N4BB » Interview http://n4bb.com BlackBerry News, Reviews, FAQs, Leaks, Help Sat, 26 Jul 2014 06:11:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 ‘No. 1 Objective is Making BlackBerry Synonymous with Work’ http://n4bb.com/1-objective-making-blackberry-synonymous-work/ http://n4bb.com/1-objective-making-blackberry-synonymous-work/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 17:58:53 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=153935 Early in 2014, BlackBerry saw an executive shakeup in management. The company saw departures of CEO Thorsten Heins, COO Kristian Tear and CMO Frank Boulben. Mark Wilson was named senior VP

‘No. 1 Objective is Making BlackBerry Synonymous with Work’ written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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Early in 2014, BlackBerry saw an executive shakeup in management. The company saw departures of CEO Thorsten Heins, COO Kristian Tear and CMO Frank Boulben.

Mark Wilson was named senior VP of Marketing at BlackBerry. Wilson was previously CMO at telecommunications company Avaya and before that led marketing at Sybase. Now, Wilson oversees all marketing at BlackBerry.

Wilson and AdAge recently sat down to discuss the challenges he faces in the competitive smartphone space and how he’s using new tactics to differentiate the BlackBerry brand in the b-to-b market:

Advertising Age: What are your top marketing objectives for BlackBerry?

Mr. Wilson: The No. 1 objective is making BlackBerry synonymous with work, and that means professional mobility, enterprise mobility and really everything we do in terms of brand, defining our value proposition, defining our go-to-market tactics and ecosystem support. For people who are choosing a device or mobile platform to help them be productive and efficient — while at the same time protecting their security and privacy — we want them to choose BlackBerry.

Advertising Age: How are you differentiating the BlackBerry brand in the highly competitive smartphone space?

Mr. Wilson: When we look at the smartphone market, we call it the ‘sea of sameness.’ We differentiate in two ways. One is, we are absolutely focused on delighting professionals and giving them the best experience in terms of being highly productive in a secure way. At the same time, we drive a lot of innovation in terms of the design of the devices. They don’t have to necessarily all look the same.

A second point of differentiation is around security. As these devices have gotten more powerful, and people are more aware of others being able to get access into those devices, we see that security and privacy are increasingly important.

One of the things we’re doing is taking BBM — our mobile messaging platform — into the enterprise. In the last few weeks, we launched BBM Protect, which allows you to have secure messaging on your device, which is something that enterprises really want.

Advertising Age: You just introduced a new fact-checking site to correct misinformation about smartphones. What drove this?

Mr. Wilson: We found that certain competitors across all of our businesses, including software and services, were making claims that were just absolutely inaccurate. And we saw that sometimes the media were picking up on that. We really wanted to set the record straight. We call it ‘Fighting FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) with facts.’ We’ll take documents that our competitors create and — with a red marker — will mark them up to show that what they’re saying is clearly untrue. Overall, we’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback about it.

Advertising Age: Are you launching any new ad campaigns?

Wilson: We recently rolled out our “Endorsers” campaign. We have several endorsers, such as Arianna Huffington, who are just avid users — she has four BlackBerry devices. So instead of having paid endorsers that you see from several brands, we’re just using people who are die-hard fans. So we’re doing more of that. We feel that it’s very organic and very true to the brand.

We also just launched the BlackBerry Z3 (touch screen) device in several emerging markets. We’ve launched this around the idea of connectedness and ‘the power of connectedness.’

Advertising Age: How are you using social media to connect with business customers?

Mr. Wilson: We have invested in brand journalism to really drive a thought leadership program through social media. We’ve hired people with journalistic backgrounds and have seen a significant uptick in the number of people who are reading our blogs, citing our blogs in news articles and virally distributing them.

‘No. 1 Objective is Making BlackBerry Synonymous with Work’ written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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BlackBerry 10 Can Run 98% Of All Android Apps According To Chen http://n4bb.com/blackberry-10-can-run-98-android-apps-according-chen/ http://n4bb.com/blackberry-10-can-run-98-android-apps-according-chen/#comments Mon, 19 May 2014 16:30:12 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=40427 BlackBerry CEO John Chen’s interview with the Wall Street Journal published yesterday has shined light on some interesting facts about the BlackBerry 10 operating system, and in particularly on how

BlackBerry 10 Can Run 98% Of All Android Apps According To Chen written by JT Teran on N4BB

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BlackBerry CEO John Chen’s interview with the Wall Street Journal published yesterday has shined light on some interesting facts about the BlackBerry 10 operating system, and in particularly on how it runs Android apps since its inception.

When asked, “why should consumers buy a BlackBerry phone?” Chen drops a nice little statistic many of us didn’t know [bold is ours]:

“Android’s strength isn’t really the quality of the phone, which BlackBerry has. BlackBerry phones are well put together. We have a great BlackBerry Messenger experience, a great operating system. And it’s the most secure phone. Secure not only in data, but in personal identity. Younger consumers love all kinds of apps, and BlackBerry runs 98% of all the Android apps. All BlackBerry die-hards know they can run Android apps.”

Most of you reading this probably already knew all about the Android runtime, and how much better it has gotten since 10.2.1. Heck, even apps that aren’t being released for BlackBerry 10 work wonderfully when their Android counterparts are installed. But I’ll be honest, I had no idea that number was 98% of Android apps. That’s a HUGE deal. Specially when you consider how well the newly released Z3 handles Android apps, and that 10.3 will be getting a nice bump in runtime to Android 4.3 when its launched.

Chen is doing his best to be able to communicate this idea out to the public, and the team behind the launch of the Z3 is apparently trying to do the same. A picture captured by our own Veeru789 and posted in our forums (shown below), illustrates how BlackBerry wants people to know they can run Android through the runtime in a way.

Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 11.26.56 AM

This poster shows the Z3 as “Android ready.” Get others to realize you can run apps, and then show off the differences and superiority in the BB10 OS. That’s a good strategy.

BlackBerry 10 Can Run 98% Of All Android Apps According To Chen written by JT Teran on N4BB

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BlackBerry’s John Sims Has Big Plans For BBM http://n4bb.com/blackberrys-john-sims-big-plans-bbm/ http://n4bb.com/blackberrys-john-sims-big-plans-bbm/#comments Fri, 11 Apr 2014 11:53:05 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=39826 BlackBerry President of Global Enterprise Services, John Sims, has BBM under his wing after an exec shake up back in February moved the app over to his Enterprise Services side. This

BlackBerry’s John Sims Has Big Plans For BBM written by JT Teran on N4BB

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BlackBerry President of Global Enterprise Services, John Sims, has BBM under his wing after an exec shake up back in February moved the app over to his Enterprise Services side. This has caused a few people to wonder if that’s the best place for BBM, in an Enterprise first environment. We know BBM will play a very large part in BlackBerry’s enterprise messaging dominance attempt, but what about the consumer side? What does BBM gain from working directly under John Sims? We asked him that very question at a round-table discussion yesterday, and were quite surprised with what Sims has planned.

John Sims’ background is with SAP and Sybase. With these companies, Sims worked extensively on messaging. Sybase 365′s connection to SMS is a perfect example of the kind of experience Sims brings to BlackBerry. The man knows messaging in and out, which makes working under him the perfect place for BBM. That was the first part of his answer, and to be honest, after hearing that we were perfectly fine with it.

Sims isn’t just content with relying on his knowledge though. He knows BBM faces some challenges and is working closely with the team at BlackBerry to address them.

One of these challenges is finding a way to simplify the app overall. According to Sims, BBM’s UI is too complicated still for the average new user. This is specially true in the inviting and looking for friends aspects. Yes, they’ve already introduced a way to look for, and find friends on BBM, but BlackBerry wants it to be better. That’s a key focus going forward for the BBM team, so we shouldn’t be surprised if the next release or two don’t have as many ‘new features,’ but are instead focused on achieving this simplicity goal.

In my opinion, this should be achieved is by overhauling the UI on Android and iPhone, and making these apps look more native. Apps like WhatsApp for example, cater to each specific OS and make their UI look different based on which phone it’s working on. BBM has to make the Android app look like an Android app, and the iPhone app look like an iPhone app. I get the idea of bringing the BB10 look over to these multi-platform offerings, but it has apparently lead to more confusion, and a harder grasp on how to use the app because it’s so much more different than every other app a regular person uses on their device. Don’t be surprised if this is what ends up happening.

BBM downloads will also not be left to the average user whose interest is piqued accidentally. BlackBerry wants BBM to go viral, and it believes it can achieve that with a solid marketing campaign after it has corrected and perfected its app.

We asked Sims what they’re doing to have people that downloaded BBM on iPhone and Android back in October, and left the app, come back and take another look at it. He mentioned it’ll be a “combination of marketing strategies.”

BlackBerry will “reach out to those that have already downloaded the app – the communities whose engagement is mainly through BBM already” and have them be the voice for a viral campaign. A brand new UI/look always helps those that used it once, and maybe didn’t like it, give it another try. A just-to-see vibe. Security will be a huge focus for this campaign as well, no doubt. With the amount of spying from pretty much everyone and anyone going on, BBM can seriously make a play on secure messaging even at the lowest regular-consumer-level. This aspect needs to keep being leveraged hard, and shown how BBM is so much better than everyone else in it.

This can only be successful if the app “is flawless,” Sims  reminded us. BlackBerry is very aware of the bugs and annoyances BBM still contains for users on different platforms, and they’re not blind to the fact these need to get corrected and perfected if they want people to give BBM a second or third shot.

Like with BlackBerry’s devices’ strategy, we couldn’t help but be impressed with how quickly this new management team has come in and gotten a solid grasp on the problems facing the company, and devised a plan to fix or correct whatever needed to be in order to go forward. BBM is not exception even it is a fantastic app, and Sims and his team are the perfect people to look over it.

BlackBerry’s John Sims Has Big Plans For BBM written by JT Teran on N4BB

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John Chen Believes Future is ‎Machine-to-Machine Tech and Connectivity http://n4bb.com/john-chen-believes-future-%e2%80%8emachine-machine-tech-connectivity/ http://n4bb.com/john-chen-believes-future-%e2%80%8emachine-machine-tech-connectivity/#comments Mon, 31 Mar 2014 13:26:22 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=39609 Techonomy hosted a salon dinner in San Francisco, in partnership with BlackBerry this past week, and got some very interesting quotes from some guests that attended. BlackBerry’s John Chen was

John Chen Believes Future is ‎Machine-to-Machine Tech and Connectivity written by JT Teran on N4BB

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Techonomy hosted a salon dinner in San Francisco, in partnership with BlackBerry this past week, and got some very interesting quotes from some guests that attended. BlackBerry’s John Chen was among those asked ‘how is tech innovation changing society?’ Chen firmly believes that the future is in the machine-to-machine interconnectivity, as all these devices we have around us make our lives “more automated, more information driven.”

The clip above where he speaks is brief, but definitely worth a listen. BlackBerry has to be thinking about the future beyond just devices, and I’m happy to hear that’s where Chen is looking to. They have to hit the future head-on, and not just catch up once everyone has already evolved. That’ll be a key going forward.

John Chen Believes Future is ‎Machine-to-Machine Tech and Connectivity written by JT Teran on N4BB

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Discussing BlackBerry 10 with Mercedes AMG Petronas IT Director, Matt Harris http://n4bb.com/discussing-blackberry-10-mercedes-amg-petronas-director-matt-harris/ http://n4bb.com/discussing-blackberry-10-mercedes-amg-petronas-director-matt-harris/#comments Fri, 14 Mar 2014 12:01:19 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=39222 When BlackBerry announced their sponsorship with Mercedes AMG Petronas, I was giddy like a kid in a candy store. Two of my favorite companies partnering up to cross-promote their products

Discussing BlackBerry 10 with Mercedes AMG Petronas IT Director, Matt Harris written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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When BlackBerry announced their sponsorship with Mercedes AMG Petronas, I was giddy like a kid in a candy store. Two of my favorite companies partnering up to cross-promote their products seemed like a dream come true.

Mercedes and BlackBerry would go on to work on content promotion, with creatives featuring Formula One drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. The promotions would show off the Mercedes AMG Petronas team’s 2013 F1W04 Silver Arrow and BlackBerry 10 smartphones.

“It is a natural fit for BlackBerry to partner with the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team to deliver value through technical and marketing collaboration.  From Melbourne to Monaco and Silverstone to Singapore, Mercedes AMG Petronas never stops moving and is the very definition of a mobile business. The team depends on secure, real-time technology that enables them to be inherently mobile in all that they do, whether this is using our BlackBerry 10 smartphones, BBM or our cross-platform enterprise mobility platform, BES10,”  said Matthew Ball, Managing Director for BlackBerry in ANZ.

The three year collaboration between the two companies positioned BlackBerry 10 smartphones and BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 to be used by the Mercedes AMG Petronas team throughout each Formula One season.

We’ve seen only brief glimpses of BlackBerry 10′s use by the Mercedes AMG Petronas team. To garner a more detailed understanding of how BlackBerry 10 and BES10 have enhanced the team’s communication speed and productivity, we spoke with the Mercedes AMG Petronas team IT Director, Matt Harris.

Mercedes_GP-F1_GP-Bahrain_2013

Discussing BlackBerry 10 with Mercedes AMG Petronas IT Director, Matt Harris written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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CEO Thorsten Heins Discusses BlackBerry 10′s Launch with N4BB http://n4bb.com/ceo-thorsten-heins-discusses-blackberry-10s-launch-n4bb/ http://n4bb.com/ceo-thorsten-heins-discusses-blackberry-10s-launch-n4bb/#comments Sat, 23 Mar 2013 03:09:15 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=29042 BlackBerry 10 has officially launched in every region around the world. The last major launch event was held in New York City for BlackBerry 10′s US release. We had the

CEO Thorsten Heins Discusses BlackBerry 10′s Launch with N4BB written by Niko Giannopoulos on N4BB

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BlackBerry 10 has officially launched in every region around the world. The last major launch event was held in New York City for BlackBerry 10′s US release.

We had the opportunity to catch up with BlackBerry’s CEO and President, Thorsten Heins. In our sit down with Heins you’ll gain some insight into BlackBerry 10′s launch and the effort it took to bring it to market.

