It Hits the RIM and Bounces Out…

When you have an older service model, problems just seem tobuild and build: http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/industry-insights/technology/blackberry-breakdown-is-death-sentence

The latest outage and performance issues with the Blackberryservice is another indication that the executives at RIM have not moved withthe times. This has nothing to do with the quality of the network and server equipment or software that RIM employs toprovide their service. I am confident that they have updated their network and systems numerous times over the last several years to keep up with what they fooled themselves into believe would be never ending growth.

What has changed, or really dramatically improved, is the Internetservices model that is the foundation of the competition between the majorwireless carriers.  The “3G” wars havemoved into “4G” and it is becoming about Mbps of LTE services and how manyGigabytes per month before you are sent to the penalty box (or, a veryexpensive bill). 

These Internet servicesare the “Cloud” services that people are demanding.  With fully capable Internet Web-browsers onsmartphones, the days of needing the Blackberry servers (in Canada) translatingWeb pages and serving a limited capability on Blackberry device are longgone. 

The same is true for email.  Most people get their mail from a providerthat is fully happy to provide IMAP or POP3 access to their servers (or, insome cases a proprietary phone App) directly over an Internet connection.  The need to go through a centralized emailserver complex (again through Canada?) just does not exist anymore.

From an economic and technical standpoint, RIM has built astructure that is a real challenge for their continued success:

  • People want their Gmail, Google Apps Services, Hotmail, andother similar capabilities.  The complexof Blackberry servers and network provides zero value to a customer and onlyadditional cost to RIM
  • RIMs costs for developing and maintaining several operatingsystems again only adds additional cost
  • Application developers see a much larger platform space withAndroid and iOS.   What value does theBlackberry App World have long-term for developers?
  • Blackberry was originally perceived as a strongbusiness-class tool set which included both devices and services, including theBlackberry Enterprise Server (BES). Again, RIM has to provide support for something that business will moreand more determine adds little or no value to their IT environment.  Lower revenue for RIM and more cost to spreadacross the business

With the passing of Steve Jobs, the Blackberry product line today reminds me of Apple before Steve returned. My first comparison was to DEC, back in April 2011:

http://kaplowtech.blogspot.com/2011/04/rim-goes-way-of-dec.html

Before his return, Apple was teetering onthe edge of complete failure. There werea succession of Macs that were at once all the same, different, and unremarkable. In addition there was the famed (infamous) operating system failure called Copeland.  Before that there was “Pink” and “Taligent”all tremendous wastes of time and effort. 

Eventually, it was the NeXTSTEP operating system, from that Steve Jobscompany NeXT that eventually saved the day. And, of course it was the man himself returning to Apple and re-inventingApple back into the company that develops “Insanely Great” products.

Without someone executive at RIM that is going to develop a Laserfocus culture on differentiating their products and making them at least “Great”, making apologies for service outages will be the least of their worries.

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