. The question then becomes, Will it be in time to turn the tide for RIM?

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