Hello to all, and welcome to this ITRadio chronic concerning the BlackBerry. Obviously most of you have smart phones, and in the business world, the BlackBerry is not unknown, on the contrary!
BlackBerry has just come out with its new phone, the Z10. However, there are a lot more changes than a simple new phone for this company. First off, the company will not call itself research in motion anymore, but will be simply known as the same name as the telephone, BlackBerry.
Also, and this makes me very happy, one of the technologies that they were offering to the cell phone companies was the BlackBerry Internet service, which is now discontinued. This product was creating a lot of confusion for the consumer, as well as the sales representatives in the cell phone distribution, since another of their product did much more, but was incompatible with this package, the BlackBerry enterprise server.
Now, the BlackBerry enterprise server has been upgraded from the version 5 to the version 10. A lot of changes for this management software for the administrator, but we will talk more about this later on.
If we look at the phone itself, personally, I was not totally flabbergasted! With the new smart phones that are available by the competition, I was expecting to have a revolutionary totally new interface. However, some of the functionalities of the operating system strangely look similar to other functionalities available on other phones!
However, there are some great innovations in this phone: finally, a network administrator will not have to install a full BlackBerry enterprise server to integrate a single phone on the company’s server. The BlackBerry phone is now compatible with the active directory concept, which permits the phone to quickly connect to the company’s server, may it be in the office of the client or on the Internet. Next, there is an HDMI built-in interface on the phone, and that is truly the greatest innovation for me! To create a phone with high resolution and high definition with the connector that you can transfer the image on a television or a projector, without having to connect your computer to be able to do a presentation, that is a nice technological enhancement. I can already imagine marketing sales rep in companies downloading their PowerPoint presentations in their smart phones, arrive at the client with their HDMI cable, and connect on the television of the client or on a small portable projector. Now that is a great sales concept!
For me, the other enhancements that have been presented was not to die for. The sneak peek feature to see another screen (which looks very familiar to the Facebook application on other smart phones) the intelligent keyboard that will present you word suggestion and cannot compete with the speed of voice recognition software such as Siri of Apple, and the App Store which does not have as many applications available than for the Apple or android technology, better luck next time!
Now, all is not dark and gloomy news for this new technology. Indeed, the version 10 of the BlackBerry enterprise server will help reduce the complexity and the policies as well as the configuration which was currently at around 500 options and will now be reduced to less than 90 policies, which will permit to significantly reduce the possibilities of errors of configurations as well as the learning curve for the IT team of the company that needs to integrate this technology. It also seems that there is an upgrade possible from the version 5 to version 10 at a lower price which will permit to introduce this technology at an affordable price for the companies. Also a new concept for the billing at BlackBerry is that you will pay for the technological tools that you configure in your BlackBerry enterprise server, and not by each user. This will mean that you will have most probably a higher bill for user which has many tablets and many smart phones, which is not the regular case, but that you will pay a lower price of a license per phone and device that a user would be using.
Up until now, not much of a big difference for the big boss of the company. An upgrade is still an upgrade, right? What can the BlackBerry enterprise server bring more for the company? Well this platform will be able to manage all of the technological tools of the users, such as the iPad and android tablets, as well as iPhone and android smartphones as well as all the other types of telephones. What that means is that if you have an employee which leaves the company and that he has many ways of access to the company’s internal data, you will be able to deactivate all of his tools at the same time, also if you permit your employees to bring their own technology such as their own phones, such as an iPhone, the BES system will permit to create a private space in the phone that will be reserved for the company. This means that the user will be able to answer his phone on the personal side and have his personal data, and have an icon on the telephone to enter on the company’s private interface on the corporate side.
Small little detail, the phone nor the administrator platform will permit in a native fashion to log the phone calls as well as the text messages sent or received on a personal or on a corporate level. You will have to install an extra system on the server which costs around $20 per device per year, and this system will help you track the phone calls as well as the text messages sent through the corporate platform. This can become very important for big companies, as we have seen a few weeks ago in the Charbonneau commission in Québec, when the prosecution lawyers had access to the complete logs of the telephones and the text messages that the employees of the city of Montréal had done in a period of time. If you have this need look for the product Retain Mobile from GWAVA.com
During my preparation for this chronic, one of my business partners, Mr. Simon Vanasse from HumanIT, mentioned to me that his business was performing a lot of deployments of the software called air watch, which is comparable to the BlackBerry enterprise server. After a small research on my part, it is indeed conceivable to compare both of these products, and to have consider which will be the best, especially for a large business. The cost of integration on the site or per device, they offer pretty much the same functionalities.
So a company that would already have a BlackBerry enterprise server would have to consider negotiating an update from version 5 to version 10 for a reduced price with BlackBerry while mentioning that they are comparing this product that can easily perform the same tasks.
So finally, to whom is destined BlackBerry?
For me, it is a tool for the rep on the road, but also a tool meant for the big business. At the presentation that I had, we were presented the IT managers from big companies such as Air Canada, Bombardier, and other big companies. But nobody of the small business!
It will be the big companies which will determine the survival of BlackBerry, and it will be their concerns for their company data as well as the access and control of the devices which will make or break BlackBerry.
I invite you as always to download are at four smart phones and tablets, and I invite you to contact me for your questions and comments either by e-mail, or by phone, and we will soon have a social media platform coming soon!
Thanks again to a listen to this chronic, and see you soon for another web show!