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 differ