RIM's 'PlayBook': Protect the enterprise house

RIM's 'PlayBook': Protect the enterprise house

Summary: Research in Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook has arrived and the goal is very clear: Protect the company's enterprise turf and preannounce an early 2011 product that may make it into the IT budgeting process.

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"We must protect this house."

Research in Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook has arrived and the goal is very clear: Protect the company's enterprise turf and preannounce an early 2011 product that may make it into the IT budgeting process. At the very least, RIM is hoping its PlayBook can at least pause Apple's iPad corporate encroachment.

In many respects, RIM got back to its roots with the pitch for the PlayBook (Techmeme).  If RIM can't beat the iPad on the consumer front it certainly can provide integration with all the server and security features the company offers on the back end with the introduction of the PlayBook.

RIM might as well have emulated those Under Armour commercials where football players start chanting "we have to protect this house."

Let's recap some of the key RIM phrases from the BlackBerry developer powwow and statement:

  • "Perfect for either large organizations or an "army of one", the BlackBerry PlayBook is designed to give users what they want, including uncompromised web browsing, true multitasking and high performance multimedia, while also providing advanced security features, out-of-the-box enterprise support and a breakthrough development platform for IT departments and developers."
  • "RIM set out to engineer the best professional-grade tablet in the industry."
  • "It includes dual HD cameras for video capture and video conferencing that can both record HD video at the same time."
  • "Thanks to the seamless and secure Bluetooth pairing experience and the highly secure underlying OS architecture, the BlackBerry PlayBook is enterprise ready and compatible (out-of-the-box) with BlackBerry Enterprise Server."
  • "When connected over Bluetooth, the smartphone content is viewable on the tablet, but the content actually remains stored on the BlackBerry smartphone and is only temporarily cached on the tablet (and subject to IT policy controls)."
  • "The BlackBerry Tablet OS is built upon the QNX Neutrino microkernel architecture, one of the most reliable, secure and robust operating system architectures in the world. Neutrino has been field hardened for years and is being used to support mission-critical applications in everything from planes, trains and automobiles to medical equipment and the largest core routers that run the Internet."

Now in between those enterprise messages were other key specs like support for Adobe Flash, HTML 5 and other goodies like media management, ad platforms and perks for Web developers. But it's clear that RIM is positioning the PlayBook as an enterprise device---because a consumer isn't going to care that QNX runs critical infrastructure. It's not that much different than what Dell is trying to do with its Streak.

That RIM positioning is critical since the enterprise is the company's core. If the enterprise goes, RIM is toast. It's really that simple. With the PlayBook introduction, RIM has at the very least planted some doubt among enterprise customers that were pondering iPad pilots.

For good measure, RIM teamed up with Oracle, IBM and SAP to talk enterprise super apps.

Add it up and RIM is just doing what it does best: Protecting its enterprise house.

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Topics: Hardware, Mobility, BlackBerry

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21 comments
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  • Not bad at all...

    This is better than I expected from RIMM. A very good sign. Question is: How much?
    DaveMTL
  • RE: RIM's 'PlayBook': Protect the enterprise house

    I think RIM may have made a marketing blunder. Am I the only one who will never buy a device that is named PlayBook? It reminds me of "Cinderella Man," a good movie that many men refused to see just because of the title. Don't get me wrong: I really want RIM to succeed in tablets and smartphones.
    Benjie Dog
    • RE: RIM's 'PlayBook': Protect the enterprise house

      @Benjie Dog and this from a guy who calls himself Benjie Dog??? LOL. Actually, I think most business folks will be very apt to say "hang on... let me get my PlayBook". It's a term often used in business especially around strategy.
      mapsonburt
    • RE: RIM's 'PlayBook': Protect the enterprise house

      @Benjie Dog I sure think it's better naming than most of what we've seen in the tablet industry, for instance iPad is just horrid and Tab isn't much better...
      Techloaded
      • RE: RIM's 'PlayBook': Protect the enterprise house

        @Techloaded i dunno, i think tab sounds kinda cool... ipad is a terrible name, but it undoubtedly will sound normal within a year due to it being said so often. playBook has the word lay in it, which is sorta not a very enterprise-ey name. isn't it supposed to be about work, not play? but i'm sure within a year that will also sound normal.
        DevonS
    • Who would buy an "iPad"?

