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Old 05-25-2006, 10:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Expectation Management

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I've been in the software design business for most of the last 20 years, and that's the single most important skill I've learned: don't let the client get carted away by daydreams of all the blue-sky things they'd like to have; keep them grounded in what they need, and what extras will cost them.

The same lessons apply to users of BlackBerry's, from a lot of the postings I've seen whilst prowling around the forum since I got mine (all of 2 days ago :-).

There are, it seems, 3 major groups of BlackBerry users:
  • Corporate users
  • Geeks
  • Civilians

The Corporate audience--to the extent that it excludes the geek who convinced the company it would be a Pretty Neat Idea to go BB--by and large sees the unit as a tool to get work done more efficiently. These will not be the people on whose handsets you will see 32MB taken up by third-party apps.

But that's ok. It is because there are lots of corporations that the things exist at all, which makes happy the Geeks, which group I'll admit to being in.

Geeks are usually either onesy owners, who (typically) get BIS from their carrier, or the administrator of a BES for a corporation (I suspect that audience is about 60/40 geeks).

We're the people who stretch the devices beyond all possible limits; the ones who have 3 IM clients and 4 RSS readers loaded at any given time. The ones who serve as unpaid gamma testers for everyone else on new releases of the OS.

We're also the ones the carriers hate, because a) we know more than they do, and b) we don't fit into their patterns.

Unlike the Corporate people, for whom the major expectation to manage is probably Complexity, ours are Performance, Services, and Price.

We always want more... except on price.

Lastly, there are the Civilians. This is probably the smallest group in the BlackBerry Nation; it's much smaller than the similar group in, say, the Nextel Nation: the functionality of Direct Connect is much more applicable to the average person than that of a BlackBerry.

I really couldn't tell you what they expect; it's been so long since I've been one.

But a lot of the complaints that I see people post on the forums seem to me to be based on going in with your expectations misadjusted. Certainly, there are some things which are probably objectively not up to snuff about the BlackBerry Experience by anyone's measurement.

But it would probably be good, too, before posting, to stop and think about what it is you're really irked about, if you are.

And if you don't own a CrackBerry yet, do a little research, and see what you're getting yourself into. :-)
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Old 05-25-2006, 11:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I understand your point. I just wanted to add the following users to the mix.
There are a growing number of corporate users who use (mds based) applications developed inhouse by the geeks (developers). At WES I saw many frameworks that claim to allow more and more data to be pushed on to the handhelds. These users and developers will soon come across the hard reality of the BES MDS limitations as an app server and will have to manage their expectations as well.
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Old 05-25-2006, 11:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Excellent point. A bit tangential to, I suspect, most of the people who frequent these forums... but not all of them.

(You'd hope they'd be here, wouldn't you?)

As much as anything, I was hoping to draw the full-sentences-and-punctuation crowd out of the woodwork with this thread; I know they're here.
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Old 05-25-2006, 12:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would have to further breakdown the corporate users into 3 categories:

- Executives (who have the BB not only to stay in contact, but as a status symbol, esp. when they demand the newest model the minute it comes out, and want to know why it takes more than 5 minutes to port their number over and get the new one up and running)

- High End Users (these are the people who I would consider 'power' users who don't need their hands held to learn all the functions - I can give them general directions on how to do something and they get it.)

- Low End Users (these are the people I wonder how they were approved to get the device in the first place because they can barely figure out how to type their own name, let alone compose an email)

In our company's case, it wasn't the IT Geek(s) who told management we needed them, it was Executive Mgmt telling IT that the company President need to have one in his hand on the first day of a yearly trade show (which happened to be about 3 weeks from when we were told). That led to a 'pilot' of 5 devices...then 10, then 20. Two years later we have 4 servers in 4 countries with 400 users (I'm sensing a pattern there).
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Old 05-25-2006, 12:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juwaack68
- Executives (who have the BB not only to stay in contact, but as a status symbol, esp. when they demand the newest model the minute it comes out, and want to know why it takes more than 5 minutes to port their number over and get the new one up and running)
Oh yeah; them. I'm lucky enough to have been able to forget about them.

I put them in the same category as doctors driving Acura NSX's that are entirely too much automobile for them, just because they can afford it now.

And then I go back to ignoring them.
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