Arm Chair CEO, giving his Opinion to RIM
In the spirit of the recent trend of OPEN letters to XXXX,
here is my Open letter to RIM, with my 2 year-3year hopes,
I hope you read it, think about the content, and heck you’re welcome to contact me via this site, and I’d gladly come to waterloo and tell you what I think is wrong with every department from the ground up.
Plus I'm bored on a Sunday
Firstly My expectations would be QNX based OS’s deployed across the Entire Active line, the QNX OS needs to have evolved from the Playbook OS, to include the ability to “theme” the devices as well as include desktop widgets, though there are not many widgets I’d like I can think of a few I’d like live on my desktop all the time.
The QNX device line, including the Playbook need to be opened up to app installation outside of Appworld, OTA, installation for developers to make apps to be installed direct from their sites, to maximize their potential ROI for time put in, and encourage App development. This is also crucial for theme developers.
I would be working on KEY partnerships with major Software developers to bring their products to the QNX line, with in the next 12 months I would be expecting at least in testing if not already released, a Partnership with Microsoft to Bring OFFICE to the Blackberry, as a pay for premium service. **(more on this in another post below),
I would be working with Adobe which currently has a vested interest in the Playbook, and the future of QNX with Adobe AIR, to bring a Trimmed Photoshop application, as well as a PDF reader/creator/editor to the playbook in the short term, and to the QNX based handhelds in the long term,
I believe a Partnership with Netflix, or working with the Carriers who do Streaming content is vital to the long term success of RIM, media consumption is a very important part of the tablet and handheld experience today, working on multiple channels for media consumption is very important to continued revenue, beyond just hardware sales.
A few Software Projects I would assign managers to and have a HARD look at what needs to be done to them
> Contact management! *** post to discuss this below
> Calendar, TODO, Integration with email, **** post to discuss this below
>Media management, ( I know it is lacking, but don’t really know personally what I would change yet)
>Camera/Video software ***** Post to discuss this below
Cloud Services, Over the next 36 months RIM would develop and deploy a Cloud Storage service, in conjunction with Webmail access, and Device control access via the cloud. The Cloud services would include abilities to share calendars, and contacts over groups outside of BES environments, also developing a BESX cloud based environment for Small to medium size businesses, who do not want to host their own BES/BESX but would like the controls over devices.
The OS development from OS7 to QNX must ensure that apps can be made for OS7 and ported to QNX with little if any work by the developer, and this must be pushed to the developers, the fact that the current OS7 devices probably will not get QNX. Over the next 2 years OS7 devices need to be updated to include API’s to allow for easy backwards compatibility from QNX apps to OS7 apps so developers and users get the maximum value from their purchases and development time in this time of RIM device uncertainty.
On the Hardware front here is where my pipe dreaming comes into play:
I would like to see the following release schedule over the next 24-36 months, using calendar quarters: (FF= Form Factor)
Q2 2011, 99XX OS7.
Q3 2011 Blackberry Torch2 OS7, Blackberry Touch OS7.
Q4 2011 Blackberry Curve OS7, Playbook 10” First Gen
Q1 2012, Blackberry Curve Touch OS7, Playbook 7” Second Gen
Q2 2012, Blackberry BOLD 9700FF QNX, Blackberry Pearl QNX,
Q3 2012 Blackberry Touch QNX, Playbook 10” Second Gen
Q4 2012, Blackberry Curve QNX, Blackberry Torch QNX
Q1 2013 Blackberry Curve Touch QNX, Blackberry Style QNX
Q2 2013 Blackberry BOLD 9900FF Playbook 7” 3rd Gen
Q3 2013 Blackberry Touch QNX
Q4 2013 Blackberry Torch QNX, Playbook 10” 3rd Gen
In RIM’s position as a Secured communication’s provider I would be developing RIM Medical:
RIM Medical would provide Hospital Communications service and both onsite/ offside data housing, using an Electronic Medical Records (EMR)software, linking to a BES, with MVS, and ties into an Electronic Medical Equipment Communications System (EMECS), and PACS, What RIM would build here is hospitals dependent on their software and hardware solutions, it would also allow RIM to work with medical equipment manufacturers such as Bed makers, to create machines that can interface with the EMECS and in turn work with BES, allowing for live data transfer throughout the hospital, Selling Playbooks as input tools to attach to devices that control IV flow, and Beds that monitor heart rates and breathing, selling Blackberry’s as user devices and communications tools. The Medical industry is a higher margin industry and is very dependent on security, and system integration, something RIM is very good with, RIM as a company is large enough, to advance itself into this industry as a primary provider and not just a piece of the puzzle. Apple IS invading this market, and currently none of the players in the mobile space have a strong footing, RIM needs to take it and control it, like they used to control the corporate world.
