Will BlackBerry 10 revitalize enterprise interest?

Moderated by Zack Whittaker | February 4, 2013 -- 07:00 GMT (23:00 PST)

Summary: On the heels of BlackBerry 10's launch, our mobile experts debate the prospects for this erstwhile business favorite.

Matt Baxter-Reynolds

Matt Baxter-Reynolds




Matthew Miller

Matthew Miller

Best Argument: Unlikely


Audience Favored: Promising (65%)

The moderator has delivered a final verdict.

Opening Statements

BlackBerry still fits many customers

What do you buy if you're a mobile executive that needs hours of talk time, days of standby, and the best mobile email and scheduling system on the market? You buy BlackBerry. It was true a decade ago, and it's still true now. Although the market moved on, leaving RIM (as it was) for dust, BlackBerry remains close to a certain type of enterprise customer. There are still plenty of organizations out there that are not executing a shift away from the BlackBerry proposition.

BlackBerry 10 doesn't throw the enterprise baby out with the bathwater. The mobile email and scheduling is best in the market, taking what BlackBerry knows about that type of software and just adding a New World Smartphone sheen. Talk time is better than the old BlackBerry handsets -- more double in some case, and talk time is important to this sort of customer.

And BlackBerry Balance is a unique product in the market, allowing the user to control how much they share (important in a post-PC device that's about hyper-social, always-connected lifestyles), and how much the organization does or doesn't leak.

BlackBerry 10 in the enterprise has legs -- which is a good thing in a mobile platform.

New BlackBerry: Close but no cigar

I was at the BB10 launch event in New York this week and now I'm testing out a BlackBerry Z10 device. BlackBerry is definitely fresh, but the big question is whether or not there's something compelling enough to excite, retain, bring back, or recruit new enterprise customers. Over the past couple of years we have seen large companies and government agencies leave RIM, now BlackBerry, for iOS. Unfortunately, I can't see anything obvious at this time that shows me BlackBerry is ready to revitalize enterprise interest.

BlackBerry has been known for security and it is important for them to show that the new BES not keeps that but improves the IT experience. The BlackBerry Balance functionality is interesting and may appeal to both the enterprise customer and consumers who may no longer have to carry around a work BlackBerry and an iPhone. Businesses also need to know the company they sign on with is in it for the long haul and Apple is showing that is the case with a focus on profits and quality products. The company BlackBerry's future is still a bit uncertain and a lot is riding on the success of BB 10. Companies may be taking a wait and see approach until later in 2013.


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  • welcome back

    The OS is the key, if not the phone itself
    Reply Vote I'm for Promising
  • Great features tech-pundits are not mentioning about the new Blackberry 10

    Finally, native desktop syncing with Outlook Desktop - you can't even do that on a Windows phone MS is standing on its head, just like Apple and Google, to own me. And also, Wi-Fi calling, which - duh - you also cannot do on a Windows phone!? And FINALLY, an Blackberry 10 offers an ecosystem that does not lay claim to everything that is rightfully mine. I do not want to yield my life, my data or my control to Apple or Google and Blackberry will finally let me have it MY WAY! (PS - As for the number of Apps gripe the pundits whine about, I can do without 2,000 different FART apps, thank you. Just give me a few dozen competently written basic apps and I'll be happy).

    Welcome back, Blackberry. It will be great to have a thoughtful, professional, non-intrusive tech partner again.

    Reply 4 Votes I'm for Promising
    • The BlackBerry App World has always been ...

      ... more costly and more difficulty to access than anyone elses' app store. Do you really think that will change?
      M Wagner
      Reply 1 Vote I'm Undecided
  • Read the Vodafone reviews

    bud carlos
    Reply Vote I'm for Promising
  • Maybe - TWO years ago!

    Now, its 2013. BES customers whose staff are entrenched in BYOD have seen BES participation drop 90%. MS Exchange ActiveSync has replaced BES for those BYOD employees and, while perhaps not as secure as BES, ActiveSync does not carry with it a premium data charge through your cellular carrier.