Additionally, we took some questions from our community and asked them to Heins on their behalf. It was great to see the CEO be more than willing to address customer questions and feedback.

Have a listen to the interview above. Stay tuned for the full interview transcription coming soon.

CEO Thorsten Heins Discusses BlackBerry 10′s Launch with N4BB written by Niko Giannopoulos on N4BB

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Q&A: BlackBerry CMO Frank Boulben on Alicia Keys’ Role http://n4bb.com/blackberry-cmo-frank-boulben-alicia-keys-role/ http://n4bb.com/blackberry-cmo-frank-boulben-alicia-keys-role/#comments Wed, 06 Mar 2013 22:25:37 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=28280 Alicia Keys’ role as the BlackBerry Global Creative Director has been interesting to say the least. Some haven’t been too keen to call her a true BlackBerry user just yet.

Q&A: BlackBerry CMO Frank Boulben on Alicia Keys’ Role written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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Alicia Keys’ role as the BlackBerry Global Creative Director has been interesting to say the least. Some haven’t been too keen to call her a true BlackBerry user just yet.

MarketingWeek had the opportunity to go Q&A with BlackBerry CMO, Frank Boulben, on Alicia Key’s role. Check it out below:

You recently appointed Alicia Keys as global creative director for BlackBerry. How is this in-house role different from a traditional endorsement?

Frank: I am not a fan of sponsored endorsement – we look for opportunities that provide both our and our partners’ fans with content and those that are interesting and engaging. Endorsements need to be more than a celebrity just lending their face to a brand. Whoever we work with, whether it be a collaboration with a singer like Alicia Keys, a writer like Neil Gaiman or a Formula 1 team – we recently announced our partnership with the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team – there needs to be a natural fit in terms of values.

How does Keys fit with existing creative teams within the business?

Frank: Alicia is an official member of the BlackBerry team and she will provide creative input to various areas of the business, including apps and content through to our marketing initiatives. As far as fitting in, it’s not unlike any other new employee who has to learn the culture and nuances of a job – with Alicia we are off to a great start and our teams are already working together with the launch of her Keep Moving project.

What are the positives and negatives of celebrity input in brand communications?

Frank: When it is the right fit, a celebrity can have several benefits. It enables the brand to talk to a new audience, driving engagement and positive perception. However, it is imperative that this is an authentic partnership and that the person not only has a true understanding of the brand but also shares the brand’s values. Consumers are clever and can see through something that is not authentic.

What kinds of projects are you working on with Keys?

Frank: Having been in her role for just one month, we recently announced her Keep Moving project. Alicia is asking fans to submit their own photos through the BlackBerry Keep Moving Hub that will then be used to create a music video to accompany her performances of the track ‘Hallelujah’ while on her Set The World On Fire tour. This is the first initiative we are working on with Alicia, and we look forward to sharing more about her involvement with us.

Q&A: BlackBerry CMO Frank Boulben on Alicia Keys’ Role written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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Interview: Gary Klassen, Creator of BBM, Talks BlackBerry 10 http://n4bb.com/interview-gary-klassen-creator-bbm-talks-blackberry-10/ http://n4bb.com/interview-gary-klassen-creator-bbm-talks-blackberry-10/#comments Sun, 24 Feb 2013 21:36:24 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=27803 During BlackBerry Jam Europe we had the opportunity to chat with Gary Klassen, the famed creator of BlackBerry Messenger, and discuss the newly released BlackBerry 10. We picked Gary’s brain

Interview: Gary Klassen, Creator of BBM, Talks BlackBerry 10 written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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During BlackBerry Jam Europe we had the opportunity to chat with Gary Klassen, the famed creator of BlackBerry Messenger, and discuss the newly released BlackBerry 10.

We picked Gary’s brain on what the future might hold for BBM and even BlackBerry 10. Gary isn’t directly working on the BBM team, but he’s still the Principal Architect at BlackBerry.

In other words, Gary is still a very important person for the success of BlackBerry. It’s exciting to see Garys enthusiasm for the future. Check out the interview below, you won’t want to miss it.

Make sure you follow Gary on Twitter @gehr!

Interview: Gary Klassen, Creator of BBM, Talks BlackBerry 10 written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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http://n4bb.com/interview-gary-klassen-creator-bbm-talks-blackberry-10/feed/ 0 Interview: Gary Klassen, Creator of BBM, Talks BlackBerry 10 - N4BB During BlackBerry Jam Europe we had the opportunity to chat with Gary Klassen, the famed creator of BlackBerry Messenger, and discuss the newly released BlackBerry 10. We picked Gary's brain on what the future might hold for BBM and even BlackBerry 10. Gary isn't directly working on the BBM team, bu BB10,BBM,BlackBerry 10,BlackBerry Messenger,Gary Klassen Gary-Klassen
Audio Walkthrough of new BlackBerry 10.0.9.903 Build http://n4bb.com/audio-walkthrough-new-blackberry-10-0-9-903-build/ http://n4bb.com/audio-walkthrough-new-blackberry-10-0-9-903-build/#comments Thu, 08 Nov 2012 17:00:39 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=24529 Along with the hands-on demo of the Blackberry 10 OS at the Chateau Laurier, RIM also walked through the BlackBerry 10 OS.  This includes new features in the new build,

Audio Walkthrough of new BlackBerry 10.0.9.903 Build written by Ross Cheriton on N4BB

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Along with the hands-on demo of the Blackberry 10 OS at the Chateau Laurier, RIM also walked through the BlackBerry 10 OS.  This includes new features in the new build, along with the general guiding principles of BlackBerry 10.  Questions on the native file manager, Bing integration and Scoreloop also come up during the session, covering a variety of topics that concern BlackBerry 10.

In hosting these press sessions, RIM appears committed to engaging the press in the months leading up to the launch of Blackberry 10.  In a wise move, RIM is still holding many of their cards close to their chest while still demonstrating the strengths of their new platform.

You can listen to the walkthrough of the hands-on below.

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Audio Walkthrough of new BlackBerry 10.0.9.903 Build written by Ross Cheriton on N4BB

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BlackBerry 10 Q&A with Andrew MacLeod, Managing Director at RIM http://n4bb.com/blackberry-10-andrew-macleod-managing-director-rim/ http://n4bb.com/blackberry-10-andrew-macleod-managing-director-rim/#comments Thu, 08 Nov 2012 16:00:09 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=24506 Yesterday, across the street from Canada’s Government Technology Exhibition and Conference (GTEC), RIM hosted a press information session at the prestigious Chateau Laurier Hotel in downtown Ottawa.  Packed in a small

BlackBerry 10 Q&A with Andrew MacLeod, Managing Director at RIM written by Ross Cheriton on N4BB

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Yesterday, across the street from Canada’s Government Technology Exhibition and Conference (GTEC), RIM hosted a press information session at the prestigious Chateau Laurier Hotel in downtown Ottawa.  Packed in a small room, Managing Direction Andrew MacLeod introduced a select few from the media to get a hands-on demo of the latest BlackBerry 10 software.

While not exactly a technical interview, Andrew talks about the general features of BlackBerry 10, RIM’s efforts to showcase the platform, and how it sets itself apart from the competition.  Andrew also takes time to describe possible future verticals of BlackBerry 10 and what RIM needs to do to create a successful platform.

You can listen to the question and answer session below.

[powerpress url="http://n4bb.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/bb10interview.mp3"]

 

 

BlackBerry 10 Q&A with Andrew MacLeod, Managing Director at RIM written by Ross Cheriton on N4BB

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Interview with Paul Lucier, VP of Government Solutions at RIM http://n4bb.com/interview-paul-lucier-government-solutions-rim/ http://n4bb.com/interview-paul-lucier-government-solutions-rim/#comments Thu, 08 Nov 2012 15:00:48 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=24493 While at Canada’s Government Technology Conference (GTEC) in Ottawa, N4BB and Kyle from BlackBerryCool had a chance to sit down with RIM’s VP of Government Solutions, Paul Lucier to talk about RIM’s

Interview with Paul Lucier, VP of Government Solutions at RIM written by Ross Cheriton on N4BB

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While at Canada’s Government Technology Conference (GTEC) in Ottawa, N4BB and Kyle from BlackBerryCool had a chance to sit down with RIM’s VP of Government Solutions, Paul Lucier to talk about RIM’s strategy with BlackBerry in the government.  The enterprise and government side of RIM is something that is often overlooked in the mainstream media, where the fast-paced consumer product market typically dominates the headlines.  Despite the huge consumer focus of BlackBerry products today, RIM’s enterprise and government operations have been (and still are) what defines RIM as it stands today.

Paul is in charge of the deployment of BlackBerry products and services in the public sector.  He is also veteran RIM employee who has been with the company since 1999.  He presently in charge of the government solutions RIM provides, which also includes overseeing a government sales team that directly manages federal and defense accounts in the United States.  Previously, Paul has worked with governments and businesses in Europe, Russia, the Middle East and Africa with BES and mobile device management solutions.

Check out the audio clip below to listen to the interview with Paul.
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Interview with Paul Lucier, VP of Government Solutions at RIM written by Ross Cheriton on N4BB

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BlackBerry in the Enterprise: An Interview with John Mutter http://n4bb.com/blackberry-enterprise-interview-john-mutter/ http://n4bb.com/blackberry-enterprise-interview-john-mutter/#comments Fri, 26 Oct 2012 16:11:29 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=24113 While the time-shift camera and swipe-tastic keyboard on the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha devices are exciting developments prior to the launch of BlackBerry 10, the enterprise side has been seldom

BlackBerry in the Enterprise: An Interview with John Mutter written by Ross Cheriton on N4BB

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While the time-shift camera and swipe-tastic keyboard on the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha devices are exciting developments prior to the launch of BlackBerry 10, the enterprise side has been seldom discussed.  While talking about work phones, secure company information, and IT management may not be as exciting, they can have a big impact in the smartphone market.

Sitting down in a room at the Delta hotel in downtown Ottawa, I interviewed RIM executive John Mutter on the BlackBerry strategy in the enterprise space it has dominated for so long.  Check out the video below:


On a BlackBerry? Click here for mobile YouTube video

BlackBerry in the Enterprise: An Interview with John Mutter written by Ross Cheriton on N4BB

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http://n4bb.com/blackberry-enterprise-interview-john-mutter/feed/ 0 BlackBerry in the Enterprise: An Interview with John Mutter - N4BB While the time-shift camera and swipe-tastic keyboard on the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha devices are exciting developments prior to the launch of BlackBerry 10, the enterprise side has been seldom discussed.  While talking about work phones, secure company information, and IT management may not be as e Apps,BB10,BlackBerry,BlackBerry 10,BlackBerry Jam Enterprise Edition,Developer,Enterprise,interview,jam,john mutter,ottawa,RIM john-mutter
Interview: Gregg Ostrowski, RIM Senior Director of Enterprise Developer Partnerships http://n4bb.com/interview-greg-ostrowski-rim-senior-director-enterprise-developer-partnerships/ http://n4bb.com/interview-greg-ostrowski-rim-senior-director-enterprise-developer-partnerships/#comments Sat, 06 Oct 2012 15:49:36 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=23382 During BlackBerry Jam Americas we had the opportunity to sit down with Research In Motion’s Gregg Ostrowski, the Senior Director of Enterprise Developer Partnerships. It was great to speak with

Interview: Gregg Ostrowski, RIM Senior Director of Enterprise Developer Partnerships written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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During BlackBerry Jam Americas we had the opportunity to sit down with Research In Motion’s Gregg Ostrowski, the Senior Director of Enterprise Developer Partnerships. It was great to speak with Gregg and learn how his team is working with enterprise customers to get their apps developed and ready for BlackBerry 10. Check out our exclusive interview below:

N4BB – “Gregg can you tell us about enterprise in regard to what you do for RIM?”

Greg – “Sure, Right now I’m the senior director over enterprise development relations and technical partnership team so the team I have works directly with our enterprise customers to help them build applications for Blackberry that are your enterprise grade applications and the stuff behind the firewall, leveraging our key security elements that make it into the product.”

N4BB – “What are some major companies that already have apps that are working towards a Blackberry 10 solution.”

Gregg – “Well I can’t specifically name any particular customers, but we’ve had quite a number of engagements already with the team I have working with customers to be ready for Blackberry 10. And when i say “ready for Blackberry 10” our real strategy is to promote the HTML5  webworks platform. The reason being is the enterprise developers have a unique set of challenges where they can’t just cut and run to a different platform. They have to support the existing devices that they have in their environment. So what we’ll do is work with them on the HTML5 webworks platform. They can then support an existing set of devices that they have in their organization. Generally we recommend going back to Blackberry 6 and develop later to that. I mean, we’re going back a couple of years at this point. So these guys are jumping into the HTML5 and webworks strategy and once they get that built for blackberry 6 and 7 those applications are gonna be easily runnable on Blackberry 10  and even Playbook. So we look at it as an opportunity to take the applications that were written in Java and get the customers running a nicer more pleasing UI if you will, and leveraging our key strengths and that’s still remains to be the fact that we have behind the firewall connectivity so these guys aren’t worrying about security. you know the difficult parts are the security, management, and control of the app which are all baked in to the products so they just have to worry about building the app and once they do that they’re golden.”

N4BB- “So how have companies been receptive to the whole balance structure?”

Gregg – “So the balance structure, from my perspective, is, I hate to say, its somewhat irrelevant for me. So the customers like the balance piece for this BYOD trend but for the enterprise building applications the balance piece still supports all of our key strengths for the enterprise. So if you build an application for Blackberry it’s still going to have the same connectivity paths, same controls. On the flip side if a customer wants to run Facebook and all the other social networking apps, or whatever they want to do, they can still do that without interfering with the enterprise data.”

N4BB – “What is your team doing specifically to lure in those developers who are going to make enterprise apps?”

Gregg – “Our enterprise core is still stable. We have those customers who have the requirements that are met by blackberry. So that means your security, your compliance, any integration we have to the back end is already built into the product, so we’re still good for that environment. When I look at it after working with our key developers, and what my team does, back when I started the role that i’m managing now which I started about three years ago, my position was to manage all of our technical resources that work with our customers on the BES and the management of Blackberry. I created the role so we could have another set of pre-sales engagement that work with our enterprise developers. So a few years ago I started going down that path where we kind-of have a split role. One is going to a different set of skills one is going to an administrator  and then we get these guys going forward and understanding what our platform brings to play. as time progressed I took that to a direct team where we no longer have the architecture side of things where I now just purely take care of the developer. So as of the last six months or so we’ve really been focusing on getting the mind share of the enterprise development community. You saw the announcement we made yesterday about having an enterprise jam series for the enterprise developers so we really want to foster that group and build our relationship specific to that community”.

