Enterprises Should Not Yet Turn Their Backs on BlackBerry

Gary Barton

Gary Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • BlackBerry’s travails mean that enterprises should consider preparing a migration strategy to other platforms.
  • BlackBerry’s enterprise solutions such as BES 10 and BB IM remain compelling solutions with a future.

What to do with a problem like BlackBerry?  With losses of $965 million (USD) for Q2 2013, revenues down 49% year-over-year and an announcement that 45% of its workforce will be laid off, it seems like the end is nigh for the Canadian firm.  The obvious conclusion is therefore for ICT managers of companies utilising BlackBerry hardware (handsets or servers) to begin working out their migration path to Android, iOS or Windows Mobile.  Similarly, when considering BYOD solutions, there seems no need to make long-term plans for BlackBerry devices.  Certainly, the dominance of Android and iOS-based devices means that these two operating systems should be at the forefront of mobile application design and mobile security policies.  BlackBerry’s future in the mobile device market does indeed seem bleak. Read more of this post

Documents, Not Just Operating Systems, Are Key to Mobility

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • A successful mobility campaign for collaboration players requires attention be paid to document synchronization, editing, and sharing.
  • These documents must follow users across multiple platforms and devices, not just in number but in kind.

Many of us in the analyst industry have watched momentum in the battle for the desktop swing back and forth between various operating systems, favoring from time to time brands such as Microsoft, Apple, and even Linux.  However, at all times in this ever-evolving battlefield, Microsoft has held the one key necessary to unlock (read, dominate) the enterprise.  That key, which has remained tucked up securely in the pocket of one Mr. Bill Gates from Redmond, Washington, is Microsoft Office. Read more of this post

The Battle for the Desktop Just Went Airborne

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • With enterprise users taking their documents on the road, Microsoft’s longstanding desktop productivity dominance has never looked so promising and so vulnerable.
  • Google’s acquisition of mobile-savvy productivity tools vendor QuickOffice promises to put the company on a much closer competitive trajectory opposite its primary collaboration rival, Microsoft.

Google’s surprise acquisition this week of productivity vendor QuickOffice has restored my faith in the company’s ability and desire to do combat with Microsoft on its home turf: the desktop.  That is, the desktop as we are beginning to understand it as a highly mobile, cloud-savvy, social platform.  For those still wondering what that might be, here is a hint.  The desktop of the near future is a tablet device like the Apple iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab.  The trouble for Google, of course, is that the Web search powerhouse has heretofore maintained steadfast devotion to what I’m sure its engineers would refer to as ‘the pure Web experience,’ a platform where everything lives in the cloud.  That vision is best exemplified in the company’s recently reinvigorated smart terminal project (Chromebooks and Chromeboxes), which promises a utopian situation for IT professionals by hoisting everything, even the desktop itself, into the cloud. Read more of this post

Mobile Operating System Choice

A. Braunberg

A. Braunberg

Summary Bullets:

  • Nobody ever got fired for buying BlackBerrys. Embrace device diversity but incentivize best practices

Anyone old enough to remember the phrase: “Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM equipment”? If uttered by an IBM sales person it could be considered classic fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD). But it was based on an industry axiom at the time: IBM hardware was the known quantity and the safe purchase. For a long time, nobody got fired for buying BlackBerry either, but the ‘consumerization of IT’ has thrown those old assumptions out the window and organizations are back to really taking a hard look at the features of each mobile OS and trying to keep the FUD at bay. I sat in a panel at Interop last week that basically asked the question: is it safe to hitch your wagon to any one mobile OS, BlackBerry or otherwise? Read more of this post

Hello Microsoft Office for iPad, Bye Bye Desktop?

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Corporate e-mail, calendaring, social media and Web-based solutions, all work on mobile devices just as they do on the desktop. But mobile document editing is just beginning to show its true value on the road.
  • Regardless of how vendors like Microsoft decide to mobilize corporate documents, all enterprise IT managers will need to realign current mobile device management efforts with an emphasis on document access control, offline availability, synchronization and version control.

For quite a while now, documents have been the single biggest bugaboo in my quest to use my Apple iPad as a desktop replacement while on the road. Corporate e-mail, calendaring, social media, and any Web-based solution such as Salesforce.com, all work the way they do on the desktop. Actually, in many ways, they’re better – where usability and simplicity are concerned, the iPad simply offers a user experience that is far superior to the desktop. Sadly, however, when it comes to writing and editing, especially jointly editing corporate documents, those merits just don’t apply. The best word to describe it in the overall experience is unusable. There are workarounds and third-party editing and synchronization solutions available to ease the pain, but even those fail to offer anything approaching the same level of functionality available with full-fledged desktop productivity suites like Microsoft Office. Read more of this post

Rough Sailing Ahead for Mobile Applications

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Mobile device market fragmentation, a continuing problem for application developers.
  • App manufactures should adopt a combined Web/native development approach.

These are heady days for IT managers with a hankering for mobility. Over the past two years, the usual impediments to mobilizing the workforce have vanished beneath an avalanche of consumer pressure, technological innovation and corporate acceptance. This is particularly true when it comes to supporting a wide array of devices from Apple, Microsoft, Google, Nokia, RIM and others. Gazing at the myriad devices and plethora of software for those devices currently roaming about the marketplace would lead one to believe that it’s a foregone conclusion that mobility has reached a point where users can bring their device du jour to the workplace. Well, yes, this is true – but that’s really where the trouble begins.

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