With the Medical advancement RIM could use the Playbook to get into Terminal computing, creating Playbook Docks like the Asus Transformer, but also a docking station for a Blackberry handhelds creating a RIM focused Desktop, In pursuing this RIM could develop a 17” Playbook, though on the consumer side it would barely sell, but in the Enterprise market, a 17” Playbook with 16GB of onboard storage priced around $800 would be an excellent fit, 16GB would allow for the minimal native applications that need to be installed locally, most other items would be stored via the server, in the office environment, having the employee’s Blackberry Dock into the terminal makes their mobile phone into their office phone connected to the PBX, thus sharing the cost of Mobile + Desk communications.
This Helps bring BACK the corporate buying of Mobile phones, instead of having the employees bring their own mobile phones. Ones Phone extension is linked to their PIN, when they dock their blackberry to the network, when people call the extension it goes through the Blackberry, when they disconnect, it A) forwards to the mobile number, or B) goes to a voicemail, able to be accessed via the Blackberry on Mobile.
I would launch a RIM Retail chain, with a retail Chain RIM gets to capture the full margin potential from their products, Both Apple, and Sony do this while maintaining distribution channels, I feel RIM should do this as well, when they only offered Smart phones they could not realistically fill a retail store, BUT! I believe RIM could fill the retail store with Blackberry’s, Tablets, Built for Blackberry Peripherals, as well as increase their peripheral line, Products I would like to see RIM develop are
> a Peco Projector for use with the Playbook,
> a Blackberry Presenter with HDMI in/Out,
> a Business Card Scanner, like “CardScans”,
> a wireless portable printer,
> a couple of Music Docking stations for charging and music playback Both Handheld, AND Playbook options.
Having dedicated RIM product sales people with training about Useful RIM product features, and hosting “Getting to know your Blackberry” workshops, at the retail outlets would continue to create Crackberry users, it is the lack of presence in the market place that is hurting RIM,
the Apple Products are IN YOU FACE, the Android products are the geeky culture products, so they are the products that the geeky family member push from the inside, as they are so abundant in numbers that advertising is mentioning Android all the time, with hot new flashy features that don’t need to be enterprise ready.
What the Mobile market NEEDS is an alternative to iTunes for their media downloading, Amazon or Microsoft would be 2 company’s I would approach to partner with, maybe all 3 partner together, to build an OPEN media distribution centre, for downloading MP3’s, Movies, books, it could tie into Microsoft’s Live system, for connection to Set tops, could have the Amazon ebook library and music, and have RIM’s installed user base as the first mobile user base for this new OPEN platform, allowing the 3 players to share the profits from running this network, this is something that is drastically needed, and it needs to be led by major players to be successful against iTunes.
Microsoft Makes the BEST Office suite,
That is what I miss the most on Blackberry phones,
Fortunately for RIM, Windows Mobile phones are terrible!,
Being the CEO at RIM I would Pitch to Microsoft to make Office for Blackberry, they Make office for OSX, so they are not above making Office for other operating systems,
What is in it for Microsoft you as? Won’t it hurt Windows Mobile Phone sales? I strongly feel it will not.
