Research In Motion (RIM), now known as BlackBerry, a global leader in wireless innovation, revolutionized the mobile industry with the introduction of the BlackBerry solution in 1999. The Canadian based company has customers and sales worldwide. The product lines that BlackBerry specializes in are BlackBerry smartphones, Playbook tablets, and accessories for both lines along with a full suite of business software solutions.
The market space that BlackBerry participates in is highly sought after due to high consumer demand for mobile data solution. Therefore, several formidable competitors have entered the space and many more are planning entry. BlackBerry has lost substantial market share in North America however they are still leaders in other world areas. A recent release of the version software platform is a step in the right direction to regain market share.
Even with the recent release of the BB10 operating system and the new Z10 smartphones, the main issue currently being faced by the company is the challenge of getting new product to their customers fast enough to satiate their demands and hold back their competitors. The products need to meet or exceed the demands of the customer base (both consumer and business) and be leading edge versus their competitors. BlackBerry
Our consulting group was contracted by BlackBerry to help them adjust their operations plan to bring new offering to the market faster than they have previous been able. We have evaluated the product base to ensure the company’s core competencies are aligned as a start. Next, a complete review of the Product Development process was undertaken to find areas of improvement including a base case financial model for new products. Finally, an assessment of customer demands was reviewed to ensure new product design aligned well with their needs.
It is our opinion that the strategy direction that BlackBerry has undertaken with the “Flow” philosophy of the Hub platform is the right choice to satisfy the secure needs of the traditional business user as well as opening up the major need of satisfying the regular consumer. The product mix of smartphone, tablet, accessories and business software platforms is a well-defined integrated product offering that is core to the business.
An adjustment to the product development plan with a focus of strategic alliance with hardware subvendors is the primary recommendation to improve the speed of bringing new devices to market. A focus on adding developer friendly software solutions to aid the addition of consumer and business applications “apps” is needed to grow to functionality of the devices and appeal to more users. A financial model has been developed to justify the software solutions has been completed.
It is our opinion that BlackBerry still maintains the viability of a leading wireless solutions if they can successfully implement some adjustments to their operations.
Relevant Company info
Research In Motion Limited (RIM), now known as BlackBerry, is a Canadian telecommunication and wireless technology currently headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario. RIM is best known as the developer of the BlackBerry brand of smartphones, tablets and mobile enterprise systems. RIM was founded in 1984 by Mike Lazaridis who served as its co-CEO along with Jim Balsillie until January 22, 2012. Its current CEO is Thorsten Heins.
RIM entered the market with the BlackBerry 850 pager in 1999. This device could receive email from the Microsoft Exchange Server using it’s complementary server software, BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES). With the release of it’s first generation smartphone in April 2000, and incorporation of encryption and S/MIME support BlackBerry devices gained significant usage amongst governments and business. Beginning with the 2006, RIM began to address the consumer market with the introduction of the Pearl series of smartphones. Extensive carrier partnerships fueled the rapid