RIM, SAP Partner To Bring Software To Blackberrys
DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
May 2, 2008 11:11 a.m.
By Roger Cheng
Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Research in Motion Ltd. (RIMM) and SAP AG (SAP) said on Friday that the Blackberry will start carrying SAP business software, further bolstering both companies' presence with corporate users.
Blackberry users will be able to access SAP's customer relationship management software through the mobile device. The software will be sent over the air on the cellular network and will work with all versions of Blackberrys. RIM Chief Executive Jim Balsillie told reporters during a conference that he expects the software to be available in weeks. They haven't worked out a price model yet.
RIM, which has a solid position in the corporate market with its email device, faces potential competition from Apple Inc. (AAPL), which is working to prep its iPhone - a hit with consumers - for the business market.
Balsillie, however, said the partnership with SAP puts it well ahead of Apple.
"There's no comparison to the iPhone," he said. "What we're doing no one else can do."
SAP, meanwhile, is one of the leaders in business software, but faces competition from upstarts such as Salesforce.com Inc. (CRM), which provides similar sales management software via the Internet.
The program will take relevant data from the sales management software and "push" it to Blackberry, so users automatically get the information sent them. The model is similar to what Blackberry did with email.
"Literally, you can give a salesman a Blackberry device and there's no training," Balsillie said. "They don't even know they're in a CRM system."
RIM has suffered from a number of outages in the past several months. When asked about reliability, Balsillie said that "processes have been put in place to ensure" that no data is lost and to prevent future problems.
"It's part of a growing emerging business," he said, adding that he takes security and reliability seriously.
-By Roger Cheng, Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-2020;