Microsoft would have a new revenue stream Blackberry Ships a 60 day trial of Office Professional with their phones, in would consist of Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Onenote, sharepoint, Project, publisher, after 60 days the entire suite could be purchased for $6.99, or each individual component for $1.99, Or They can download the Free Documents to go from app world. I know I for one, and many others would gladly pay $7 to have Office on my device,
I actually feel I would pay $19.99 for FULL office, or I’d pay $3.99 per piece if I didn’t want the whole suite though I may very much be in the minority and maybe Office would develop a Professional and a Basic version in 2 pricepoint packages.
I cannot believe the revenue from Windows Mobile is that great per device, so this generates a Mobile presence and Helps Microsoft HOLD its domination of Office in the Work place,
I strongly feel Microsoft is losing its grip on the Corporate Office environment, and the consumer office environment, with Free Online Office applications, Open Office, and iOffice there are more and more solutions for the consumer and small business, on top of all of that we have the mobile space with probably near 100 Word/Excel/Powerpoint variations Microsoft and RIM partnering up would heavily put MS Office as the only solution for Enterprise as they look more and more to the cloud for their Desktop solutions, they must secure the mobile space.
The Other Player in the Cloud is Google, and Google is a direct competitor and much less a partner with RIM, so RIM can’t join with them for cloud and office initiatives. Microsoft can leverage Blackberry, and Windows Mobile as dual mobile platforms for small business integration,
On the Desktop Apples OSX and iOS have enough Markershare that iOffice could becoming a real competitor to the Office world of Microsoft, and as iOffice gains traction, so with OSX in Enterprise, thus resulting in a loss of Windows Sales + Office sales, which leaves Microsoft with a much smaller revenue stream.
Contact management needs to evolve beyond what the Blackberry and mobile phone experience offers today,
a USER today no longer has direct lines at work, they don’t have 1 or 2 ways of contacts.
take a cue from social networking and bring it to the Contact list.
When I enter contact:
Joe Smith from ABC corp
Office# + extension
Work Cell phone
I also Meet Kyle Johnson from ABC Corp
I should select Joe Smith, and press ADD colleague,
NOW already I have Office address and number added, I just need to add Cellphone and extension and email
In addition when I receive a call from the OFFICE number my call display says ABC Corp Not one of the contact names,
as you can get many contacts from ABC corp,
Now when building an email list to send to All ABC corp employee’s you select ANY employee, and when selecting an action you have “call number(X), email, include in group email, when selecting include in group email is would ask, “individually selected group, Employer based group, custom group heading, etc” when selecting Employer based group, ALL ABC corp employees are highlighted in a list to review, then they get added to the email TO: field.
This would be a fantastic tool for use in emailing as well as in contact building, as you don’t have to keep adding the same information to contact lists.
In addition to just this step, I am sure a product management team could develop ways to make adding, managing, and contacting your contacts much better than currently available in any smartphone, and people are increasingly adding contacts, and needing to manage them
Calendar + TODO + email integration
The Blackberry Calendar is very lacking currently
What the Blackberry Calendar needs is
> Colour options for different Meeting types,
> Integration with TODO keeping them in your calendar as per user defined parameters.
> email integration to add Follow up to the Calendar
The TODO application should be linked to email, when “composing” an email you should get the option to “create TODO” what this does is it includes the date stamp from the email into the Todo, is allows you to share the Todo with other people via emailing them, and integrates it into the calendar with sharing.
I would like to see the Calendar have the ability to email the Calendar to people as an Agenda view for daily or weekly Calendars, or as a Table view for Monthly calendars, like Lotus Notes 7 does when Printing Calendar to a document, and then forwarding it as an email.
- 05-15-11, 11:41 PM #10
- 05-16-11, 12:40 AM #12
Good read. I agree with the other poster saying that if they do some of those things they would be doing really well. Maybe copy and paste this on the forum on their site? (If I remember they have a forum on their site...I may be wrong...)
Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
- CrackBerry User
05-16-11, 08:58 AM #15
- 94 Posts
I agree with most everything you posted. I really like the Contacts and Calendar suggestions. Even if RIM decided to not implement the Contacts suggestions, would something like that exist/be developed thru a 3rd party app? I would enjoy having it included in the native Contacts more, but could see my way to paying for one 3rd party.
- 05-16-11, 09:32 AM #17
That pipedream of the hardware release cycle is definitely a pipedream. Hahah.
