04-09-14 02:45 PM
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  1. BB10user07's Avatar
    Chen travelling the world to promote BlackBerry

    Plus great amount of insights never know before

    Posted via CB10
    Last edited by Elite1; 04-05-14 at 06:16 AM.
    ibpluto, snejpa, geekaren and 9 others like this.
    04-05-14 06:00 AM
  2. Elite1's Avatar
    Pretty good article. Here it is:
    Chen travelling the world to promote BlackBerry
    Terry Pender

    WATERLOO — BlackBerry chief executive officer John Chen is living out of a suitcase as he executes an ambitious recovery plan for the once-leading smartphone maker that lost $5.9 billion US in its most recent fiscal year.

    Chen is flying around the world meeting with business and government customers as he engages in what he calls "high-touch marketing." The electrical engineer and former chief executive of Sybase Inc. is currently on a tour to meet 40 BlackBerry customers. It ends in New York City for interviews with reporters and analysts.

    "The problem is, I really don't mind travelling and meeting with people and all that, but there are physical limitations," Chen said recently during a meeting with reporters after the release of the company's fourth-quarter financial results.

    "I am living hotel to hotel to hotel, it is like packing and unpacking, packing and unpacking," he said. "This week I have been in so many places I don't even remember."

    Next week, Chen flies to Indonesia for the official launch of the Jakarta Z3 — the new large touch-screen smartphone BlackBerry produced in partnership with Taiwan-based Foxconn for the Indonesian market.

    Typically, Chen and his team fly into a city for breakfast briefings with chief executives, chief information officers and executive officers to talk about risk management, mobile-data security, identity management and identity security.

    "We are focusing on that around the world," he said.

    Chen said the biggest challenge he has faced since taking over the reins as chief executive at BlackBerry last November was the need to make multiple changes at the same time.

    "There are so many things that need to be fixed, kind of in parallel, otherwise it takes too long to fix everything sequentially," he said.

    The speed and depth of the changes Chen initiated underscore how far BlackBerry had fallen in the competitive smartphone market, and how dire the situation was.

    Five years ago, BlackBerry had 20,000 employees worldwide and about a 20 per cent share of the global smartphone market. The payroll is dropping close to 7,000 and the company's market share is less than two per cent.

    Former BlackBerry chief executive Thorsten Heins announced the latest round of job cuts last September — 4,500 jobs or 40 per cent of BlackBerry's remaining workforce. When Chen took over two months later, there was no turning back on the workforce reductions.

    "The reality of the mathematics when I came in, in November, only left me one choice — to let that project complete," Chen said. "But I also realize that you can not ever cut yourself to glory."

    The layoffs are one of the most difficult parts of the turnaround plan, Chen said.

    "I fully understand why employees have been very negatively affected, and the morale is obviously not as high as I would like," he said. "I do believe people are getting back to work, which is a good thing. I think they are trying really hard to stay focused."

    The last of the layoffs are scheduled to occur by the end of May, and will leave BlackBerry with a global workforce of 7,000. Since the latest round of layoffs started last September, 1,140 BlackBerry employees have been let go in Waterloo Region.

    The company won't say how many people it will employ in the region when the layoffs are done. At its peak, it had about 10,000 employees in the region, working out of about 15 buildings in Waterloo and Cambridge.

    The local job cuts include the layoff in mid-March of 120 employees in the wireless technology group. In its day, this group of electrical engineers and coders was among the top wireless tech teams in the world. They designed and built the phones and operating systems that made Research In Motion — renamed BlackBerry early last year — world famous for its security and speed.

    There was talk last December that Marvell Technology Group, one of the world's biggest makers of computer chips, was going to buy the wireless technology unit. Chen confirmed a deal was proposed but it fell through for reasons that he won't disclose.

    Chen said BlackBerry has the patents and technology developed by the group and can use both whenever needed. It no longer is necessary to have engineers in-house producing that kind of technology, he said.

    "At one time this got to be a leading function, but today there is technology out there that is already designed into a chip set."

    That's the approach BlackBerry is taking with the Jakarta Z3 and its partnership with Foxconn. Foxconn used existing technology and built a new phone priced for less than $200 for emerging markets. After its release in Indonesia next week, the phone will be rolled out later this year in Thailand and India.

