My Take on RIM

I am part of a small business I.T company that provides support for 50 or so companies around our city. We are seeing most of our clients move now from blackberry to one of their competitors and I thought I would voice my opinion on what I think RIM needs to do to win back some loyal customers. A side note, personally, I have within the past couple years almost completely switched over to Apple products (but those details I will save for a different post).

Enterprise as a whole is in a very unique situation right now. We are seeing a lot of movement into cloud based email productivity apps such as Google Apps for business and Microsoft Online Services, but corporate leads are still quite hesitant on the move as security policies and data backup are still concerns. This provides a massive hole in the industry that neither Google or Apple seem to want to tackle right now, leaving room for a contender.

Here is how I see things as they currently are:

Apple and Google are great for consumer and home use, but they do not provide security features and business resources rich enough to satisfy enterprise and corporate needs.

Microsoft is still looking for a direction, and I fear they are moving in the wrong one. Windows 8 looks great to ME, but it seems they are putting all their efforts in a battle against Apple/Google. I cannot imagine what some of my clients are going to say when they open their new computer for the first time and see the new start screen. Microsoft is hinting that this can all be turned off, but then whey would I upgrade anyone?

Our clients first and foremost want things to work, but they don't like standing still either. Everyone is getting tablets and new smart phones and their patience is running out, hence - turning to Apple and Google for an answer. RIM needs new products, but they shouldnt be trying to compete with Apple and Google in the consumer market. The strengths have always been enterprise (namely email and messaging), so why are they releasing products with games and video players? The new software needs to have everything stripped out, and include ONLY these features to start:

Messaging: Email and BBM. You can beat everyone here. When I get out of a hour long meeting and I have 20 new emails, I need to see them all and be able to deal with them quickly and efficiently.

Microsoft Office Support: Either get Microsoft themselves on board or call up DataViz, Quickoffice or someone with good software and make an Office client that has full support for everything I need out of Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

PDF Support: You should be able to read, organize, annotate, password protect and fill out / sign documents.

Mobile IT Support Tools: I want to manage the entire company on the same tablet/phone. Users email, file access, local server, users, security settings, permissions, sharing, etc etc etc.

That's it! Nail those 4 features and I would be able to sell a table/phone combination to every one of my clients (at a reasonable cost of course). Where's Angry birds? Go buy an iPod touch! Concentrating on core features will enable faster launch windows, as well as more stability and concentration on what works and what doesnt.

There is a need in enterprise, as well as the IT world were security and messaging features are the MOST important. App stores and movies are fun, but we don't need them. Even if we do, worry about it later.