Research in Motion (RIM), seeking to stabilize its enterprise business amid continued challenges from iOS and Android, today announced a new package of enterprise tools known as Mobile Fusion designed to support a broad range of devices at the corporate level.
“We are pleased to introduce BlackBerry Mobile Fusion – RIM’s next generation enterprise mobility solution – to make it easier for our business and government customers to manage the diversity of devices in their operations today,” said Alan Panezic, Vice President, Enterprise Product Management and Marketing at Research In Motion. “BlackBerry Mobile Fusion brings together our industry-leading BlackBerry Enterprise Server technology for BlackBerry devices with mobile device management capabilities for iOS and Android devices, all managed from one web-based console. It provides the necessary management capabilities to allow IT departments to confidently oversee the use of both company-owned and employee-owned mobile devices within their organizations.”
Mobile Fusion will provide corporate customers with an array of device management tools, including centralized remote locking and/or wiping of lost devices and enforcement of password requirements.
Apple offers a number of enterprise tools and capabilities for iOS to help companies manage their device deployments, but cross-platform device management services such as RIM's Mobile Fusion target increasingly diverse mobile deployments as companies offer their employees new levels of flexibility in choosing their mobile platforms.
RIM has long been a leader in business mobile platforms, but has been losing ground to iOS and Android as those platforms have caught on with both consumers and enterprise customers. With Apple also gaining traction in enterprise markets with the iPad, RIM has tried to respond with new devices including its PlayBook tablet device, but has so far been unable to slow the momentum of iOS and Android. The company's new Mobile Fusion tools, which are in early beta testing now and scheduled for public launch in March, demonstrate that diversification in enterprise and highlight RIM's efforts to hold on to its relevancy in its key markets.
Top Rated Comments
RIM has two turkeys that saw the avalanche coming four years ago but went on clucking. All they actually did was deny, deny, deny, and verbally downplay Apple's direction as best they could. Are these two to be trusted at all?
Somehow they'll just "grow" vision miraculously years later? I'm afraid we've seen the best Ballsilie and Laziridis can do already. And there doesn't seem to be a Steve Jobs-type visionary in sight to help them.
Yes, there's some people here who will always be cheering for Apple and deriding other companies. But there's many of us who are simply being realistic.
The real problem is that RIM has very little chance of survival. As much as I'd like to see them turn around (mostly because QNX is freakin' awesome), I have little confidence that they will figure out a new plan before going out of business.
Apple was once the beleaguered company. Except during their turnaround, they had a few things they could rely on that together helped them stay afloat:
1) entrenched markets that were not being met well by competitors : film, computer graphics, audio
2) die-hard fanbase
3) willingness to make hard decisions; willingness to cut products that didn't help the recovery; willingness to focus
4) willingness to try to branch out and try new things; willingness to try new markets; internal research groups doing actual research
5) a consumer market to market to (amongst the other markets)
RIM doesn't have nearly the same resources to utilize in order to turn themselves around.
The release of tools that involve the use of iOS and Android is an example of trying something different. But this doesn't stem the bleeding of customers, nor does it easily translate to a reliable income stream. (remind you of Sun and Java?)
They have a fanbase. But unfortunately, it's shrinking.
They don't do general consumer devices, which would be the bigger market. Just business-oriented devices. But iOS and Android is eating away at them there. Even then, HP/Palm and MS shows how difficult going for the general consumer is.
Unless they feel like going an all-in on a completely new product category that just blows everybody out of the water, I wouldn't be surprised if they were gone in 3 years.
(and yes, I used to own a blackberry too)
I really should just stop reading any RIM-related articles here. This sort of "Apple rocks, everyone else must die" attitude makes me sick. Do you think that the engineers that work at Apple are just naturally smarter or hard-working as those elsewhere? Do you really wish layoffs on thousands of people?
I know a bunch of guys who work at RIM and QNX, they are hard working, passionate people. When my job was threatened by layoffs at my company, I was reassured by the fact that RIM and QNX were hiring. A lot of my ex-coworkers ended up over there. They have families to feed and mortgages to pay off, just like everyone else.
I guess the best hope for my friends and the rest of the employees at RIM is that upper management will figure it out and put the company on track for some successes. I feel like they need it after some of the recent bad press.
Apple "figured that out" by being the one to make it happen. Before Apple, smartphones like Blackberries, Nokia N95, Palm Treo, etc. were for business people and power users only. Your average mom or teenager had no use for one.
You might say the two companies went at it from opposite approaches. Smartphones for consumers (with limited penetration into enterprise markets) and vice versa. The race is on to see which will reach the other side quicker.
Only way i see them survive.