Research In Motion's decision to concentrate on its enterprise stronghold has been taken to mean the BlackBerry maker is moving out of the consumer market altogether. Not so. It's not even saying it has no interest in consumers. What it's really saying is that 'enterprise' and 'consumer' no longer mean what they once did.
"There used to be two very distinct markets: there was an enterprise market and there was a consumer market and never the twain shall meet." Alan Panezic, head of RIM's enterprise division told ZDNet UK recently. "Over the last couple of years that really has changed where there really is just this one large consumer market now, but there's this second very important and influential buyer and that's the CIO and their teams."
Panezic argues that the enterprise and consumer market are largely now one-and-the-same, and that the real challenge lies in addressing the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend now prevalent throughout many businesses.
"[CIO's and their teams] have a daunting challenge in front of them which is how to do what they are always supposed to do while consumers have much more say in the platforms they want to use in the day-to-day computing environment," he said. "It's not so much that our focus is on consumer, our focus from an enterprise perspective is on the realities of this shift that's happening in the marketplace and how do we help CIO's manage this new world."
Given the company's strong enterprise heritage and its view of the market, it is of little surprise that RIM would want to focus on its perceived strengths. Indeed, Panezic added that in the enterprise space, RIM is the "gold standard" and that it has few, if any, competitors that can match it.
"We ran some [blind] focus groups very recently in a couple of our major cities in the US," Panezic said. "Every CIO we spoke to said 'look it's you guys, we need you in this space, there's no-one else we see with the same clout, track record, the same visibility to us, the same level of support and interaction.'"