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

Promising

or

Unlikely

Matthew Miller

Matthew Miller

Best Argument: Unlikely

65%
35%

Audience Favored: Promising (65%)

Closing Statements

It's the only enterprise communications solution

Matt Baxter-Reynolds

BlackBerry's main strength has always been in the enterprise. It was originally a business-oriented product and grew gracefully into that market to become not just a market leader, but one that was respected throughout the industry.

With BlackBerry 10 the story in and of itself gets stronger. BlackBerry remains the only enterprise communications solution that is always connected behind the firewall, removing the need for VPN or complex authentication. BlackBerry Balance is unique within the market, an obvious win for people who use their phones for both their work and personal lives.

BlackBerry continues to enjoy loyalty coupled with natural conservatism/inertia that almost defines enterprise IT life. BlackBerry 10 is a product that serves this market well.

An uphill battle

Matthew Miller

It is tough to predict if BlackBerry can make a comeback yet, but with so many people bringing iPhones and Android smartphones to the office it is going to be a major uphill climb to regain mindshare. However, I agree with Matt that the conservative nature of business may be working to BlackBerry's advantage. I know many companies that are just now upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 so when BlackBerry took most of last year off, enterprise customers and IT departments may not have been that concerned. There is something to be said for the BlackBerry name and security so it is possible for them to have a comeback year in 2013.

Right now, iOS and Android have the smartphone mindshare and neither Apple or Google are going to sit idly by either. Some government agencies and large companies have adopted iOS and I highly doubt they are going back to BlackBerry until BB10 is proven itself. While I want BlackBerry to succeed as much as any other smartphone enthusiast, I have my doubts at this time.

Very close but Mr. Miller is the winner

Zack Whittaker

This was a tricky one. I'm going with Mr. Miller on this one, despite the audience voting in favor of Mr. Baxter-Reynolds' position. There is, perhaps, a strange logic to this madness.

This wasn't necessarily a debate to see whether or not BlackBerry can survive with BlackBerry 10. It falls down to one thing: Will BlackBerry 10 revitalize enterprise interest? That's the key word here. "Interest," sure, and these two new devices will definitely prick up the ears of IT managers and reinvigorate enterprise interest in the platform. But it's hard to conclude that enterprises will fully bite down and not look elsewhere for a more stable offering, in terms of feature set, back-end manageability, and long-term prospects for the company's stability.

This debate was won on semantics. Both presented a string of valid points, but "interest" unfortunately does not equal "success."

Talkback

20 comments
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  • welcome back

    The OS is the key, if not the phone itself
    nghianguyen@...
    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.

    JL
    suncomjohn
    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

    http://shop.vodafone.co.uk/shop/mobile-phone/blackberry-z10-black-paym?readReviews=true
    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.
      MobileAdmin
      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
    Lrdiscovery2000
    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.
    mikedees
    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.
        Emacho
        Reply Vote I'm Undecided