Not to say that I wouldn't love it if RIM was that aggressive with their releases, but a couple of those release dates of the same product going to next gen is less than a year.
Either way, great post. Hopefully it'll get tons of views and eventually make it to RIM's radar.
Very true with the less than a year approach, but it can be the difference of releasing last week in a quarter vs first week in a quarter making it pretty close to the year point,
case in point, Playbook 10" could launch October 2011, but launch in September 2012
And while I look at the dates again, I left out a Curve Launch in 2013, which was my mistake
as for making it onto RIM's radar, I highly doubt it, I was being a little tongue in cheek, the post doesn't lend itself to lots of discussion, so it will at most last 48h before vanishing into the abyss. I was bored I don't blog, so I typed a lot
- 05-16-11, 10:49 AM #19
mmm, OCD creativity at work
While I agree MS Office is good, and would like to have MS Office on my BB, I get a yucky feeling with the idea of RIM and MS getting too cozy.
As far as the medical end of things, I too wondered why RIM hasn't chased this down as it seems like a field they would do good in.
I don't believe RIM could take the control/Market share it once had, the market is to mature for that to happen again,
BUT I do believe RIM could take control of the business sector again, and expand into other business like sectors. thus increasing their presence, and allowing them to develop more dynamic products making them relevant, AND keeping them relevant with the consumers.
- CrackBerry Genius of Geniuses
05-16-11, 06:07 PM #24
- 5,369 Posts
brilliantly written out post, major kudos for that.
personally i dont see how RIM would benifit from a retail store, for quite a simple reason (i`ll use apple as an example but applies to sony/whoever else too)
apple store by carrier store - apple sell less phones but still sell the computers and other devices, so sales margins arent too affected.
apple store by computer store - apple sell less computers (and probably the computer store will sell ipods etc too so less of them too), but still sell phones, again, theres the differentiator over the local competition so margins not too affected.
RIM store by carrier store - both sell phones, major chance of low sales as carrier store is in direct competition on your core (and only) product.
for that reason id not do RIM stores, or at least not in large quantitys, some brand recognition counts.
also if it was me, with the playbook hardwares, id have them 2quarters apart, or released together, either release 7+10" at the same time, or roll out in june - 7" (for july/august back to school) and nov/dec - 10" for the holidays. having the devices only a quarter apart could frustrate/confuse customers that dont get the different size thing, or bought a 1st gen 10" 1 quarter before the 2nd gen 7".
of course the above is simply my opinion, and definitley shouldnt detract from the work you put into your main post(s)
My Belief in the Retail stores would be for more than JUST selling the products, Apple "Geniuses" though they truly devalue the term could be a useful tool IF Apple products had depth, RIM products DO have depth, and providing Training days would be invaluable to consumers and businesses alike, my company in 2008 had a Carrier "trainer" come in to teach us how to use Blackberry's being a tech guy, and trying to FIGHT bringing blackberry into the company I did extensive research as to features of Blackberry's and how Windows Mobile would be better, I was far more educated than this "trainer", BUT with RIM stores, carriers could contract out RIM people as trainers, company's could hire RIM trainers to come in during sales meetings to help maximize their technology dollars. having a retail store behind them allows them to have Authorized repair centers located in major cities, as well as providing a single location with ALL RIM products and accessories, for people to shop,
In Barrie Ontario the Sony Store, and the FutureShop (Large retail chain) are next door to eachother, and both survive well selling the same products at times.
IF RIM's retail stores were set up with the following
>Full phone line for each Carrier
>Full Tablet line ( assuming 6 7", and 6 10" when Radio versions available)
>Full Bluetooth accessorie line (keyboards, Dash mount, handsfree ear pieces, stereo headphones etc)
>Full Case line for Phones + Tablets
>Blackberry Device accessories ( Peco projector, HDMI cables, Charging pods, Blackberry presenter, Business card scanner, docking stations etc)
>App World Gift Cards
Authorized repair center
BES consultation + Added features
Product Training seminars
Outside Training Agents
Extended Warranty sales