N4BB – “Will developers work specifically with a company they are producing the application for or can someone produce generic applications that any company can use?”

Gregg – “Both. A large corporation might have thousands of developers, and maybe a handful that focus on mobility. Those are our primary target. As a secondary target we do have a large community that likes to build on behalf of the customer. So you have two fold ther. One developer will build apps specific to the customer and secondly they may build something that they can then turn around and sell to the enterprise community.”

N4BB – So are there any specific security protocols that you have to follow to be a Blackberry Enterprise developer? Because we all know that Blackberry means security.

Gregg – “That’s the best thing about our solution. you build your application, and you don’t have to worry about security. So, if you device is connected to a BES or BES10 when that launches, your security is already built in. So first you have secure connectivity because the end to end ADS encrypted tunnel, and secondly you have the device data at rest security capability so that anything that’s stored on the device can be encrypted, and then you have your management around the BES in the platform for managing devices. Just because the app is on the device in that enterprise component of the device, once it’s balance enabled, it’s all purely managed by the enterprise. So, it’s all built into the product. From our perspective we don’t have to educate developers on how to make their applications secure, we just show them how to build and when they deploy it through the platform it already inherits the security that’s built into the platform.”

N4BB – “So do you go the HTML5 route because it’s better for cross-platform, and it can support legacy devices?”

Gregg – “Yes we go with HTML5 because there are legacy devices that need to be supported and the technology is there to do it. Most developers generally don’t want to take on a project that’s only going to work on a specific device.”

N4BB – “So with the BYOD trend, if a company as made sday a specific android app, and now they want to bring in Blackberry 10, would that app work on Blackberry 10 Android runtime?”

Gregg – “The android runtime is only supported on the personal side, so we don’t see a big proliferation of Android apps on the enterprise side. When you look at balance you have an enterprise secure XXX and then you have a personal XXX.”

N4BB – “They announced yesterday that there are 105,000 apps on Apple Enterprise. Does Blackberry Enterprise have a number?”

Gregg – “You know, that is not something that’s easy for me to put together.When I work with customers and get them started with building applications we’ll start them out on their first one, and we’ll get reports from the folks who directly manage the accounts and they’ll say “so and so just built their tenth, twelfth, thirteenth, app so we don’t have a real means of getting a count, but i’m sure we’re pretty high in that number.”

N4BB – “Are some of the developers ISEC7?”

Gregg – “They’re one of our partners that we’ve worked with. They’ve built up a pretty cool set of applications. One of them being the Exchange Delegation application, where you can now have your admin manage your calendar for you,or your e-mail for you, so you can leverage the secure connectivity with their application and provide admin rights to someones calendar and email and have it all supported on the platform. ISEC7 does a lot of work with SAP as well, they’re a good partner.”

N4BB – “ Are your enterprise customers excited for all these new features that BES10 just rolled out, like service pack 4?”

Gregg – “As far as the developer goes they don’t really need to get themselves too tied up on what’s in our service packs. The admin is going to handle that and really take care of the features that they need for deployments. Right now we’re just really focused on application UI and connectivity.”

N4BB – “Does your team deal directly with admins also?”

Gregg – “We work strictly with the developer. We have a peer group of technical account managers that deal directly with the admins . Keeping up with the amount of work we have to do, it’s a lot of work, it keeps me up at night. The amount of demand that comes in for the team I manage, If I also had them working with admins, they would probably take me in the back room and beat me”

N4BB – “ So do you get developers that come to you, or will a company contact you and say “we would like an application can you set us up with a developer?””

Gregg – “It’s really all of the above. So we have developers come to us that started three years ago. There are developers that we’ve maintained relationships with on the enterprise side. We, also, do have opportunities that come up, all the time, from different areas of business. The administrators see that they have to do inventories of applications that they have and realize they have to get them ready for Blackberry 10. So that will typically come in through the account  management team. One of the things I really do want to do is to build a close relationship with this community. I’m currently looking at some tools that I might be able to use for that, starting with the enterprise series of our Jams. That’s going to be a real launching pad, if you will, to get tied to that group worldwide.”

N4BB – “ Is there a Blackberry Evangelist team just for Enterprise?”

Gregg – “That’s my team, we just don’t call ourselves evangelists, we call ourselves enterprise mobility architects. It’s a bit more in line with what we see happening in enterprise.”

N4BB – “What is the best option for a company that has no developer team?”

Gregg – “The best avenue to take if they do not maintain any development staff is we have a set of partners we can engage in situations like that to build applications on their behalf. One of the vetting processes I go through is to ensure that they have the enterprise grade skills, if you will, so I look at guys who have the experience building back-end applications from a partner community. Secondly I try to find folks who don’t want to put a very high price tag on the apps. Right now i find the space that we’re in, everything is very immediate. You can get a quick turnaround on an application and the idea of six figure deployments to start, we try to shy away from, if you will. really, specifically, you want to get the customer ready for Blackberry 10 and it’s a matter of taking the applications that they have, writing them with the HTML5 webworks platform, and not only just converting them over, but making them better. We look at opportunities where they can be improved, not just from a UI perspective, but how it relates to mobility. A few key things with mobility that a lot of folks tend to neglect…Obviously, number one being connectivity. If you can’t connect, you can’t really do anything. The second thing is that you want to make sure folks can operate when they’re not connected. So, if you have applications that require a connection, say, for example, you flew out here from the east coast and you have an app that requires connectivity, well, you can’t do very much with that until you land. So building those things into the application are one of the key areas. Also, leveraging things like push in the mindset of the developer. When we develop things like channel push, i’ve seen, years ago, when you push from a browser, a lot of folks couldn’t get the concept. But we had the ability to push content to a browser and you put a little icon on the device and you click on it and shows you the content and you push to it. it was a pretty powerful little thing, right? For example i could create an emergency contact list and take all of my staff and put them into a simple spreadsheet and push it out through the server. So, I have a very specific strategy I want to implement. First, I want to make sure everyone is ready for Blackberry 10. Secondly is, what can we use to help make enterprises more effective? So if you look at the things we do beyond that connectivity BES, we have that ability to push content. Push content is huge, and not only can you push content, but you can guarantee that the content has been delivered. You can have a positive acknowledgement sent back to the data source. You can also guarantee that the person has accepted it. So if you look at areas where you have folks trying to put together some type of field service environment. You’ve got a tight SLA. You might be my refrigerator repairman and I’ve got an SLA that says you’ve got to be there within an hour. well if you accept it and acknowledge it, then you’re telling the person managing your field service that you’re going to be there in an hour. So you meet your SLA and that’s something that’s important. Appliance repair is probably not the right use case but you can certainly see in some of the higher demand field service areas, you know, we have a very unique opportunity to really nail the enterprise grade applications.”

N4BB – “Have you seen a transition to BB10 from a developer standpoint? Have companies started to get ready for BB10?”

Gregg – “Yes, the demand is there, i’ll just put it that way. So, we do have the demand there for getting apps ready for BB10. So that comes purely on my shoulders. So the demand is there and I find that when we look at the historical development cycles six or seven years ago, you had a nine month development cycle. That’s for one app. Now with our simplified HTML5 and webwork strategy when you write your app in HTML5 and you run it and compile it as if it’s a native application. Development cycles are down to weeks. We’re turning stuff around very fast. We’ll throw a sample up in the repository that people can use to get started.”

N4BB – “So you travel a lot. Do you work directly with developers?”

Gregg – “Yes, my team is not based out of headquarters. They are dispersed all around North America at the moment with plan of expanding. I built around our major regions obviously, New York, Chicago, all of the areas where we have our top enterprise customers. We do have a global responsibility. So our Enterprise Jam series is going to be a global jam series.

gostrowski at RIM .com

N4BB – “How does the North American Market differ from the rest of the world?”

Gregg – “You know, I started to get involved in that about six months ago and I’ve found that the markets really aren’t that much different when it comes to enterprise. We’re just as secure in North America as we are in Europe so if you’re looking at security as a major concern that you have in any mobile products Blackberry is front and center. So, I’m excited to look at this global perspective. that’s an area that we really need to focus on and looking at what enterprise means to RIM and it’s pretty clear that enterprise is our bread and butter.”

Interview: Gregg Ostrowski, RIM Senior Director of Enterprise Developer Partnerships written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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Nobex Shows How They Make Music Social with BBM http://n4bb.com/nobex-shows-make-music-social-bbm/ http://n4bb.com/nobex-shows-make-music-social-bbm/#comments Sat, 29 Sep 2012 19:45:50 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=23163 At BlackBerry Jam Americas we got the chance to meet up with Gadi Mazor from Nobex. Gadi liked our preview we did of the Nobex Radio app for BlackBerry 10.

Nobex Shows How They Make Music Social with BBM written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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At BlackBerry Jam Americas we got the chance to meet up with Gadi Mazor from Nobex. Gadi liked our preview we did of the Nobex Radio app for BlackBerry 10.

What Gadi really wanted us to see was how social they’ve made music by integrating BBM into the Nobex Radio app. By using BBM users can act as a DJ while chatting with their friends. Check out the video of Nobex Radio and download it for free in App World.


On a BlackBerry? Click here for mobile YouTube video

Nobex Shows How They Make Music Social with BBM written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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http://n4bb.com/nobex-shows-make-music-social-bbm/feed/ 0 Nobex Shows How They Make Music Social with BBM - N4BB At BlackBerry Jam Americas we got the chance to meet up with Gadi Mazor from Nobex. Gadi liked our preview we did of the Nobex Radio app for BlackBerry 10. What Gadi really wanted us to see was how social they've made music by integrating BBM into the Nobex Radio app. By using BBM users can act as a BBM,BlackBerry Messenger,Gadi Mazor,Nobex,Nobex Radio nobex-radio
Interview: Adam ‘HTML5 Guru’ Stanley – Tells How RIM is Using HTML5 in BlackBerry 10 http://n4bb.com/interview-adam-html5-guru-stanley-tells-rim-using-html5-blackberry-10/ http://n4bb.com/interview-adam-html5-guru-stanley-tells-rim-using-html5-blackberry-10/#comments Sat, 29 Sep 2012 19:37:50 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=23152 BlackBerry Jam Americas was packed full with interviews of RIM execs and evangelists. We had the opportunity to sit down with the HTML5 guru himself, Adam Stanley. Adam tells us

Interview: Adam ‘HTML5 Guru’ Stanley – Tells How RIM is Using HTML5 in BlackBerry 10 written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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BlackBerry Jam Americas was packed full with interviews of RIM execs and evangelists. We had the opportunity to sit down with the HTML5 guru himself, Adam Stanley.

Adam tells us why HTML5 is important and how RIM will be adding this integral coding technology into BlackBerry 10. Adam even shows us how HTML5 can be used to build games.

Check out the interview and let us know what you think of HTML5. P.S. Sierra Mist inadvertently gets free publicity in this interview.


On a BlackBerry? Click here for mobile YouTube video

Interview: Adam ‘HTML5 Guru’ Stanley – Tells How RIM is Using HTML5 in BlackBerry 10 written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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http://n4bb.com/interview-adam-html5-guru-stanley-tells-rim-using-html5-blackberry-10/feed/ 0 Interview: Adam 'HTML5 Guru' Stanley - Tells How RIM is Using HTML5 in BlackBerry 10 - N4BB BlackBerry Jam Americas was packed full with interviews of RIM execs and evangelists. We had the opportunity to sit down with the HTML5 guru himself, Adam Stanley. Adam tells us why HTML5 is important and how RIM will be adding this integral coding technology into BlackBerry 10. Adam even shows us h Adam Stanley,BB10,BlackBerry 10,BlackBerry Jam Americas,HTML5 adam-stanley
Interview: Tim Neil, RIM Director of App Platform and Tools Product Management http://n4bb.com/interview-tim-neil-rim-director-app-platform-tools-product-management/ http://n4bb.com/interview-tim-neil-rim-director-app-platform-tools-product-management/#comments Sat, 29 Sep 2012 17:11:55 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=23141 While at BlackBerry Jam Americas, Ross and I had the opportunity to interview Tim Neil. Some of you may know Tim as the ‘Bat Berry’ guy. Tim was able to

Interview: Tim Neil, RIM Director of App Platform and Tools Product Management written by Niko Giannopoulos on N4BB

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While at BlackBerry Jam Americas, Ross and I had the opportunity to interview Tim Neil. Some of you may know Tim as the ‘Bat Berry’ guy. Tim was able to create the Bat Berry vehicle using the Adruino that RIM gave out at Jam Americas.

Check out our excellent interview with Tim to see how he’s bee working with Alec Saunders to promote BlackBerry 10 to new developers.


On a BlackBerry? Click here for mobile YouTube video

Interview: Tim Neil, RIM Director of App Platform and Tools Product Management written by Niko Giannopoulos on N4BB

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http://n4bb.com/interview-tim-neil-rim-director-app-platform-tools-product-management/feed/ 0 Interview: Tim Neil, RIM Director of App Platform and Tools Product Management - N4BB While at BlackBerry Jam Americas, Ross and I had the opportunity to interview Tim Neil. Some of you may know Tim as the 'Bat Berry' guy. Tim was able to create the Bat Berry vehicle using the Adruino that RIM gave out at Jam Americas. Check out our excellent interview with Tim to see how he's bee wo Bat Berry,BB10,BlackBerry 10,BlackBerry Jam Americas,Tim Neil Tim-Neil
Interview: Torch Mobile Founder, Matthew Staikos http://n4bb.com/interview-torch-mobile-founder-matthew-staikos/ http://n4bb.com/interview-torch-mobile-founder-matthew-staikos/#comments Thu, 27 Sep 2012 20:04:27 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=23099 While at BlackBerry Jam Americas  we had the opportunity to sit down with Torch Mobile browser founder, Matthew Staikos. BlackBerry users would not have the amazing native browser they do

Interview: Torch Mobile Founder, Matthew Staikos written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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While at BlackBerry Jam Americas  we had the opportunity to sit down with Torch Mobile browser founder, Matthew Staikos. BlackBerry users would not have the amazing native browser they do today if it weren’t for Torch Mobile.

