RIM Aims to Fuse iOS, Android, & BlackBerry

Bowing to market reality and emphasizing its strength in enterprise messaging, {complink 4644|Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM)} is rolling out an application that enables it to manage corporate communication across multiple platforms, including the iOS, Android, and its own BlackBerry system. In effect, RIM becomes not simply a competitor but also a supporter and enabler of Apple and Android device makers like Motorola Mobility and Samsung.

RIM said its BlackBerry Mobile Fusion software offers businesses and governments a tested solution to growing concerns about the security of the varying operating systems that officials and employees have been using to access messaging systems. Alan Panezic, vice president of enterprise product management and marketing at RIM, said in a press release:

For businesses and government, managing a mix of mobile devices on any scale is chaotic. Organizations face pressure to allow employees to bring their own devices into the workplace, and they are looking to RIM as the global leader in the enterprise mobility space to solve that problem. BlackBerry Mobile Fusion allows organizations to manage a mixed environment of devices in the most secure, simple, and cost efficient manner possible. It also means that businesses and government do not have to move to the lowest common denominator on security for all the devices they need to manage.

By introducing a program to manage enterprise messaging, RIM is trying to relieve competing device makers of the stress of having to develop and introduce an equally secured communication management system. The company may have also improved its odds of surviving the challenges it faces, since it is a well-recognized and credible provider of enterprise messaging management services.

Will this be enough? The answer will depend on whether Apple and Android device makers embrace RIM's Mobile Fusion (they would be silly not to) and whether RIM can figure out the pricing mechanism to make the service attractive to competing mobile equipment manufacturers, enterprises, and government institutions.

Of course, BlackBerry phone sales might decrease in the years ahead, and RIM would have to make its operations leaner to survive. With this move, it buys some time to get its hardware strategy right while digging in on the enterprise messaging side, where it is the acknowledged leader (though one its rivals has set their sights on this field).

BlackBerry Mobile Fusion could help RIM deflect the competition's aim long enough to give itself another shot at becoming relevant again.

19 comments on “RIM Aims to Fuse iOS, Android, & BlackBerry

  1. t.alex
    April 3, 2012

    Does this mean RIM is moving away from making phones and focus more on cloud based services?

    April 4, 2012

    It is good to see that RIM is at least trying to play to its strengths and come up with some form of strategy.  I wish them luck.

  3. Daniel
    April 4, 2012

    “Of course, BlackBerry phone sales might decrease in the years ahead, and RIM would have to make its operations leaner to survive”

    Bolaji, you are right. I read that Rim's sales in 2011 are only 5 % in Smartphone sector. So inorder to drive the business they have to expand the wings across different platforms.

  4. Jay_Bond
    April 4, 2012

    I think it is great to see RIM putting aside their ego and realizing that IOS and Android aren't going anywhere. This is a great idea, but one wonders if it is too little too late to help RIM survive.

  5. Eldredge
    April 4, 2012

    This seems like a great way for RIM to leverage their expertise and bring value to the industry. I think they should drop the 'Blackberry' designation from the name of the software – just call it 'Mobile Fusion'.

  6. Barbara Jorgensen
    April 4, 2012

    Had RIM acted earlier, it might have remained a leader in the market instead of an also-ran. It's always sad to see a company decline because of the egos of management.

  7. Wale Bakare
    April 4, 2012

    t.alex you said my mind. Diversification to cloud service worth it – cloud business is gathering much as well, its awareness. How would they compete in cloud service?  Well, I dont think RIM would move out of phone business completely.

  8. bolaji ojo
    April 5, 2012

    Eldredge, Great idea. The Mobile Fusion name puts a line between BlackBerry and the other companies and may make it easier for rivals to cooperate and work with RIM to popularize the concept behind the across platform offer. 

  9. bolaji ojo
    April 5, 2012

    RIM is deploying a hybrid model. They'll continue to play in the smartphone market but they will also emphasize their strength in enterprise messaging. By offering to help companies erase concerns on messaging security, RIM could be a major beneficiary of the transition to smartphones. The question here is how much money can the company make doing this.

  10. t.alex
    April 5, 2012

    Sounds like they are following the model of Amazon giving away cheap tablets and collecting money from contents. RIM would then drop the price of blackberry further to gain more customers. They can't increase the revenue much from cloud service without gaining a lot more customers.

  11. bolaji ojo
    April 6, 2012

    Amazon can afford to do this but can RIM? RIM should have done something earlier and it's not clear now whether the current moves would change its situation.

  12. Eldredge
    April 7, 2012

    Exactly. To me, the 'Mobile Fusion'  part of the name accents the ability for the software to cooperate across multiple platforms. Keeping the Blackberry part of the name works against that perception. It's not about promoting the company here, it's about promoting the product.

  13. JADEN
    April 7, 2012

    For a very long time now, RIM has established itself as the best in mobile management in enterprise service. I hope the mobile Fusion would enable RIM to reverse its plummeting revenue and profit.

  14. itguyphil
    April 7, 2012

    But isn't the messaging security space already saturated. What could RIM offer that is leaps and bounds better or provide more value than the existing vendors dedicated to this space?

  15. bolaji ojo
    April 7, 2012

    pocharle, It's in trouble and sales are down but the Blackberry messaging system is still about the most secure for enterprise users and as RIM pointed out, many CIOs are concerned about the proliferation of many platforms on their networks. If Mobile Fusion can connect all these devices, the corporate users can sleep better knowing the communications are safe.

  16. t.alex
    April 7, 2012

    Enterprise users can choose on iCloud as an alternative. It is supposed to be equally safe and secure.

  17. prabhakar_deosthali
    April 9, 2012

    That is shifting focus from a product company to a services company for RIM. In my opinion the fate of their Blackberry is further endangered by such move.

  18. Anne
    April 12, 2012

    This platform will make RIM more relevant in the corporate world.

  19. itguyphil
    April 12, 2012

    I guess that makes sense from the infrastructure side. But I'm surprised that alot of enterprises are still on board with RIM with all of the talk of their demise. But if they still have support, it makes sense to ride it out and see what they have to offer.

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