As the iPhone began to pick up steam after its initial release in 2007, RIM executives remained enamored with the physical keyboards that adorned their smartphones and scoffed at what the iPhone brought to the table. But amid declining marketshare, it soon became readily apparent that RIM needed to adjust their smartphone strategy midstream or else risk getting left behind.
And so began a stream of smartphones from RIM that incorporated multi-touch technology, beginning of course with the Blackberry Storm. Since then, RIM has ceded its share of the smartphone market to Apple and an assortment of Android products. It’s no stretch to claim that RIM is in crisis mode, a sentiment even shared by its employees. To wit, this past Summer an anonymous RIM executive posted a scathing and reflective post detailing everything that’s wrong with RIM.
So here we have RIM, struggling to sell hardware. What’s a Canadian company to do? Well, one might say it was inevitable, but RIM announced today a mobile enterprise suite of software tools for other smartphone platforms, namely iOS and Android.
RIM today introduced BlackBerry Mobile Fusion – the Company’s next-generation enterprise mobility solution and RIM’s entry into the multi-platform Mobile Device Management (MDM) marketplace. Building on years of leading enterprise mobility management solutions from RIM, BlackBerry Mobile Fusion will simplify the management of smartphones and tablets running BlackBerry, Google Android and Apple iOS operating systems.
“We are pleased to introduce BlackBerry Mobile Fusion – RIM’s next generation enterprise mobility solution – to make it easier for our business and government customers to manage the diversity of devices in their operations today,” said Alan Panezic, Vice President, Enterprise Product Management and Marketing at Research In Motion. “BlackBerry Mobile Fusion brings together our industry-leading BlackBerry Enterprise Server technology for BlackBerry devices with mobile device management capabilities for iOS and Android devices, all managed from one web-based console. It provides the necessary management capabilities to allow IT departments to confidently oversee the use of both company-owned and employee-owned mobile devices within their organizations.”
RIM of course butters its bread in the enterprise market, but as Apple’s iOS devices continue to make significant inroads into what was traditionally a RIM owned sector, RIM is realizing that its efforts to stave off gains from Apple are ultimately futile. And so, in yet another effort to remain relevant, RIM has been forced into a corner where it now provides the same enterprise tools used by its Blackberry devices to competitors.
BlackBerry Mobile fusion is currently in beta and is expected to go live sometime this March.