Check out our interview below to see how they’ve been diligently working to improve the browser experience in BlackBerry 10.


On a BlackBerry? Click here for mobile YouTube video

Interview: Torch Mobile Founder, Matthew Staikos written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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http://n4bb.com/interview-torch-mobile-founder-matthew-staikos/feed/ 0 Interview: Torch Mobile Founder, Matthew Staikos - N4BB While at BlackBerry Jam Americas  we had the opportunity to sit down with Torch Mobile browser founder, Matthew Staikos. BlackBerry users would not have the amazing native browser they do today if it weren't for Torch Mobile. Check out our interview below to see how they've been diligently working BB10,BlackBerry 10,BlackBerry 10 Browser,Matthew Staikos matthew-staikos
Interview: Senior VP of BlackBerry OS, Sebastian Marineau http://n4bb.com/interview-senior-blackberry-sebastian-marineau/ http://n4bb.com/interview-senior-blackberry-sebastian-marineau/#comments Thu, 27 Sep 2012 17:43:56 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=23046 While at BlackBerry Jam Americas we had the honor of meeting with Sebastian Marineau, Research In Motion’s Vice President of BlackBerry OS. Sebastian was originally with QNX, but since their

Interview: Senior VP of BlackBerry OS, Sebastian Marineau written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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While at BlackBerry Jam Americas we had the honor of meeting with Sebastian Marineau, Research In Motion’s Vice President of BlackBerry OS.

Sebastian was originally with QNX, but since their acquisition by RIM, he now oversees all of the development for the entire BlackBerry OS platform.

We talk about what it took to get to BlackBerry 10, the history of QNX, the future of BlackBerry as a platform, and much more. Check out the video interview below and let us know what you think.


On a BlackBerry? Click here for mobile YouTube video

Interview: Senior VP of BlackBerry OS, Sebastian Marineau written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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http://n4bb.com/interview-senior-blackberry-sebastian-marineau/feed/ 0 Interview: Senior VP of BlackBerry OS, Sebastian Marineau - N4BB While at BlackBerry Jam Americas we had the honor of meeting with Sebastian Marineau, Research In Motion's Vice President of BlackBerry OS. Sebastian was originally with QNX, but since their acquisition by RIM, he now oversees all of the development for the entire BlackBerry OS platform. We talk abo BB10,BlackBerry 10,Research In Motion,RIM,Sebastian Marineau sebastian
Interview: Jeff Holleran, RIM Senior Director for Enterprise Product Management; We Talk BES 10 http://n4bb.com/interview-jeff-holleran-rim-senior-director-enterprise-product-management-talk-bes-10/ http://n4bb.com/interview-jeff-holleran-rim-senior-director-enterprise-product-management-talk-bes-10/#comments Fri, 21 Sep 2012 17:34:21 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=22780 [powerpress] Subscribe to N4BB Audio Show podcast RSS Feed directly or in iTunes Just yesterday Research In Motion announced the release of Service Pack 4 for BlackBerry Enterprise Server Version 5 as well as Service pack 1 for Mobile

Interview: Jeff Holleran, RIM Senior Director for Enterprise Product Management; We Talk BES 10 written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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[powerpress]

Subscribe to N4BB Audio Show podcast RSS Feed directly or in iTunes

Just yesterday Research In Motion announced the release of Service Pack 4 for BlackBerry Enterprise Server Version 5 as well as Service pack 1 for Mobile Fusion. These two service updates are paving the way for the future of BlackBerry 10′s integration on BES 10 and additional expansion of services for Mobile Device Management (MDM).

We had the opportunity to interview Research In Motion’s Senior Director for Enterprise Product Management, Jeff Holleran. We talk to Jeff about his roles in the recent product launches and how RIM is working on BES 10. Have a listen, or read the interview transcription below.

- Interview transcription -

N4BB: How were you involved in these two product launches?

Jeff: At RIM I am responsible for our product roadmap and direction on the enterprise product front. My team has been working closely with our partners over the past couple of months to understand where their needs are and what enhancements they wanted to see in the product line. We’ve made strong commitment in support of the requests of our partners. We work with them and their development team to bring out the wealth of good functionality.

It was a great day yesterday to see our products across our entire mobility management line updated, all the way from BES through the Fusion family. It was a very busy day for us.

N4BB: When is Universal Device Service going to support iOS6?

Jeff: That’s a very timely question with the launch of iOS 6 this week. With the update that we made available yesterday, we are supporting iOS 6 devices so our customers can activate an iOS 6 device against the Universal Device Service today.

N4BB: Is there going to be a ‘Enterprise activation’-like process on Android and iOS clients too?

Jeff: It is very similar to enterperise activation and if you have an Android or iOS client that you’re connecting up to Mobile Fusion today, you’d go out and download the Mobile Fusion client from the appropriate app store of the mobile device you have. Through that client you’d be able to go through an enterprise activation process that configures the device. It will go ahead and send out all of the settings that the administrator has configured, the email controls necessary to configure the email accounts, so the end-user doesn’t have to go through all of the steps of the server and port configuration, it is very similar to a BlackBerry with respect to connecting it up.

N4BB: Can you please further describe how the TouchDown feature will work for Android and iOS?

Jeff: TouchDown is an email client that comes from a company called NitroDesk and it is very popular in the Android community as a messaging client in place of the native messaging client that’s on the Android devices. Our support of that is to configure that client with all of those email settings so that if you have TouchDown installed on your Android device and you register against the Mobile Fusion server, when you activate the device through the activation process, we send out all of the server configuration for the actives and connections into the TouchDown client itself. It makes a very seamless experience for those users who have TouchDown installed on their devices.

N4BB: Can you please describe RIM’s future plans with MDS?

Jeff: MDS is our Mobile Data Service it is a component of the BES solution that helps extend the perimeter of the corporate network to encompass the BlackBerry devices. When you’re on your BlackBerry it is very similar to being on the network you’ve got the ability to do a lot of the same things as being on your desktop. For instance, you can browser the intranet when connected up to a BlackBerry Enterprise Server. It gives you the ability to access the file application of the device and browser file shares that sit behind the firewall. If you’ve got a Map Network Drive, most folks in a company do that they back their files up to, you’ve got the ability to access those files on the device through MDS.

If a company writes applications, those applications can transit the network through MDS to provide connectivity with no need for VPN or other connectivity. MDS is very important to us. I put up a blog post about ActiveSync and our use of it. With the PlayBook, if you look how we’ve leverage ActiveSync, we’ve been able to use it as a messaging protocol, but wrap it inside of our MDS transport so that a customer does not need to expose ActiveSync out to the internet. Or expose those interfaces directly to the internet. Using the PlayBook, and BlackBerry 10 will work the same way, you can simply configure the account on the device or connect to the server to configure the device, it will utilize MDS to get back behind the firewall and act as the mail server just the same as BlackBerry OS 7 connects to email today.

The move to ActiveSync was just a change in the synchronization engine that we use for email and PIM information. So we go over from the messaging server down to the device.

N4BB: How many servers will be needed to deploy BlackBerry 10 devices into an Enterprise that is already using legacy BlackBerrys?

Jeff: Yes, at launch today we will be providing the BES 10 upgrade to Mobile Fusion and kind of switching the branding from Mobile Fusion to a BES 10 branded product. That’s going to go on a server in parallel to the BES 5 environment when we launch in first quarter along with the BlackBerry 10 devices. When we move forward, as I’ve already announced a service pack to come out aligned with BlackBerry World event next May, it will allow everyone to run BES 10 as an upgrade on top of their BES 5 server, right on that server.

What we did there was we understood there is a lot of early adopters that wanted to run parallel environments for a little while as they got up and running. So, we focused on that, ensuring we had flexible components. And we heard the feedback that people wanted to run it on the same server so we wanted to make sure that was possible.

From the update we have scheduled for aligning it with BlackBerry World in May it is a single server solution to provide full management across all of your mobile devices that exist inside the enterprise.

N4BB: Can you explain the difference between “sandboxing” and how BES with BlackBerry Balance is different?

Jeff: It is a very interesting area to dive into. When we started looking at our strategy for ensuring a very robust user experience, one of the top things that surfaced from our customers was to ensure that they didn’t have to make a switch between applications to view their personal emails or corporate work-based data. At RIM we are very security focused so we built BlackBerry 10 right from the ground up with the intention of separating the personal experience and personal data from the work data while not impacting the experience.

If we look at the implementation of BlackBerry Balance on PlayBook today, you’ve got a single mailbox on the device. It includes all of the data from both my personal accounts that have been linked in as well as my enterprise accounts that have been connected up to the device. We want to make sure that when you go into an application it makes sense (i.e. mailbox, calendar). You can view your entire life in there, all aspects of what you do, but we provide the security controls so we can protect that data and ensure the data cannot cross between the those two spaces on the device and cross between your work and personal personas of how you interact and live your daily life.

N4BB: How will BES 10 differ from GoodTechnologies and other 3rd party MDM services?

Jeff: BES 10 is designed to provide all of the needs of the enterprise when it comes to managing their mobile deployments. We’ve spent a lot of time working with customers. This wasn’t something that RIM entered into as a business opportunity that we were forward looking on, so much as it was our customers reaching out to us saying, “Guys at RIM, we understand you guys know mobility, we understand you know security, we need help.” With the trends of the industry today, with the consumerization of IT, we’ve got our users knocking on our door everyday saying, “We need you to support these other devices we’ve purchased. What we need you, RIM, to do is help us out with managing these devices. We need a trusted enterprise software partner. We’ve worked with you guys for 10+ years now on BlackBerry Enterprise Server, can you extend that out and help us with managing these other devices?”

So we’ve worked off of that feedback to ensure that we’re incorporating the basic tenets of BlackBerry and our security story as we manage these other devices.  At BlackBerry World  last year we announced that we would be bringing some of the capabilities of BlackBerry with respect to security of both data at rest and data in transit over to the third party devices. We’re working diligently on that and expect we’ll meet our commitments on that.

N4BB: Is there any plan for Mobile Fusion and BES 10 support for syncing of to-do and notes?

Jeff: That’s a question that came up a lot on my blog post about ActiveSync. The answer I gave them was to stay tuned. We haven’t announced anything on that front yet, but we’re really excited about our overall roadmap with respect to BlackBerry 10 and BES 10.

N4BB: Are there any plans for future support of Windows Phone?

Jeff: We’re very driven to support the devices our enterprise customers are asking about. As enterprises bring topics up and we take a look at trends in the industry we’ll continue to be very proactive at responding to customer request for support of new features, functionality, and devices if that’s the case.

N4BB: How can IT admins give feedback to you?

Jeff: We love getting feedback from customers. We’ll be at a ton of major events over the next little while were we expect to run into customers. Personally, I’ll be out at BlackBerry Jam next week, I’ll be at MobileCon in a couple weeks, after that I’m at Gartner IT Expo and am very happy to meet with customers at those events.

As well, feel free to let us know through the many social media channels that are out there. My blog posts that are up, I am very active at reading those comments and responding. Those are some of the best ways to interact directly and working with the contacts of folks have at RIM with the support channels. We’ve got an incredible support organization that’s staffed globally to support our customers and is 24/7 operation with folks all over the world supporting our customers. We have a great sales team that is very close to the love of customers as well. I love getting feedback and am very active in responding to feedback I get across the blog.

Interview: Jeff Holleran, RIM Senior Director for Enterprise Product Management; We Talk BES 10 written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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Interview: Senior Product Manager of NFC for RIM, Geoffrey MacGillivray http://n4bb.com/interview-senior-product-manager-nfc-rim-geoffrey-macgillvray/ http://n4bb.com/interview-senior-product-manager-nfc-rim-geoffrey-macgillvray/#comments Sat, 15 Sep 2012 18:49:39 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=22514 [powerpress] Subscribe to N4BB Audio Show podcast RSS Feed directly or in iTunes Yesterday, we had a very special guest on the N4BB Audio Show. Geoffrey MacGillivray, the Senior Product Manager of NFC for Research In Motion, was

Interview: Senior Product Manager of NFC for RIM, Geoffrey MacGillivray written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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[powerpress]

Subscribe to N4BB Audio Show podcast RSS Feed directly or in iTunes

Yesterday, we had a very special guest on the N4BB Audio Show. Geoffrey MacGillivray, the Senior Product Manager of NFC for Research In Motion, was on the show to tell us about the future of Near Field Communications (NFC) on BlackBerry products.

BlackBerry has already accomplished some superb goals with NFC. BlackBerry has been the first to be certified for both Visa and MasterCard mobile payments. Just recently, BlackBerry has been the first mobile device to receive certification for replacement of security access badges.

Listen to the above interview with Geoff or read the transcription below. Let us know if you have any questions regarding NFC technology and tell us how you’d like to utilize it in your everyday usage.

- Interview transcription -

N4BB: “Welcome, everyone to another edition of the N4BB audio show. This is your host, Lucas Atkins. Niko and I have a very special guest today, Geoffrey MacGillivray. He is the Senior Product Manager for NFC at RIM. Geoffrey is here today to discuss Near Field Communications, otherwise known as NFC, and how RIM is utilizing the technology in the enterprise and consumer markets. How are you doing today sir?”

Geoffrey MacGillivray: “Good, I’m really happy to be here. I’m looking forward to this discussion”

N4BB: “Excellent. BB has been the first to be certified for VISA and Mastercard mobile payments. Now they are also the first for physical access badge replacement with HID Global. Can you tell us about that partnership?”

Geoffrey MacGillivray: “ Sure, and I want to comment generally on NFC as well. Here at RIM we really view NFC as more than a technology by itself. You can put the NFC radio and functionality into the device, but it’s so important to engage industry partners to really enable an ecosystem so we can create NFC experiences for our consumers. You can see that in our work with payments. We think it’s very important within the enterprise space to provide further value to our customers. We think the partnership with HID is very important because it brings more functionality to the device and has expanded its reach beyond what’s on the device to include interacting with the physical world and integrating your access badges to the device.

