Who will Claim Blackberry’s Enterprise Throne?

by Matt Klassen on May 29, 2014

There was a time not so long ago that Blackberry was the must have companion device for any executive, a legend in the enterprise sector for its functionality, features, and most of all, security. In fact, for a time Blackberry was unmatched in the mobile world, it’s messaging, email, and calling features unique among its competitors. Oh how times have changed…

Today this once beloved icon of the enterprise sector stands on the edge of the abyss, the throne of the king of the enterprise world left vacant as each week seemingly brings news that heralds the company’s continued—and not to mention inevitable—demise. According to reports, Blackberry’s market share has fallen below 1 percent in America, and even lower in China, and even though the company is exerting considerable energy on rebranding and rebuilding itself as once more the choice of the business world, it looks to be too late for this once great mobile titan.

But that raises the question, in a world after Blackberry who will become the enterprise king? Who will step in to the void created by Blackberry’s decline and create innovative and useful mobile business solutions, and will they capture people’s interest the way Blackberry once did?

Truly these are questions I would have expected to be answered by now, as Blackberry’s decline has been years in the making. Since 2011, the Canadian mobile firm has eliminated more than 7,000 jobs worldwide, sold off many of its business assets, and retreated completely from the consumer market to focus solely on its enterprise offering.

While the company’s loyal fan base still clamours for the next Blackberry product, those numbers are steadily dwindling as well, making it increasingly unlikely that the company will be able to reverse its flagging fortunes.

Of course it’s not hard to find the reason(s) behind Blackberry’s downfall, the dawn of the BYOD movement spurred on by cutting edge Android and iOS smartphones. Having sparked the demise of Blackberry, however, it remains unlikely that Google or Apple will make a dedicated push into the enterprise sector, given the strength of their respective consumer brands. While both companies continue to tout the productivity features in their phones, such efforts seem half-hearted at best.

But as WorkIntelligent.ly writer Ritika Puri notes, three significant players remain who could potentially make strong inroads into the enterprise sector: Microsoft, Samsung, and Lenovo. For Lenovo, the computing giant certainly has the pedigree to become a force in the enterprise market, but questions remain about what operating system the company would employ. Currently the company’s mobile offerings run Android, but there still remains widespread scepticism amongst security professionals that Android can truly be secure.

The same sort of problem exists for Samsung, as even though the world’s largest smartphone company has added various features to its Android line-up to bolster security and add functionality, there seems little appetite in the enterprise world to adopt these products en masse.

Finally there’s Microsoft, perhaps the company with the most potential to claim Blackberry’s vacant throne in the enterprise sector. Not only does the company have the mobile software in place that to deliver the functionality and services businesses need, it’s a name the business world is familiar with already.

Of course our new BYOD reality means that whoever is able to capture Blackberry’s market share will need to deliver a product that people want to use at home and at the office, but one that doesn’t skimp on security features, because if there’s one lesson that Blackberry taught us over the last few years it was that people don’t want to carry two phones, and in the fight between fun and functionality, fun will win every time.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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