02-21-2005, 06:34 PM
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| | [02-17-2005] 3GSM RIM - CIO's cautious about BB Rollouts.
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"By far the biggest productivity tool in the world today is wireless data." |
The biggest name in email over wireless devices has said that even when its solution makes sense for end users and mobile operators, adoption is still very much in the hands of cautious CIOs.
Speaking at the 3GSM show in Cannes this week, RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie said the pitch of his company - known for the popular Blackberry device - comes down to three things. He asked: ""What's in it for the user? What's in it for the carrier? Are you onside with the CIO?"
He added: "Because there's nothing in it for them apart from trouble."
RIM took a number of years to sell its first one million Blackberry devices but only 10 months to sell its second million, meaning that to many user organisations it is the de facto provider of email on the move - despite competition on the software and hardware fronts from a number of providers now.
Balsillie restated the position, backed up by research released last year, that Blackberrys mean much greater productivity per employee but insisted the device is about individuals, SoHo workers and SMEs - so-called prosumers - as much as enterprise accounts.
He pointed to much greater operator profitability when they sign up Blackberry users - all Blackberrys being linked to operator contracts - and added: "I am prepared to debate amongst any technologists in the world or productivity experts that by far the biggest productivity tool in the world today is wireless data."
However, he pointed out that CIOs are crucial. He said they rarely get to their lofty positions because of experimentation and flare - yet they do get fired for compromising data integrity or security breaches. Many experts point out this all means mobile email that simply works is attractive.
Dean Bubley of Disruptive Analysis said: "If you or your boss are up for a jail sentence, rather than the sack, for doing anything untoward with mobile email - as is now the case with some regulatory frameworks - then you will do anything to get it right."
He said RIM now has many proof points out in the market and singled out the strength of having customers in the legal profession and finance such as Goldman Sachs.
However, rivals to Canada-based RIM, such as mobile handset leader Nokia, have criticised RIM's end-to-end approach to mobile email, pointing out that others such as Good Technology can let user organisations put together the various components of mobile email solutions themselves or that Visto email is good when sold, brandless, through service providers.
"RIM is basically saying let them do all the security," said Olivier Cognet, head of strategy and business development in Nokia's enterprise solutions division.
RIM's Balsillie, in common with other speakers at this year's 3GSM show, called for subsequent events to focus more on enterprise instead of consumer services.
He also said devices such as Blackberrys must go through an image makeover.
"These things are still seen as executive toys," he said