N4BB: “ How is RIM working to partner with the likes of McDonalds and Home Depot, who are already utilizing mobile payments through NFC?”

Geoffrey MacGillivray: “Unfortunately I can’t comment too much on specific companies until they are public. What I can say is we are involved in the NFC industry to understand the needs and the involvement of those services within different segments and making sure that our handset has the capabilities. Were working with key partners to see how those solutions are evolving so that when solutions are brought to the market, they can brought to the market quickly, effectively and can provide a good user experience.”

N4BB: “NFC is still in it’s infancy in terms of reception so far. What kind of features can we expect to see in the future with NFC?”

Geoffrey MacGillivray: “ I think in terms of NFC , this goes back to my earlier comments about ecosystem and why I think it’s a great question. Were going to improve upon the features on the device and enhance them and improve the functionality, but where I really see the growth in NFC is around services that can be relative to the device. This means engagement of more partners. So you’ve seen the initial announcement that we’ve done and we’ve talked about in terms of certification stuff and payment schemes and HID. Expect more services to come onto the device and start using the NFC, and expansion of the capabilities that are already there, and utilizing them in services. Just as an example we’ve talked a lot about secure mode of NFC in terms of payments and physical access but there’s also a lot of potential for mobile marketing around NFC. You can embed an NFC tag in a poster or even in a product, and consumers can tap on that poster or product to get more information on it or to get offers or other types of information like that. So I think that when NFC really matures you’re going to see a rich set of services that are built around technology.

N4BB: “We see that RIM has taken the lead in NFC technology. How does NFC on the BlackBerry differ from NFC on a rival platform, namely Android or Windows 7?”

Geoffrey MacGillivray: ‘I think in terms of the differentiation that we’re looking for is we’re going for very much standard based interoperability in our pod forms so we’ve been very careful to implement NFC in a standard way and use standard technology and provide the API’s necessary for our partners to use it. So in terms of our approach, we want to make sure that we provide a solid platform for our partners to work with that is interoperable with our devices and also other devices as well.”

N4BB: “ Will NFC mainly be BlackBerry to BlackBerry or will it also be open for cross platform compatibility?”

Geoffrey MacGillivray: “Great question again.This is not just Blackberry to Blackberry device transmission. We think it’s critical that NFC work seamlessly with not just Blackberry to Blackberry devices but other mobile phones and also readers and tablets that are present in the industry. Certainly the design steps that we’ve taken and the implementation that we’ve done has been totally geared towards making sure they are as interoperable as possible. That means sticking to the standards to make sure the user experience or the customer experience is consistent no matter which mode of operation whether it’s tapping on tags, paying at a point of sale, or gaining access to the building, that technology works.”

N4BB: “ Is RIM working on other specific NFC applications besides a mobile payment solution?”

Geoffrey MacGillivray: “ I think our view at RIM is that certainly payment and NFC payment gets a lot of attention. We view NFC as much more than payment and you can see that extension moving into physical access. There’s a number of areas in NFC that we think are going to provide a lot of value to our consumers. There are use cases in mobile marketing,transit and ticketing. Now I can’t comment specifically on the areas that we are working with but what I can say is that we are looking at the broad spectrum of NFC opportunities to try and bring partners in line and make sure our devices are compatible with those use cases. Because, like I said earlier, it’s not just about payment and it’s not just about physical access. We want NFC to be part of someones daily use of their smartphone and that expands across a wide range of applications.

N4BB: “Is RIM working directly with application developers to really push NFC?’

Geoffrey MacGillivray: “Yes our application developer support team is actively working within that community to educate developers on the capabilities of NFC and certainly within BB10 to indicate that we really have NFC functionality inside and our developer relations team has done a great job in the Jam Sessions and other presentation materials showing developers what they can do and how they can develop within is.

N4BB: “ The 4G playbook was supposed to be released with NFC but as we’ve seen with the test units we received it’s not available yet. Will that feature be opened up later on?”

Geoffrey MacGillivray: “Yes, it will be opened up later on.”

N4BB : “Now will this be though an OS update?”

Geoffrey MacGillivray: ‘ Yes that is what we would be looking to do”

N4BB: “Awesome. How is RIM working with the carriers to push NFC and make it a more viable product?”

Geoffrey MacGillivray: “ That’s another good question. The carriers are a very key partner for us and NFC is certainly a new technology and an interesting one when it comes to carrier space. The carriers have a lot of incentive to bring services to the phone that are centered around the UAC and the payment initiatives that are going on around the world. So we want to make sure that we support them in those efforts and bring NFC together as a good solution for our consumers. That’s some of the certification work that we’ve undertaken making sure that the phone itself is able to support those features.

N4BB: “ What is your personal opinion on the future of NFC?’

Geoffrey MacGillivray: “I think NFC is going to be a part of everyone’s daily lives in a number of areas. If we look together at that horizon five to ten years out NFC really extends someones interaction with their phone to the physical world. We see lots of opportunities to remove little pieces of friction in everybody’s life to make things a little bit easier. Examples are tapping to accept rates, tapping to pay, tapping to get access to your building. All the components integrate with someone’s daily life and make it that much better. So in my opinion NFC is going to grow and grow in terms of uses that are alowed on a single device and it will become a really integral part of daily life.

N4BB: “ Geoff, thank you very much for your time. We greatly appreciate having you on the show to talk about NFC and educate our readers on what it is and how it will be utilized in future BlackBerry products. Is there anything you’d like to say to our readers who might want to know more about NFC?”

Geoffrey MacGillivray: “I really appreciate the time you’ve taken to speak with me as well, and to your readers stay tuned to NFC. There will be a lot more developments over the next six to twelve months in terms of services that are going to be available, so stay tuned to the NFC scene.

N4BB: “Well thank you again for speaking with us and we hope to meet in the future”

Interview: Senior Product Manager of NFC for RIM, Geoffrey MacGillivray written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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Q&A: Adrian Stone from BlackBerry Security Team http://n4bb.com/qa-adrian-stone-from-blackberry-security-team/ http://n4bb.com/qa-adrian-stone-from-blackberry-security-team/#comments Tue, 31 Jul 2012 14:38:05 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=20496 Some of you may not realize that Research In Motion has a rather large security response and research team. RIM historically has been almost silent on the way that it

Q&A: Adrian Stone from BlackBerry Security Team written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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Some of you may not realize that Research In Motion has a rather large security response and research team. RIM historically has been almost silent on the way that it handles product security and vulnerabilities. But that’s beginning to change, in large part perhaps because the security response team at RIM is full of veterans of Microsoft’s Security Response Center, who learned the value of communication the hard way.

Microsoft’s much-discussed metamorphosis from security punching bag to example of how to handle security internally and externally has been built in many ways on the company’s security response process. While RIM never had the security image problem that Microsoft did, the officials now running the show there are applying those lessons and trying to build better relationships with security researchers, other vendors and members of the security community. In an interview at the Black Hat conference here, Adrian Stone, director of security response at RIM, and a former MSRC official, discussed the lessons learned at Microsoft, how RIM can protect its huge user base and what the key security challenges are for the company.

Dennis Fisher from Threat Post had the opportunity to do a Q&A with Adrian Stone:

Dennis Fisher: The thing that changed the security culture at Microsoft was that the message came from the top. Is that the case at RIM?

Stone: Security has always been core to the product with BlackBerry. We’re starting from a good base, whereas at Microsoft there was ten years of scar tissue there. From top down, it’s understood that security is core to all of this. We’ve had tremendous support from the entire organization.

Fisher: What kind of things have you implemented to try to make RIM more of a part of the conversation in the security community?

Stone: Well, we just had our first internal security summit in June. It was like the Blue Hat summits that Microsoft does, just a way to get researchers engaged with us and thinking about us. BlackBerry has been really evolving in terms of communication, engagement and engineering. If you get an engineer talking to another engineer, code wins. They understand each other. Opening the dialog is our main interest, and there are a number of ways to do that. Aside from the summit, we also are sponsoring Mobile Pwn2Own at EUSecWest. It’s the first one and we want to be involved. We’ve been doing some of this stuff for a while, but we’re doing it with a greater degree of transparency and more resources to help support the researchers.

Fisher: So is just a case of being more public about what you’ve been doing?

Stone: Yes, there’s always been a lot of stuff there but we didn’t talk about it. The rise of mobile computing has caused a shift. Recognizing that the environment is changing is what we’ve looked at. The platform is evolving and users expect to have all of their features on mobile that they have on their desktops. So that’s the challenge for us.

Fisher: BlackBerry still has an enormous user base, and a lot of it is in the enterprise with a lot of data to protect.

Stone: When you look at our customer base, it’s not only enormous, but it’s also high-value. You start at the White House and work your way down. We start with the code and work our way up from there. The end-to-end security premise of BlackBerry is real. We always have to be vigilant. We look at things from everywhere. We’re going through a platform change and as you move away from one, you take the best of it with you. There’s a demand for a rich user experience and we’re building the platform to account for that. 

Fisher: How has the rise of the app store model changed the way you handle security?

Stone: Apps is an interesting area. We’re working with ecosystem partners and our own engineers to help secure that environment. It’s about giving customers control of the app environment. We build in enterprise level controls that build in access controls. There are app-level controls. It’s a multi-tiered approach. The apps present a tremendous opportunity for customers and researchers. The integration of the platform comes into play. We are building from the ground up and giving control of it to the customers so they can define permissions. They can whitelist apps, control apps on a specific basis and there’s the honoring of the personal and work spaces, as well. 

Q&A: Adrian Stone from BlackBerry Security Team written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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RIM Interviews its CIO Robin Bienfait About BlackBerry in Enterprise http://n4bb.com/rim-interviews-its-cio-robin-bienfait-about-blackberry-in-enterprise/ http://n4bb.com/rim-interviews-its-cio-robin-bienfait-about-blackberry-in-enterprise/#comments Tue, 24 Jul 2012 16:48:24 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=20258 Research In Motion is obviously undergoing a major transition like never before. Many Enterprise customers have been wondering if they should stick with BlackBerry or move on to a different

RIM Interviews its CIO Robin Bienfait About BlackBerry in Enterprise written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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Research In Motion is obviously undergoing a major transition like never before. Many Enterprise customers have been wondering if they should stick with BlackBerry or move on to a different platform. RIM interviewed their own CIO, Robin Bienfait, about some of the questions Enterprise customers had. Robin oversees the Enterprise Business Unit, BlackBerry Operations, Customer Service, and Corporate IT functions. In short, she plays a major role in leading the vision for BlackBerry enterprise solutions, and the execution of making that vision a reality. Check out the interview found on Inside BlackBerry below:

Hi Robin, thanks for joining me today! I’m looking forward to representing our enterprise customers and voicing the questions that they have.

My pleasure Luke, it’s both a challenging time and a very exciting time for us at the moment, and I’m glad I can help to address our customers’ concerns directly.

Can you tell me a bit about your background and the role that you play with our enterprise customers?

Our customers are the reason we do what we do every day. My job is to meet customers where they’re at and help bring solutions to them that work best for their environment. I spent 22+ years at AT&T through all sorts of engineering and network operations leadership roles. When I left AT&T to join RIM over 5 years ago, I had led 30,000 people all dedicated to building a scalable and reliable enterprise class network. During that time, I interacted with enterprise customers on a daily basis, as I continue to do today. I believe it’s important to get to know the different pieces of a business – it’s not just about being a leader, it’s about getting involved in problems and solutions. I am 100% committed to using my experience, knowledge, and dedication to meet the needs of our enterprise customers – that’s what I’m here for.

Ok. I’m going to get right into the tough questions that our customers are asking. I know it’s important to you, and to all of RIM’s employees, to make sure that our customers hear information directly from you. – How can enterprises be confident that RIM will be around until the launch of BlackBerry® 10, and beyond, as a stable solution provider?

Our leadership team is very aware that BlackBerry is facing a few challenging quarters as we approach the launch of BlackBerry 10 – and we know there is much work to be done. A few weeks ago in Australia I met with many of our customers from the banking and financial sector; these customers rely on us, and we need to re-confirm their faith in our ability to perform and deliver. And we will work to do just that.

All companies need to go through changes in their evolution and it is our turn right now. Thorsten is making a lot of changes to ensure the company is addressing its challenges to give our customers the comfort that the company is not standing still and will be here to meet their needs. I think it’s important to look closely at the position that our business is in: We have $2.2 billion of cash in the bank, zero debt, are bringing in seasoned industry leaders who understand BlackBerry customers, are reducing costs in non-core areas, and investing in a plan to radically shift the company and the technology. I’m confident that we’re well positioned. What’s important is that we have a clear direction, are pivoting rapidly, and are absolutely committed to achieving these goals.

Our customers see a lot of media activity around RIM and speculation about its future. Will RIM be acquired or bought out, and if so, would this disrupt BlackBerry service for enterprise customers?

RIM is clearly a hot topic right now and many individuals and publications are speculating about our strategic options and future. We are a public company so media and analyst scrutiny is expected during such a major transition. The reality is straightforward: We have over 78 million customers that need our services on a day-to-day basis, and we’re firmly committed to the launch of the BlackBerry 10 platform. Our primary goal is to support our customers and drive value for shareholders and employees by continuing to invest and develop our enterprise initiatives.

You know, strategic partnerships have always been a part of RIM’s business model. We started building partnerships with carriers over a decade ago, and we’ll keep building partnerships to bring the best expertise and technology into the services and products we provide. I acutely understand the strategic importance of RIM’s network to our customers, and we are absolutely committed to upholding our long-standing history of providing this service reliably. The RIM network has supported critical functions for customers for over a decade; our global messaging infrastructure remains a competitive advantage.

At BlackBerry World 2012 you made commitments to our Enterprise customers: BlackBerry® Mobile Fusion as a cloud offering, and security for data at rest and data in transit for iOS and Android devices managed through BlackBerry Mobile Fusion. Can you provide an update on these?

We have a full roadmap and timeline for our enterprise offering and are well along the path of meeting these goals. As I said, we are continuing to invest in enterprise solutions and are dedicated to partnering with our customers to help them solve challenges and to help them succeed, it’s a priority and focus for us. We continue to expand and scale our MDM solution, BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, including cross-platform management capabilities that we know are a major focus for many organizations.