    For end-users, the good news about BlackBerry 10 is that it works with ActiveSync. No more extra data fees. For BlackBerry (formerly RIM), the bad news about BlackBerry 10 is that it does not require BES to be fully functional!

    The result:

    Regardless of the success of the BlackBerry 10 handset, BlackBerry is likely to lose most of its BES licensees since ActiveSync is "just as good as" BES 10.

    In 2004, there was no competition for RIM. In 2013, BlackBerry faces competition on every corner - almost all of those competitive devices work with Exchange ActiveSync.

    It seems to me that, while BlackBerry (the company) is "doing the right thing" - it is too little too late. In 2011, they still had a chance. Today, I'm not so sure.
    M Wagner
    Reply 2 Votes I'm for Unlikely
    • Half truths

      How many times does it have to be said - BB10 fully supports ActiveSync. You don't need to use BES 10 and there is no different data plan that is needed for Blackberry devices. NONE - it's gone. Removed. So if your company has exposed Exchange ActiveSync your Blackberry 10 device will sync just like any other device.

      The other side of this is not every company wille expose EAS as it has security concerns and doesn't provide a fraction of what a MDM solution will. I think what's really occuring is companies are replacing BES or doing a plus one model alongside BES to better manage mobile devices. This is why solutions like Good Technology are seeing records growth as they can provide a corporate "container" on a host of device that seperate corporate data and personal. There are a slew of other MDM provides as well, most offering similar functionality as their sync protocol is EAS based. Good however works almost exactly like BES (NOC, PUSH, Extra data plan etc) so go figure.

      The offset of this is BYOD is not as appealing to the employee now because companies are getting more formal around personal device usage and management. It was great to have an iPhone that wasn't as restricted as a traditional Blackberry but now with MDM controls you can almost equal that. This makes an employee question how much do they compromise for this "perk". This BYOD costs being pushed onto the employee many are choosing to accept the corporate provided option or just not bother.

      After using BB10 and BES 10 for a month now, outside of consumer based Apps there is NOTHING one can say Blackberry cannot provide in a business justfication. The hardware is comparable, the screen is beautiful, the browser is fast and key enterprise Apps are already supported.
      Reply Vote I'm Undecided
  • iOS 6.1 or BB 10

    I just upgraded from a Storm2 to a Torch 9850 last July. I signed a two year contract. Then I received an iPad 4 for Christmas. My whole family has iPhone4/4s. With the exposure to iOS with the iPad and app selection versus BB OS 7.1 and selection of apps - BlackBerry 10 must bring it forward with apps. I will be waiting until next Christmas before I upgrade (unsubsidized) to either an iPhone 5s/6 or the BlackBerry Z10. BlackBerry 10 sounds like it really brings what it needs to and then some. I hope the tide will turn in favor of BlackBerry and if it does I will follow, but if support is slow or BlackBerry does not gain the needed traction I will be switching to the next iPhone. -Carlisle Bean
    Reply 2 Votes I'm for Promising
  • I'm for unlikely.

    My company has pushed out BlackBerries to our workforce for years. Now we're letting people choose from a selection of devices, and no one wants a Blackberry. It's iPhones, Android devices, and WP8. BlkackBerry has lost mindshare and most people see it as old tech. Maybe the new OS and devices can change that but I think it's too late.
    Reply Vote I'm for Unlikely
    • Why?

      Why would it be too late? The mindshare will come back when they start advertising again.
      Look at the qualities of each OS. The security that you only get with BlackBerry (FIPS certification), for instance. Ask yourself if you want to do banking on a phone that is any less secure than you have to.
      Then look at the User Experience. The apps selection can only get better as developers see that it has been accepted by the buying public and they can make money there too.
      Susan Antony
      Reply Vote I'm Undecided
      • End users don't always make the most sound choice

        It isn't the job or priority of most end users to make the choice for best security. If the IT company allows users to pick a device from an approved list then most users will choose what appeals to them on a personal level and not a logical level.

        Any phone can deliver email and most don't know, let alone care about certifications as long as the company approves the device for use.

        They will most likely choose what appears to be the cool new hotness or has their favorite apps.
        Reply Vote I'm Undecided