This is an excerpt from my previous post, but after reading it again and receiving some feedback, I think this point needs to be in its own post. For the full post, please refer to Bright Days Ahead for RIM…
One way I believe RIM can better cement itself in the corporate world is by offering BlackBerry Messenger to any device on Mobile Fusion – including Android and iOS. While some may say this would be RIM giving up their #1 tool that has been keeping them afloat for so long, I think this could be a good way to promote BlackBerry to business users who may have previously strayed from their BlackBerrys in favour of a newer device. Here’s how I think this can happen:
By offering a slimmed-down version of BBM to non-BlackBerry users in Mobile Fusion (Android and iOS devices) that possibly only includes messaging and group messaging – and not all the features of BBM like photo and video sharing, broadcast messages, etc – business users could all have a common instant messaging platform to use and would hopefully eventually adopt it as the industry standard (leaving behind any 3rd party messaging apps). Once BB10 launches with its slew of new features and OS improvements, one can only assume that an updated BBM is also on the way – which would hopefully incorporate Video Chat. If the marketing for BB10 is done well, the corporate users may have enough incentive to switch back to BlackBerry, and their previous use of BBM on the other platforms would make for an easier transition. They would see that the new BBM includes many new features only accessible to BlackBerry handsets. At this point, they may have become so reliant on BBM as a corporate messaging tool, that they decide to switch back to BlackBerry to take advantage of the new features.
Now, I realize this may be far-fetched and there are a lot of assumptions in my argument, but I believe that securing the core user base (business users) needs to be at the heart of RIM’s short-term plans. They need to find ways to get BlackBerry back on top in the corporate world and offering BBM on other platforms may be the trick. I know BBM may be one thing that is keeping a lot of BlackBerry users on board and by offering it to other platforms may lead to a greater decrease in actual BlackBerry users, but this version of BBM would only be for enterprise users using Mobile Fusion (promotes Mobile Fusion) and it would be stripped down (to not include some features that regular consumers would still love to have).
Is this plan perfect? Of course not, but it does have some new ideas that RIM could use to grow in the enterprise world, as well as promote BlackBerry’s greatest asset – BBM – heading into the launch of BB10.