It’s a CIO or IT administrator’s job to ensure that their organization’s mobility needs are met. Why shouldn’t they be planning for contingencies?

That’s a good question, Luke. Customers certainly don’t want to question their smartphone and connectivity – they just want it to work. Business continuity planning is a healthy practice for any business, and one that we often enable with BlackBerry solutions. But with a firm plan of action underway for RIM, demonstrable fiscal responsibility, and a deep history of security and support for enterprise, I firmly believe that we remain the clear choice for enterprise customers at this time. No one else has RIM’s track record of protecting enterprise data.

Will the planned layoff of 5,000 RIM employees affect customer service?

I want to clearly answer this – we do not expect any effect on customer service. Our customers are the reason we exist and we’re absolutely committed to helping ensure our customers’ needs are met. I know the decision to reduce headcount is very difficult – difficult on the people affected, difficult on their team members, difficult on their families – but we’re doing this to ensure the long-term success of the company. As Thorsten mentioned on the Q1 earnings call, support for critical functions like Network Operations, Customer Support, and BlackBerry 10 launch teams are our priority.

If RIM’s recent performance hasn’t been up to your expectations (and the expectations of many of our stakeholders), what changes have been made within RIM to proactively work to turn around performance? What additional changes are planned?

As I have outlined, many changes have been made to help build a strong and healthy future for RIM – we are focused on our priorities and keeping our line of sight on innovation. The culture is really shifting and streamlining. We’ve made radical shifts in top-level leadership to drive focus, reduced management layers, engaged in cost cutting initiatives, and a dedication to innovation via the BlackBerry 10 platform. We plan to continue this focus throughout fiscal year 2013 and in particular to meet the goal of cutting $1 billion in costs. We are pivoting strategically, and we’re confident in the clear path forward as well as in our assembled, experienced leadership team. Thorsten has discussed many of these changes in his recent submission to the Globe and Mail. If you haven’t read it, I’d encourage you to do so!

RIM has millions of customers waiting for the launch of BlackBerry 10. How do you know that BlackBerry 10 will meet their expectations?

Make no mistake; BlackBerry 10 is not a simple addition to our lineup of BlackBerry smartphones. BlackBerry 10 is a brand new mobile computing platform built on a rock-solid foundation of QNX technology that has been meeting the security, reliability, and performance needs of customers for more than 30 years. This platform will allow us to deeply engage with the mobile computing space and provide a springboard for rich future products and services. We are excited, we are dedicated, and we’re confident in this platform. In terms of meeting the needs and expectations, we’ll be partnering with many of our enterprise customers to allow them to take a look in advance of the launch, so they can see for themselves what we’re working on. The BlackBerry 10 platform will be supported and managed by BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, a solution built on years of leadership and experience in the MDM [Mobile Device Management] space. So you can see that this is an entire ecosystem and platform built to enable businesses and their employees. Like I said – very exciting stuff.

How can I trust BlackBerry Mobile Fusion as an MDM solution when the future of RIM is in question?

Beyond what I mentioned about a dedication to reliability and BlackBerry network service for our enterprise customers, BlackBerry Mobile Fusion represents a fundamental strength of RIM. We pioneered not only the smartphone market, but also mobile device management – in direct response to the needs of enterprise customers for security, manageability, efficiency, and convenience. We haven’t stopped, and won’t stop, listening to our customers, and BlackBerry Mobile Fusion is tailored to meet the needs of businesses today. BlackBerry Mobile Fusion builds on the foundation of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, which has almost a quarter million active deployments. It represents innovation in mobile device management that extends across multiple platforms. Managing mobile enterprises has been our strength for over a decade, and BlackBerry Mobile Fusion with BlackBerry 10 will position us for the future.

It seems that one of RIM’s systemic issues has been product delays. How can customers be confident in RIM when BlackBerry 10 has been delayed more than once?

I know many of our customers are looking forward to the launch of BlackBerry 10, and they were disappointed by the delay into Q1 of calendar year 2013. The reason for this delay, as Thorsten has mentioned, is that we need more time to integrate all of the features that we’ve built. BlackBerry 10 is a combination of some incredible technologies, and the experience needs to be seamless. We will produce a stable mobile platform that delivers rich and exciting experiences for customers, and we refuse to compromise on quality in the process.

Thanks for joining me today Robin – do you have any closing thoughts for our enterprise customers?

Thanks for the questions, Luke. On behalf of all of RIM’s employees, I want to thank our customers for their incredible support – it’s clear that they’re cheering for us and want us to succeed. It’s truly an amazing experience to meet with so many influential business leaders in my work and to hear first-hand how important BlackBerry is to their business and personal lives. Their feedback is part of our daily evolution and growth and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

RIM Interviews its CIO Robin Bienfait About BlackBerry in Enterprise written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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Interview: Frank Boulben, RIM’s BlackBerry CMO http://n4bb.com/interview-frank-boulben-rims-blackberry-cmo/ http://n4bb.com/interview-frank-boulben-rims-blackberry-cmo/#comments Fri, 20 Jul 2012 14:57:17 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=20126 We recently had the opportunity to talk with Research In Motion’s new Chief Marketing Officer, Frank Boulben. We did something a little different by opening up the questions to our users. We

Interview: Frank Boulben, RIM’s BlackBerry CMO written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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We recently had the opportunity to talk with Research In Motion’s new Chief Marketing Officer, Frank Boulben. We did something a little different by opening up the questions to our users. We picked 5 user generated questions, of which Frank happily answered. Check out Frank’s responses and his outlook into the future of BlackBerry.

Yeohda asks: So far, we’ve heard phrases like “BlackBerry gets things done” “keeping people successful” “BlackBerry by choice”…In light of your efforts to consolidate and create a more cohesive marketing message around the world, what exactly is the message you want to convey about what BB10 brings to the table that will differentiate it from other platforms?

Frank: “Great question. The core of the BB10 experience is about providing consumers with a change in the smartphone experience. When you think of the last five years we’ve been living in a paradigm that is described by the in and out. You have a menue of icons and you click on icons and you click on the home button and another icon to do something else. What we hope to introduce with BB10 is a paradigm where you are always in. There is no more notion of a home button. You will move seamlessly from one application to another. And the applications will be integrated. That will start with managing all your contacts, email, social networks, calendar etc.. Whichever applications you are using. will always be in the background and with one gesture you will move to the other form of communication. it is difficult to describe the user experience with words. That seamlessness of applications that flow of applications will be the fundamental differentiation of the BB10 experience.

And will be something ready on the market. The first approach to marketing will simply be to showcase it so that people realize how different the user experience is on BB10. That experience is designed to help people to get things done more efficiently, more rapidly. You will use fewer clicks and be able to move from one app to another seamlessly so you will be more efficient and accomplish things more quickly . Getting things done within that new user experience.”

StephenBB81 asks: Please share how you plan to address the lack of retail support for RIM and BB products. How is it different with BB10 phones versus BB7 and PlayBook?

Frank: “let me begin by saying  we are very excited by BB10. It is difficult to have the right kind of support to be successful in the smartphone market. We are seeing lots of support for BB10 across the world. So that’s something we’re going to work on jointly with our partners to make sure that the point of plan is strong with a carrier.

JackLOGAN asks: Focusing on the category of applications, what do you feel is your responsibility in communicating what’s coming. Do you plan to show that BB10 will have the same or better content than it’s competitors?

Frank: “I’ll be clear, a new platform, a new experience. The native applications on BB10 will be fully enabled. So yes, we will showcase those native applications, taking full advantage of BB10. At the same time you will have the ability to launch non-native applications either using HTML-5 or Android Runtime.”

SOC asks: These days it’s almost fashionable for the media and ex-BlackBerry users to bash the brand and the company. How do you plan to repair the BB image with consumers in the U.S. and especially the media?

Frank: “Well, we start by simply explaining what we are doing. The company is undergoing radical change. We are taking a new approach with respect to our operation. We are committed to saving one billion dollars in operating costs before the end of the year. So this is a time of change and anyone bashing the company should be made aware of big changes going on at RIM.”

GlassofPinot asks: What is RIM doing differently to reach business decision makers and influencers? Especially those who are getting info today in parallel from their consumer side?

Frank: “With enterprise customers, CIO’s in particular, we engage directly. So we have the opportunity with large enterprise, government customers to speak with them directly, to explain what our roadmap is going forward and to show them the new services we have introduced recently, for them to manage their fleet of devices more effectively. We have announced mobile fusion, balance, cloud services. So we have the opportunity to communicate with them directly, and we do it also through the carriers who are also engaging with the enterprise customers and government and are familiar with our portfolio of services. So I would say that direct communication with enterprise and with government is a primary means to inform them about what’s already here and what’s to come.

How is marketing in North America different from the rest of the world?

Frank: “Our marketing will follow a common approach which is to put the BB10 new user experience in the hands of our existing customers to starts with. We have a huge loyal base of customers, 78million worldwide and growing. We also have very loyal customers in the U.S. So the first objective is to delight our existing customers and to put the BB10 user experience in their hands so they start a grassroots movement, that we will then amplify with more traditional marketing techniques.”

Will both touch screen and qwerty keyboard devices receive the same amount of marketing? If not, which device will RIM push more?

Frank: “We will start with a push of the touch screen experience and the hybrid experience (keyboard with the touchscreen). I don’t think in terms of putting money on one or the other. Both of them will be key components of our portfolio moving forward.”

You will be based out of new york city correct?

Frank: “I think I will be based out of an airplane (laughs). I intend to be as close as possible. We are a global company. We focus very much on North America but we are the number one smartphone brand in South America, we are number one in South Africa, in Southeast Asia. We obviously also are very present in Europe so we are truly a global company. We sell BlackBerrys in 175 countries so I want to spend my time as closely to the markets where we operate, so i will be spending a lot time traveling to our different regions.”

How will you go about syncing the marketing departments around the world so that you will have a clear message throughout the various regions?

Frank: “That’s clearly something I want to change. I want us to speak with one voice and have a much more unified approach to marketing across the globe. Obviously there are always some local elements to be taken into account but largely when you are a product company selling smartphones there are a lot of commonalities in the way you can market across the world. So we’re going to use a much more unified approach so that we can better leverage our scale and avoid any fragmentation.”

RIM recently did a huge promotion in New York City with “BeBold” signs to advertise the Knicks basketball team. Underneath the BlackBerry logo it showed details to download the app, of which was only available to iOS and Android users. Do you consider that poor marketing on the part of RIM and is this something you would like to change fundamentally in the company?

Frank: “I haven’t spent much time doing an analysis of the past commercials of RIM. If I were to do that for the US and all our other markets where we operate I would have to devote a lot of my time. My focus is on making sure we do the right things for the life of BB10 and that we do it in a unified and impactful way across markets. Since you mention it, I will look into that particular one. A full review of our commercials from the past year would not be a good use of my time.”

What will be the main focus feature of BB10 in your marketing?

Frank: “The fundamental user experience that is different from anything to date on smartphones. Seamless transitions through applications will create a radically new user experience.That is really the core differentiator of BB10. Again, words do not describe very well and so the best way to market it will be to show in videos , and features that I cannot do on my smartphone today…”

Interview: Frank Boulben, RIM’s BlackBerry CMO written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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Interview: RIM’s US Managing Director, Richard Piasentin, Tells Why All-Touch BlackBerry 10 Device Releasing First and How They’re Bringing the Revolution http://n4bb.com/interview-rims-managing-director-richard-piasentin-tells-all-touch-blackberry-10-device-releasing-bringing-revolution/ http://n4bb.com/interview-rims-managing-director-richard-piasentin-tells-all-touch-blackberry-10-device-releasing-bringing-revolution/#comments Fri, 13 Jul 2012 17:08:03 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=19897 [powerpress] Subscribe to N4BB Audio Show podcast RSS Feed directly or in iTunes For this edition of the N4BB Audio Show we were honored to interview Research In Motion’s U.S. Managing Director, Richard Piasentin. In

Interview: RIM’s US Managing Director, Richard Piasentin, Tells Why All-Touch BlackBerry 10 Device Releasing First and How They’re Bringing the Revolution written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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[powerpress]

Subscribe to N4BB Audio Show podcast RSS Feed directly or in iTunes

For this edition of the N4BB Audio Show we were honored to interview Research In Motion’s U.S. Managing Director, Richard Piasentin. In what could quite possibly be one of our best interviews, Richard discusses the crucial implementation of BlackBerry 10. He even tells us why RIM chose to first release an all-touch BlackBerry 10 device. Check out the interview via the podcast audio or from the transcription below to see how RIM is “bringing the revolution”.

1.) How will RIM regain momentum of BlackBerry sales with carriers?

Clearly we look forward to expanding our business in the US with BB10. We have, as you’ve heard from Thorsten Heins, laser focus. BB10 represents, for us, not just a refresh, but a technology transition that will be BlackBerry for the next 10 years. The level of excitement and focus inside BlackBerry is unprecedented, particularly under Thorsten’s leadership. I like to tell people that Thorsten has the heart of an innovator and the mind of a German businessman, which is exactly what this company needs to execute on our transition.

In the context of our carrier partners, it is clear that they want us to win. Our carrier partners have built their smartphone business, if you go back in time a bit, as partners of ours in the smartphone space. They are very interested in a rich ecosystem of operating systems and particular ecosystem that doesn’t have a “over the top element.” BlackBerry has always been a partner to our carriers in delivering services to their end clients and allowing the carriers to have control and capability to be apart of the value proposition services to the client. All that means to them is that a vibrant BlackBerry community is important in their business. So, they’re working very closely with us to release BB10 and are very enthusiastic about it. Really, the task is on our shoulders to execute.

2.) What will be the hardest part about targeting the US market?

The hardest part is, well, there is a tremendous amount of work to do. None of it is easy. I will say from my perspective of what is absolutely crucial is that we nail the marketing campaigns associated with this product into the market. The first thing we must do is launch the highest quality, best performing product we’ve ever launched as a company. If I forget to mention it later, let me address it head on. None of the executives or employees are happy that we had to move the launches into the first part of 2013, but we’ve made that decision in the context of the realization that when we launch BB10 it has to be the highest quality smartphone experience they’ve ever had. From our perspective getting the quality product in their hands right the first time is job number one.

