Apple Hiring Former RIM Enterprise Sales Staff Members

by Jordan Richardson on November 24, 2010

The battle between Apple and Research In Motion has been well documented on the hallowed halls of this website. Part of the trouble for RIM is that Apple is honing in on their much-protected business clientele. With RIM potentially losing their grip in the key market, this type of consumer erosion could prove troubling to the Waterloo company’s longevity in the field.

In this context, the hiring of several former RIM enterprise sales staff members by Apple takes on new meaning. Companies hire employees from their rivals all the time, of course, but the hiring of these five former RIM members over the last year and a half is kind of a slow poaching process.

The design of the hirings appears to lie with Apple’s attempts to increase its pull with corporate and business clients. With RIM losing ground among those clients, Apple’s hiring of some of RIM’s enterprise staff could give the Cupertino powerhouse the leg-up they’re looking for to make some headway in the business field.

Geoff Perfect, RIM’s Head of Strategic Sales and Apple’s current Head of Enterprise iPhone Sales, was hired in 2009. Joe Bartlett was RIM’s Senior Global Sales Manager, but now he’s tasked with moving iOS devices in the business sector for Apple. Peter Decker left RIM for Apple in early 2010 to do the same thing as Bartlett. Decker was RIM’s Global Account Manager. Steve Marshall, RIM’s former Global Strategic Account Manager, left in early 2010 to sell iOS devices to corporate clients. And Paul Alvarez worked for RIM as, you guessed it, a Global Strategic Account Manager. He’s now with Apple in iOS enterprise sales in Canada.

Outside of publishing and graphic design on Macs, Apple’s almost always lacked a healthy presence in the enterprise field. That’s why these sales staff members make sense. They have the experience in landing big clients in the business market and market awareness to bring with them. With the iOS development platform and a recent partnership with Unisys working in their favour, Apple could be threatening RIM on just about every level soon.

So what’s RIM to do? At least point, things may be too late. They’ve yet to deliver that “knock-out” product that appeals to a broader consumer base and they’re losing momentum in the business sector. The future for this Waterloo company looks grim in North America, I think, but the international markets are starting to look better. With recent capitulations with governments in well-populated areas, RIM’s global prospects are their best chance.

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