Tech, Gadgets, Photography, Social Media and Poor Spelling
This week i read a really good long form article By: Jonathan S. Geller on the BGR site
I’d recommend a read of it (especially well presented on Flipboard on the iPad, just saying) however it got me to thinking, with RIM’s stock price falling, is it making itself a viable purchase for someone?
Essentially with RIM if you’re looking to buy it, you are looking to buy about $5m woth of assets of which there are several key componants.
RIM is it’s Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) completly controlling the end user’s handset experience if you’ve not experienced BES before, there is a a really good write up on Crackberry explaining what it is and how it works
This is the core of the success of Blackberry in the company environment, and should not be underestimated for its worth. Although there are 3rd party systems Good Technology comes to mind for the Android and IOS platforms, nothing directly or as user friendly as this. If either platform is to really break out of the BYOD and properly into the corporate then they need a solid showing from an Enterprise management perspective.
The BES server’s talk back to the blackberry network operations centre and RIM have these in over 91 different countries. This keeps costs down for users of the network as data is routed over RIM’s secure data infrastructure. A worldwide system like this isn’t to be sniffed at and can be the building block of a VoIP phone switch system if planned right..
While RIM have had a hard time with the more funky end of the market, the Curve and defined style of the Blackberry handset is not to be sniffed at. People love it, and businesses love the sturdy design and long battery life. However in the commercial sector the lure of the touch screen is just something RIM cannot get right.
There are also apps which users crave, the simplicty of the mail client apparently and no self respecting teenager would be without Blackberry Messenger as an SMS/MSN replacement.
However i think it’s safe to say it’s not innovation any suitor would be looking for in this sector..
RIM were famed for their mail and messaging delivery, so they released a tablet without either of these features. Business and history tells us do what you do, and do it well. While the poorly named Playbook (really Boss, i know it’s called a Playbook, but it’s a business tool..) might not have fared well against the iPad or the Android offerings the OS is a nice example with concepts and ideas Google especially could integrate into their platform.
RIM security is simply more robust and easier to implement. BlackBerry messages are routed through RIM’s Network Operations Center, and while this produces an extra point of failure, it also adds extra layers of encryption, it requires far more planning to set up a proper security system around consumer devices like iPhone and Android than it does with BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
The BlackBerry Enterprise Solution offers two transport encryption options, Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and Triple Data Encryption Standard (Triple DES)*, for all data transmitted between BlackBerry® Enterprise Server and BlackBerry smartphones.
Private encryption keys are generated in a secure, two-way authenticated environment and are assigned to each BlackBerry smartphone user. Each secret key is stored only in the user’s secure enterprise account (i.e., Microsoft® Exchange, IBM® Lotus® Domino® or Novell® GroupWise®) and on their BlackBerry smartphone and can be regenerated wirelessly by the user.
Data sent to the BlackBerry smartphone is encrypted by BlackBerry Enterprise Server using the private key retrieved from the user’s mailbox. The encrypted information travels securely across the network to the device where it is decrypted with the key stored there.
Data remains encrypted in transit and is never decrypted outside of the corporate firewall.
This is head and shoulders above the competition and why IT departments love Blackberrys
It’s the above security which makes RIM the choice of governments around the world, Both the BlackBerry 7 and BlackBerry 7.1 operating systems have been awarded FIPS 140-2 certification by both the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the United States, as well as the Communications security Establishment Canada (CSEC) in Canada. The FIPS 140-2 certification is required under the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA), so government agencies and businesses that wish to work with those government agencies need accepted mobile devices.
FIPS 140-2 isn’t the only security accolade RIM has earned either. The BlackBerry 7 OS has also been awarded Common Criteria EAL4+ certification, and the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet received FIPS 140-2 acceptance back in mid-2011.
If you want to play in the government sector, a huge market place, then you need devices and Os’s with this accreditation. And the experience in development to achieve that status should not be undervalued.
Well no one is claming that RIM is for sale, and i’m not stating this is anything more than a suggestion, however RIM is a huge Brand and it has amazing assets and it’s been having a hard time over the last few years, it’s stock price is slipping and i’d suggest that conversations have been had in boardrooms on this very subject.
While from a hardware perspective for Apple or Google RIM offers very little, the infrastructure and security built around the system are potentially very lucrative moving forward. While both Apple and Android are perceived as consumer devices they are creeping into the work place and as such their parties are performing land grabs for Mobile device management ahead of either of these two big players. And underestimated the sales which come with a decent infrastructure at your peril.
Microsoft are also a potential suitor, they are languishing as a player in the market, and while they have the potential in win8 for tablet’s and an infrastructure already in place in 99.9% of companies in the form of AD and GPO’s a little extra never hurts..
There is also the potential that RIM can turn this around, and why not, as we have seen they have the goods, and if they focus on business and leave consumer alone they could do a better job. RIM have never been a consumer brand, a decent messenger app and the reverse of the iphone effect just had them creep into the consumer space.
As a pure outsider, there have been rumours of a Facebook phone, and the Blackberry is known about Messaging.. If you’re company is willing to spend $1b on a photo app, why not $5b on a phone company? The kids already know the brand, the phones and both systems..?
As the original article i cited suggests, RIM have risen and fallen in a few years and made some poor decisions, splits in where the company should look forward to and poor consumer hardware have hurt RIM badly.. Part of me hopes they pull through, regroup and get back to what they do well. As I have first hand experience of once you have invested in an infrastructure it’s hard to make the change to another.. With Billins being paid for a photo app i can’t help but feel that Zuckerburg is sitting there thinking about this just to stop Google and Apple…