I explained to another interviewer that if you imagine stepping forward in time two years from now, if you look back from the successful launch of the quality BB10 product, that first substantiation of our new mobile computing OS, when we look back, how we tried to meet the holiday period of 2012 will be irrelevant. What will be relevant is whether or not we launched a quality product.

Leaving that piece apart, the other side is to nail the marketing campaigns and channel enablement at launch. What you will see from BlackBerry is a completely different approach to the marketing of our product. We are introducing people to a new mobile computing platform that also happens to run on a really great class. You will see us involve the marketplace in ways you’ve never seen before the launch. This will be executed by Frank Boulben, our new Chief Marketing Officer. His mandate to execute this program extremely impresses me with his knowledge of the nuances of the US market, consumer intent behavior, alternative vehicles to use to generate positive news and understanding the value proposition of the product and integrate that into our marketing plans. You will see something completely different from us. It’s not something easy to do, but we’re well underway to doing it.

3.) What is RIM doing to penetrate the ‘Bring Your Own Device’ market?

That is a fantastic question. You guys are absolutely dominant in QWERTY keyboard devices. When you look at the US market, keyboard bearing devices compose somewhere between 13 to 14 percent of the overall smartphone market, which we are completely dominant in. We build the best keyboards in the market, in my opinion of course. But if you’ve used the Bold 9900 or any Bold product, you will probably agree with me. So, many people ask why are we making the first product an all-touch device. There are a couple reasons why we are doing that, but first and foremost in conjunction with a lot of discussions with our CIO partners, we’ve recognized that in order to be completely relevant and expand our unfair share of the space, which despite of all the negative rhetoric in the press we do maintain presence in 90% of the Fortune 1000 companies, and they are upgrading at a significant rate to our BlackBerry 7 portfolio, but the key element to reinforce our position in the enterprise market is that we create a consumer attractive device that folks bring into the corporate environment in that BYOD case.

Clearly, the vast majority of BYOD devices are touchscreen devices. That’s why we took the decision to execute on an all-touch device first. Also, from an overall BB10 development perspective, the hardest development path is to execute a touchscreen device. It is a relatively minor software effort to go from touchscreen device to releasing the subsequent QWERTY keyboard device. To answer the question explicitly, we are over rotating on executing a consumer value proposition with an all-touch device first, but at the same time we’re doing that in the context of an enterprise manageability model that our CIO partners have come to appreciate from BlackBerry. For them, if we execute it correctly and we get the expected consumer drive that we are expecting, what it looks like to CIOs is that they’ll be very happy, as BB10 is a platform that respects security down at an enterprise level. We’re also working to ensure that BlackBerrys today are BYOD elegible. We’re working with CIO partners to ensure that they are.

4.) Will BB10 be more focused to consumers or corporate sector? Or, both?

Both. We clearly understand where our high-ground is and we are aggressively defending it.

5.) How does the US market differ from others?

There are many characteristics in the US market. First of all, consumer intent and consumer purchasing patterns change very rapidly in the US market. That’s a double-edge sword, as it means your marketshare can drop off very quickly, but if you can capture the imagination of the American consumer your marketshare can increase very rapidly. US consumers are a technology savvy market. Consumers utilize a lot of different tools as part of their buying proposition. The research they use is really interesting. Frank Boulben, the CMO, has brought in a lot of analytics around their buying criteria and process for us to review. The US market is the most fundamentally different market and also the most fiercely competitive in the world. The final dimension, which might not be a characteristic of the US market itself, but the way the rest of the world looks at the US market. The US market represents roughly the overall 20 percent of smartphone shipments, but it represents 80 to 90 percent of the tech and press voice of the world. For BlackBerry, in the last 16 months has not been a strength for us. Our performance in the US market has not matched the rest of the world. We’ve expanded our userbase up to 78 million in the last quarter, we’ve maintained number one smartphone share in places around the world, we have fantastic brand recognition in major European and Asian markets. It is literally in the North American market where we have issues. Another reason we have such an excitement for BB10 is despite being successful without it, when we bring it, it will have a resonance with the rest of our success around the world. I think it really will represent a turning point for the company.

6.) Will RIM appease carrier demands to reduce BIS fees?

It would be highly inappropriate to comment on the business conversations I’ve been having with our carrier partners. However, the way I will answer this question is to say that BlackBerrys have always delivered a unique value to our carriers as a consequence of our network architecture. We had cloud before anyone knew what cloud was. The BlackBerry service itself is a differentiation. Our relationships with our carriers are around the fair exchange of that core value and we continue to do that.

Additional comments from Richard:

There has been a lot of misquoting from the traditional press. We ask that you paint a different story of the truth behind what relates directly to the people at RIM. We do have a fighting spirit here at RIM. This is an innovation-based culture that knows that the decisions we took two years ago to make the acquisitions and tough choices around executing this technology transition are now coming to bear. RIM folks are excited and optimistic about BB10 and the products we’re bringing to the market.

When we as executives talk about the optimism and fighting spirit of our employee base, that’s what we’re talking about. We’re not blind to the fact that the tough decisions we’ve had to take in order to reinforce our very solid foundation: we have $2 Billion cash, 78 million customers, we’re present on 650 carriers, 56 million BBM users, etc., we’ve had to take very, very difficult decisions to reinforce that solid foundation. Driving $1 Billion in operating expense out of our business allows us to compete aggressively in the long-term. To be clear, we understand the impacts of those decisions to the employee base. Counter balance by the sense of enthusiasm and optimism with what we’re bringing to the market in the context of BB10. We care deeply about our people here. These are tough decisions we’ve had to make and we’re taking them in the best and most respectful way that we can.

I will love to continue to discuss this with you as this transformation unfolds as we bring a new OS that’s fashioned as something different. I think the traditional grid such as iOS 6 or Jellybean or whatever variant may run on an Android device, these are just evolutionary steps. We’re bringing out a revolution that’s going to do things and empower people and connect things and people around them in ways they’ve never thought of before. It is really exciting.

Interview: RIM’s US Managing Director, Richard Piasentin, Tells Why All-Touch BlackBerry 10 Device Releasing First and How They’re Bringing the Revolution written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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RIM CEO Thorsten Heins Answers 10 Questions from BlackBerry Users http://n4bb.com/rim-ceo-thorsten-heins-answers-10-questions-blackberry-users/ http://n4bb.com/rim-ceo-thorsten-heins-answers-10-questions-blackberry-users/#comments Fri, 06 Jul 2012 21:02:26 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=19713 Research In Motion has been opening up to the media lately. The company recently had a media blitz throughout the media in Canada. RIM’s CEO, Thorsten Heins, agreed to take

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins Answers 10 Questions from BlackBerry Users written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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Research In Motion has been opening up to the media lately. The company recently had a media blitz throughout the media in Canada. RIM’s CEO, Thorsten Heins, agreed to take questions from BlackBerry users submitted to the Globe & Mail. Of the 200 questions submitted, Heins chose 10 to answer. Here’s the Q&A:

1.) I am a dedicated BlackBerry user (and PlayBook too), but I’m worried that between now and the BlackBerry 10 release next year, Android and Apple products will advance yet another generation. As mobile technology rockets forward at its fastest pace ever, will BlackBerry 10 be competitive when it is finally released?

– Stephen, 42, small-business owner in Toronto

Thorsten Heins: BlackBerry 10 is more than just a new smartphone. It’s an entirely new way of thinking about BlackBerry – new software powering new devices and new services. While our competitors update their offerings, BlackBerry 10 will be the only mobile platform built from the ground up with the latest technologies in mind – whether it’s mobile video chat or near-field communications that enable you to use your handset like a wallet. You’re correct, Stephen, mobile technology is a fast-paced industry and a large portion of the world relies on our innovation to stay connected. That’s why we chose the difficult path of developing BlackBerry 10: to provide a robust, reliable new way to interact with the world around you. Clearly, a project of this magnitude is not easy, but we believe the potential of BlackBerry 10 is worth the effort.

2.) Why is BlackBerry 10 being delayed? What are the three or four reasons for the delay in consumer terms?
– Pam, 54, marketing consultant in Chicago

Thorsten Heins: There is really only one reason, Pam. We need more time to integrate all the features we have built for BlackBerry 10. While the core technology of BlackBerry 10 is ready to go – outside developers are already working on an array of applications – I decided that the way some features worked together and the related software integration needed more attention and refinement. The goal of BlackBerry 10 is to bring some of the best technologies in the world together in a seamless environment. Simply put, I could still see some of the seams. When you’re dealing with millions of lines of computer code that will be subjected to daily use by users around the world, fine-tuning can take time – in this case, more than we anticipated. We decided to delay the launch of BlackBerry 10 to give us ample time to integrate software, test, and polish the final product.

3.) How do you plan on winning back corporate customers who have already adopted bring-your-own device policies and have no desire to run a BlackBerry Enterprise Server alongside their other mobile 
– Isaac, 32, IT manager in Vancouver

Thorsten Heins: We understand that the corporate environment is changing as more and more organizations allow employees to use their own devices on the job. We are constantly talking to our customers and what they’ve told us is that they want their mobile systems to be easy to manage, secure and reliable. For that reason, we introduced BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, RIM’s mobile device management solution, which enables IT administrators to control and keep track of tablets and smartphones on BlackBerry, iOS or Android platforms, while ensuring confidential and proprietary data is protected.

4.) One of the biggest challenges for BlackBerry is having a good number of high quality applications. Have you considered dropping the BlackBerry operating system and moving to either Android or Windows Phone 8? This would allow you to focus on building great devices and taking advantage of already-established app markets.
– David, 30, software developer in Calgary

Thorsten Heins: We have considered a range of options that included adopting someone else’s operating system, but ultimately we rejected that idea. We determined that the best way to build value for our stakeholders and do right by our users is to unite devices and software with BlackBerry 10 – building each from the ground up so they work together without a hitch. With the global market growing as fast as it is, we believe there is room and demand for an alternative to generic software. We have more than 90,000 applications up for sale on BlackBerry App World today and more than 3 billion applications have been downloaded from our store. We even have a way to move Android apps to BlackBerry PlayBook and BlackBerry 10, so we would actually be limiting choices by adopting another operating system.

5.) I am proud to support Canadian businesses like RIM and I have been a BlackBerry customer for years. My needs and interests have been met in the past, but emerging products from Apple and Android-phones are quickly making BlackBerrys obsolete. I am currently in the market for a new phone… Why should I wait for the new device line and operating system in the New Year?
– Jeff, 23, research assistant/student in London, Ont.

Thorsten Heins: Thank you for supporting BlackBerry, Jeff. No one wanted BlackBerry 10 in customers’ hands this year more than I did. By giving our teams more time with BlackBerry 10, we could deliver a mobile experience unlike anything we’ve ever done. I believe the reason you should wait is because, you’ll see that BlackBerry 10 is not just a fresh coat of paint on an old operating system. It will be the only completely new mobile platform on the market. I’d be remiss, though, if I didn’t point out that our current devices powered by BlackBerry 7 pack quite a punch.

6.) I recently bought a BlackBerry Torch 9810 on a three-year term. With the coming of BlackBerry 10, how much support will BlackBerry 7 users receive in the future?
– Ajay in Mississauga

Thorsten Heins: Don’t worry, Ajay. We’ll continue to support BlackBerry 7 devices into the future. We have a great lineup of smartphones built on this software, and we remain committed to supporting them.

7.) RIM can expect that even a modestly successful BlackBerry 10 product will deliver results from the enterprise and business crowd, but a plan to make RIM products familiar among young consumers is a must for long term viability in this industry. Given that Apple already had a toe in the game with iTunes and the iPod to build a foundation for the iPhone, how does Research In Motion plan to build brand familiarity with younger people and students?
– Anthony, 25, law student in Halifax

Thorsten Heins: One of the misconceptions about BlackBerry is that it’s your parents’ smartphone. BlackBerry has a loyal fan base of young people around the world. For example, in South Africa, BlackBerry was recently voted coolest brand. Our incredibly popular BlackBerry Messenger, or BBM, an app that makes chatting with your BlackBerry contacts quick and fun, helps make BlackBerry the number one device for mobile social media in the world. Every day, BlackBerry engages with more than 30 million social media followers worldwide through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, our Inside BlackBerry Blogs and regional social networks. A significant number of those fans and followers are young people. Obviously, we have work to do in North America, and we know that. As the father of two young people, I know how quickly the definition of cool can change. We’re confident BlackBerry 10 will appeal to people of all ages who value getting things done on the go.

8.) I was a very happy user of a BlackBerry Bold when it was first released. I had this device for almost two years after which time I switched to an iPhone because of simple little bugs in the BlackBerry Bold software, such as the inability to click on the button of a web page, the need to remove and replace the battery because the phone locked up, the unreliable Wi-Fi and a bunch of other little annoyances. These little details actually matter to the end user. Will RIM under the new direction of Mr. Heins focus on just getting products out in the market, one after the other while ignoring the little details that can be annoying to customers, or will they actually make an effort to deal with the quality of their products up front and also correct problems after a product is released as they are identified?
– Marc, 45, engineer in Calgary

Thorsten Heins: This is one of my pet peeves, and I’m sorry your device did not meet your expectations. Based on your description, it does not meet mine either. I believe it’s the little things that distinguish excellent products from merely good ones. It is one of the reasons I wanted to give our development teams some extra time on BlackBerry 10. It’s also why I have been trimming our product lines to ensure that we have only the best devices and the most intuitive software out there with our name on it.

We do have strong support resources available if you have issues with your BlackBerry. We want to know about bugs and address any problems immediately. Here are the links to our support services:

Inside BlackBerry Help Blog: http://helpblog.blackberry.com/

BlackBerry support forums:http://supportforums.blackberry.com/t5/General-Support-Forums/ct-p/GeneralSupportForums

Twitter: @BlackBerryHelp

9.) With constant delays on RIM products (PlayBook, OS7, OS7.1), what confidence can you give us that RIM will actually now (after yet another delay) deliver BlackBerry 10 devices on time in the first quarter of 2013?
– Joe, 51, small-business owner in Alabama

Thorsten Heins: I am absolutely committed to this timeline, Joe. I made the decision to give our teams more time on BlackBerry 10 because I believe we must deliver an experience that is nothing short of exceptional to our users. The successful launch of BlackBerry 10 and the delivery of high-quality BlackBerry 10 devices remains the company’s top priority.