      @Benjie Dog

      Or a "netbook"
      Or a "toughbook"
      Or a "notebook"
      trickytom3
      • RE: RIM's 'PlayBook': Protect the enterprise house

        Hello mapsonburt, Techloaded, tricktom3,<br>You guys are right in one respect: the name PlayBook ain't too bad compared to iPad. Hopefully it will sound better when PlayBook becomes mainstream, as I hope it will.
        Benjie Dog
  • Looks nice, solid piece of tech

    I'm sure it'll be a nice tablet for Enterprise applications. I just wish they'd partner with Google so that it could run Android apps...
    Techloaded
    • Not partnering with Google is one prime way...

      @Techloaded... to keep it self set apart from the fray, to differentiate itself. No partnering with Google to use Android would be a mistake. The only reason to run to Google's arms is if it is getting too costly to develop the OS in-house, and you want a silver bullet catch all OS, but then again, how does a company differentiate itself in the Market, running Android OS? Answer is to load as much crapware as possible, that the user cannot remove with out the ol' Windows cliche' "wipe and reload", or Root the device. <br><br>Perlow and Bott, just blogged about this the other day...
      Snooki_smoosh_smoosh
    • RE: RIM's 'PlayBook': Protect the enterprise house

      @Techloaded

      As Larry said: "It?s not that much different than what Dell is trying to do with its Streak."

      But, the one big difference with Dell is that it does not run Google spyware, ie. Android. Corporates will not participate willingly in Google's spywhere botnet.
      jorjitop
      • RE: RIM's 'PlayBook': Protect the enterprise house

        @jorjitop lol @ your bias against goole.
        DevonS
  • What is really needed in the Enterprise

    To me, there is no tablet I have seen so far that really fits the bill. What is needed is basically a relatively dumb (and cheap) device that provides a secure connection to back-end services. Sure, you could have a remote access client of some sort sitting on top of an iPad or the Rimm device or an Android tablet (or practically anything) but the functionality of such a device is largely wasted for this purpose. Basically you just need a screen, a web browser and a secure network connection - and preferably no permanent storage on the device at all. The equivalent of a dumb terminal gone mobile.
    cornpie
    • Well unfortunately, that would not sell that well...

      @cornpie... in the consumer market, and may be even too limited for the Enterprise Market.

      What am I saying? It wouldn't sell at all in the Consumer Market, and yeah, probably too limited for the Enterprise Market. A dumb Terminal as you put it, could only be used in house on the enterprise network, or in conjuction with Citrix, Telnet, RDP, or VPN, which basically means you just bought yourself a thin-client.
      Snooki_smoosh_smoosh
      • Yes, exactly what I would want

        @JM1981 For applications such as medical professionals accessing medical records bedside where we do not want to have to deal with the security issues associated with a device with local storage. Basically, if someone accidentally (or on purpose) carries the device out of the hospital then it does not work and records are not compromised. The less that is on the device beyond the minimum needed, the more secure it is. BTW, where I work there is an Enterprise wide policy that sensitive data may not be stored "on portable computing devices" unless they are equipped with full device encryption. The thin client could dodge the issue by not storing data locally in the first place.<br><br>The same could be true for many companies that handle sensitive data. <br><br>And yes, I realize that the consumer market for this would be limited - but not zero. I, for one might use one. For example most home users are not going to have their tablet as their only computing device. They are probably going to also have a Windows PC or a MAC too. A very simple device that just gave me a remote desktop screen to my PC could be very useful as long as I'm only going to use it at home.
        cornpie
  • RE: RIM's 'PlayBook': Protect the enterprise house

    If it's for "enterprise", why put the word "play" in the name?

    If it has no hinge, why put the word "book" in the name?
    Non-techie Talk
    • To appeal to football fans?

      @NontechieTalk Seems obvious to me.
      cornpie
  • RE: RIM's 'PlayBook': Protect the enterprise house

    God anything is better than the Black Pad - which sounds like a canine illness
    bovril
    • RE: RIM's 'PlayBook': Protect the enterprise house

      @bovril : What about "PadBerry"? Does that sound good?
      nomorebs
    • RE: RIM's 'PlayBook': Protect the enterprise house

      @bovril : What about "PadBerry"?
      nomorebs
      • RE: RIM's 'PlayBook': Protect the enterprise house

        @nomorebs You're right, anything is not better than Blackpad, especially "PadBerry".

        I won't pretend to have all the answers, but for all their money they should be able to find some people bright enough to come up with something worthwhile.

        All I know is, it's not anything like what the word "book" implies in the electronic space, nor is it geared for "play".
        Non-techie Talk