10.) Why not put out new handsets with the old BlackBerry 7 and allow them to be upgraded with the new operating system when it comes out? That way people will be able to stick with RIM in the fall and get the new version when it comes out. Otherwise, I don’t see people in Canada buying Blackberrys until the new OS comes out.
– Tim, 50 +, computer system consultant in Toronto

Thorsten Heins: BlackBerry 10 is more than just a new operating system. It’s an entirely new platform. The software and the hardware are designed together and the operating system will interact with the hardware in ways that are very different from BlackBerry 7. This is part of what gives BlackBerry 10 its power. In the meantime, we are continuing to sell, support and update BlackBerry 7, which is a versatile and powerful operating system in its own right – with one of the fastest mobile browsers, voice-enabled search, and BlackBerry Messenger 6.

 

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins Answers 10 Questions from BlackBerry Users written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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Todd Wood, SVP Design at RIM Gets Interviewed http://n4bb.com/todd-wood-svp-design-at-rim-gets-interviewed/ http://n4bb.com/todd-wood-svp-design-at-rim-gets-interviewed/#comments Fri, 22 Jun 2012 18:09:55 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=19296 Research In Motion’s own Inside BlackBerry sat down with their SVP Design, Todd Wood. They wanted to ask him a few questions about his work, inspiration and the future of

Todd Wood, SVP Design at RIM Gets Interviewed written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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Research In Motion’s own Inside BlackBerry sat down with their SVP Design, Todd Wood. They wanted to ask him a few questions about his work, inspiration and the future of design. Here’s what the man behind those awesome BlackBerry devices, software and services had to say in the interview:

1. Can you take us through the typical design process of a BlackBerry device?

We refer to the design process as 3Ds – Definition, Development and Delivery.

Definition is about understanding what the customer’s needs and wants are, as well as the technical parameters, and what the business goals of the project are. We call this information-gathering, though it’s really about gaining insight.

In development, we start to gather and map ideas. We edit them and develop them to become concepts, whether they are sketches or models. It’s a creative, iterative process – editing and changing until you get to a point where you’ve answered the objectives.

Once you think you’re where you want to be, often there’s further testing. I like to remind the team that this whole process is actually “research in motion.” We test our final designs with the very people who inspired them: the customers, the business people, and the technology people. Then, we work on delivering and manufacturing – all the things that go along with launching a product.

2. During the design process, do you look at major trends in the smartphone industry outside of RIM?

Yes, we’re certainly aware of what’s going on. One of the big trends we’re seeing is this desire for larger displays, but usually you need something that fits in your hand or in your pocket. Screens can be enormous, but the consumer always makes a choice about what fits their lifestyle.

Another important trend is thinness. But what’s interesting is that consumers take a pragmatic and balanced approach to this. They know that with bigger screens and more capability, battery size is also important. There is such a thing as too thin.

The last big trend is choice in the market for BlackBerry devices. A lot of our customers really love and can’t live without their keyboards. In our BlackBerry® 7 OS portfolio, there is a choice of QWERTY, an all-touch or a slider-hybrid. Our approach is a portfolio of choice – we don’t see it as a one-size-fits-all market.

3. What research do you undertake before designing the latest BlackBerry smartphone?

We do many types of research when we’re in the design phase for a new device. This can be as complicated as huge consumer panels across multiple markets, or as simple as getting two people together in a room and showing them a bunch of models. It gets interesting when the two people forget you’re in the room and they start talking, keeping each other honest and having a good discussion. We learn a lot not just by what they say, but by what they do with the models. They start acting out – putting one of the models in their pocket, holding it up to their ear, imagining owning the device. That’s often the one they prefer.

4. What are other industries that you might draw inspiration from?

That’s a good question. It’s really about inspiration – we have a very diverse team so we get a lot of inspiration from many different sources. Personally, I enjoy following the furniture design industry. I often go to the Milan Furniture Fair in April. It’s a design week where manufacturers show their products in partnership with designers from around the world. The furniture industry is very connected to the fashion industry in Italy. So you get a sense of trend, what is contemporary, what the hot colour is, etc.

But at the same time, fashion can be fickle – we don’t chase fashion, but it is interesting how furniture resonates with fashion and moves at a similar tempo to the smartphone industry. They’re renewing products on a yearly or bi-yearly basis. That is meaningful and relevant to us.

A big trend that we’re seeing is that things are not really seasonal anymore, and designs are often very global – a lot of influences from around the world. It is this “one world” concept that’s quite interesting. People are realizing they are all connected; it’s full circle because of products and services like BlackBerry.

5. How important is design to today’s smartphone consumer?

For consumers, design is super important. In recent customer feedback, we see that the importance of design and appearance is right up there with the fundamentals of mobile Internet access. It’s then followed by the importance of the display and the keyboard decision.

What’s interesting about design is that it’s something people decide on really quickly – whether they like it or not, partly from the appearance and then by how it feels when they touch or hold it. Does it feel like it looks? Is there integrity there? For BlackBerry devices, we pay a lot of attention to build quality and finish– our goal is always to make them functional and beautiful. People recognize and value this a lot.

Bonus Question:

6. Where do you see the smartphone design industry in 5 years?

It’s difficult to be speculative, but from a design point of view – design isn’t just about appearance; the definition of design has become much more holistic, more universal. We often speak about design as an experience.

For us at RIM, we have been investing in design over the years, so we have a great multidisciplinary design team in the studio practicing Experience Design. It makes us a world-class organization. In the next five years, we will continue to grow the team and the capability. Others will try to emulate this model, but in the end I think, like most industries, it will become pretty clear that there are top tier brands. And our goal is to remain in that top tier.

 

Todd Wood, SVP Design at RIM Gets Interviewed written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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Alec Saunders Interviewed on BlackBerry 10 at MobileMonday in Indonesia http://n4bb.com/alec-saunders-interviewed-blackberry-10-mobilemonday-indonesia/ http://n4bb.com/alec-saunders-interviewed-blackberry-10-mobilemonday-indonesia/#comments Sun, 03 Jun 2012 17:12:10 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=18860 Alec Saunders, the VP of developer relations for Research In Motion, was on hand at the MobileMonday event in Kuningan, South Jakarta. Saunders was there to attract more Indonesian developers

Alec Saunders Interviewed on BlackBerry 10 at MobileMonday in Indonesia written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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Alec Saunders, the VP of developer relations for Research In Motion, was on hand at the MobileMonday event in Kuningan, South Jakarta. Saunders was there to attract more Indonesian developers to build mobile apps for BlackBerry 10. Indonesia is the third-largest community of BlackBerry developers after India and China, said Saunders.

Here’s the interview of Alec Saunders from Jakarta Globe:

How would you describe BlackBerry 10?

We’re trying to take things that people love about BlackBerry and modernize that experience. BlackBerry 10 devices are about sharing and [being] social. The keyboard learns how you type and adapts to the way you work. The device can be used with one hand. You’re sitting at a meeting, your phone buzzes and you can check it casu ally.

What’s your strategy for rolling it out?

You can look back at what we have been doing over the last nine months. We started by telling developers to build apps for PlayBook [RIM’s tablet device], because apps for PlayBook are going to be apps that we run eventually. We gave developers PlayBook devices to get working with. We are repeating that strategy all over again with BlackBerry 10, by giving out a large number of BlackBerry 10 alpha devices [to developers]. It’s a third of the size of a PlayBook and a very similar device. Our goal is to have tens of thousands of apps.

Are you going to reach out to Android developers as well?

We already are. About a third of the apps in the PlayBook store today are Android apps. It literally takes 10 minutes to take Android apps and put them for sale in the BlackBerry store.

Can we run BlackBerry 10 on other devices by RIM?

Eventually, everything that runs PlayBook 2.0 today will run BlackBerry 10. Our intention is to release BlackBerry 10 on handsets and tablet devices as well. It won’t work on our old devices. BlackBerry 10 needs a dual-core processor for its sophisticated graphics; it’s a completely new operating system that takes much more memory than old BlackBerry devices.

With so many sophisticated operating systems out there, will you be a little late with BlackBerry 10?

If you rush an operating system to market, it’s a bad idea. … I don’t think too much of the Android and the iOS devices at this point. I think iOS is designed for five years ago. … It was designed with the idea that Steve Jobs had, that it would be a media consumption device. And that’s not what a BlackBerry is. It’s not for sitting on the train and watching TV.

And Android, there are now 3,977 different Android devices out there in the marketplace. For developers, it’s a nightmare. It’s impossible to test them all. So developers now are getting to the phase of, ‘Hey, maybe there are some things better than Android.’

Another thing about Android is — and Google even admitted it — it’s a rip-off of an Apple experience. So Apple is a five-year-old experience, Android is a clone of that five-year-old experience. We’re a new way of thinking about what a smartphone is. We’re going to take the smartphone back to a communication device, not something you sit around and watch movies with.

The PlayBook wasn’t very successful when it went to market. Your thoughts?

I wasn’t with the company when the PlayBook launched, and I’m just going to leave it at that. I think there were many different things that could have been done to make the PlayBook launch more successful than it was, and we’re doing those things now. Not only am I optimistic about BlackBerry 10, I think I have the most exciting job in the world. I get to go and talk to developers every day about what we can do with these products.

Alec Saunders Interviewed on BlackBerry 10 at MobileMonday in Indonesia written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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Interview with Truphone on BlackBerry 10 Mobile VoIP and Low-Cost Global Roaming Service (Video) http://n4bb.com/interview-truphone-blackberry-10-mobile-voip-low-cost-global-roaming-service-video/ http://n4bb.com/interview-truphone-blackberry-10-mobile-voip-low-cost-global-roaming-service-video/#comments Tue, 08 May 2012 11:54:39 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=18047 During BlackBerry World 2012, Truphone announced it’s developing a global roaming application based on RIM’s BlackBerry 10 platform. The new application will let BlackBerry 10 users make international calls and

Interview with Truphone on BlackBerry 10 Mobile VoIP and Low-Cost Global Roaming Service (Video) written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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During BlackBerry World 2012, Truphone announced it’s developing a global roaming application based on RIM’s BlackBerry 10 platform. The new application will let BlackBerry 10 users make international calls and send text messages over Wi-Fi or 4G/LTE at rates up to 90 percent cheaper than mobile operator tariffs.

We had the opportunity to sit down with Adam Linford, Truphone’s Head of Labs and Mobile Applications. At BlackBerry World 2012, Adam said “RIM has got it right with the BlackBerry 10 platform. The platform’s support for open-source components flattens the learning curve enabling us to build a new application quickly and cost-effectively and have it ready to go when the first BlackBerry 10 devices debut.” Check out the interview below. You can learn more on Truphone’s services by visiting http://www.truphone.com.

httpvh://youtu.be/pfMR_eEQXuA

On a BlackBerry? Click here for mobile YouTube video

Interview with Truphone on BlackBerry 10 Mobile VoIP and Low-Cost Global Roaming Service (Video) written by Lucas Atkins on N4BB

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Interview with Jake Ward, VP of Communications for the Application Developers Alliance http://n4bb.com/interview-jake-ward-vp-communications-application-developers-alliance/ http://n4bb.com/interview-jake-ward-vp-communications-application-developers-alliance/#comments Wed, 04 Apr 2012 17:03:06 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=17084 [powerpress] Subscribe to N4BB Audio Show podcast RSS Feed directly or in iTunes Yesterday, I had the absolute pleasure to sit down and speak with Jake Ward, who is the Vice President of Communications for

Interview with Jake Ward, VP of Communications for the Application Developers Alliance written by Niko Giannopoulos on N4BB

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[powerpress]

Subscribe to N4BB Audio Show podcast RSS Feed directly or in iTunes

Yesterday, I had the absolute pleasure to sit down and speak with Jake Ward, who is the Vice President of Communications for the Application Developers Alliance.  We talk about the goals of the ADA organization and what it means for BlackBerry.  Enjoy the interview and sound off in the comments.

The Application Developers Alliance is newly formed industry association dedicated to meeting the unique needs of application developers. The Apps Alliance supports developers of every type, across all languages and platforms and works to make building, testing and shipping great apps easier for all developers.  Alliance members include more than 3000 individual application developers, softwareentrepreneurs and leaders, and beneficiaries of application innovation. Visit them at appalliance.org.

Interview with Jake Ward, VP of Communications for the Application Developers Alliance written by Niko Giannopoulos on N4BB

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Interview with Adam Stanley, RIM’s Senior BlackBerry Application Development Consultant http://n4bb.com/interview-adam-stanley-rims-senior-blackberry-application-development-consultant/ http://n4bb.com/interview-adam-stanley-rims-senior-blackberry-application-development-consultant/#comments Mon, 02 Apr 2012 17:25:28 +0000 http://n4bb.com/?p=17011 [powerpress] Subscribe to N4BB Audio Show podcast RSS Feed directly or in iTunes During day 2 of RIM’s inaguaral “Future Developer Day” event in NYC,  I had the pleasure to go one on one with

Interview with Adam Stanley, RIM’s Senior BlackBerry Application Development Consultant written by Niko Giannopoulos on N4BB

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[powerpress]

Subscribe to N4BB Audio Show podcast RSS Feed directly or in iTunes

During day 2 of RIM’s inaguaral “Future Developer Day” event in NYC,  I had the pleasure to go one on one with Adam Stanley, who is the Senior BlackBerry Application Development Consultant for Research In Motion.  This is a very in depth interview where we discuss HTML5 , BlackBerry10, and future Hackathons. The program is designed to give students  hands-on experience and access to RIM experts. During the programs, students will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn tips and tricks from leading developers in the industry
  • Attend a developer panel, which will include RIM developer experts and developer partners
  • Engage in hands-on app development experience that complements their classroom studies
  • Learn techniques to develop compelling apps for BlackBerry smartphones and the PlayBook
  • Participate in briefings with developers
  • Discuss developer trends
  • Meet and network with developers

Enjoy the interview (recorded on a PlayBook!) and sound off in the comments with your thoughts!

Interview with Adam Stanley, RIM’s Senior BlackBerry Application Development Consultant written by Niko Giannopoulos on N4BB

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