    Chen's reputation as a turnaround wizard was cemented by his performance at Sybase. The software company was losing money when he took over as CEO. It reported profits for 55 consecutive quarters before he left.

    If Chen is able to engineer a similar turnaround at BlackBerry, the company will look very different in the future. In Chen's words, it will be focused on software, services and messaging. To get there, it must first return to its roots for at least two years to generate much-needed revenue to finance the turnaround and transition.

    The company will soon do a limited production run of the Bold smartphone, which operates on the older BlackBerry 7 operating system. With its keyboard and a "utility belt" that includes a track pad, cut-and-paste, send and refresh buttons, it was among BlackBerry's most popular products.

    Corporate and government customers asked for it and Chen is responding. The plan is simple enough — keep those customers happy with the return of the Bold until BlackBerry brings out a new phone that will provide what they are looking for.

    The new phone, dubbed the Classic, is slated to be unveiled in November. It will be a marriage of the Bold's hardware with the software advantages of the newer BlackBerry 10 system, which has a superior web browser and multimedia offerings.

    Chen made it clear that the production run for the Bold and introduction of the Classic should not be interpreted as a wholesale return to the smartphone business. Hardware and handsets will be part of the equation for at least two years, but after that it is anyone's guess.

    "I hope it's not confusing to others that all of a sudden, 90 days later, I shift gears," Chen said. "It is nothing to do with that. I mean software and services going forward are still going to be where the growth engine is going to come from, and messaging."

    When Chen refers to software, he is talking about QNX software. QNX, an Ottawa-based company acquired by BlackBerry in April 2010, has an operating system that is touted as being the most reliable in the world. It is used in mission-critical applications such as nuclear power plants.

    The auto industry has emerged as a big and growing market for the software. It is now used in more than half of all new cars. In the emerging world of connected and smart cars, the software monitors the location of vehicles, tells owners when maintenance and repairs are needed and powers infotainment systems, among other things.

    Chen wants to expand the reach of QNX software into the medical field, and any market that needs machine-to-machine interactions.

    Generating revenue and profit from BlackBerry's popular BBM messaging system is another priority for Chen. BBM has more than 85 million users, who each send or read 11.5 messages a day on average.

    Chen plans to monetize BBM by selling specially designed emoticons called stickers and offering sponsored channels that will allow advertisers to connect with users. A pack of stickers can be downloaded for $1.99 at the BBM Shop.

    "If you measure by revenue in the next couple, two or three years, I think QNX will be a bigger operation than BBM," Chen said. "Because the connected car world seems to be taking a lot of momentum."

    As part of cost-cutting, BlackBerry dismantled its enterprise sales teams. Chen is rebuilding the sales force, with teams set up to focus on government, financial, defence, security and corporate sectors. In the future, a sales team devoted to the medical sector will be organized.

    "I won't rule anything out, but since our aspirations for the long term are going to be machine-to-machine interactions, software has to be a really huge part going forward," Chen said.

    In the meantime, there will be lots of packing and unpacking as Chen travels the world to convince existing and prospective customers to go with BlackBerry.

    "There will be one day when the map and the market will tell us which way to go," he said. "I can assure you, for me, it's not a religion. It's business."
    04-05-14 06:15 AM
  3. ibpluto's Avatar
    Interesting article for sure

    I wonder if we can imagine a day when BB10 is licensed to other handsets?

    CB10'n it via da Z...30
    04-05-14 06:29 AM
  4. vagos2006's Avatar
    John Chen is the man to get things done. This man knows what he's doing. Let's see what happens in the next few Q's. I'm curious to see what happens after the z3 release. It should be interesting.

    Posted by my awesome Z10
    04-05-14 06:40 AM
  5. wincyUt's Avatar
    Very interesting article. I can't wait to see how Z3 fares in Indonesia after next weeks launch.
    Sexy Sadie likes this.
    04-05-14 06:46 AM
  6. anon(4086706)'s Avatar
    I'm very pleased at this time, he is now more of a travelling Salesman than a CEO.
    04-05-14 06:51 AM
  7. masterful's Avatar
    Nice article. I enjoy it very much

    ? Slicing using my ?
    04-05-14 07:19 AM
  8. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    Chen made it clear that the production run for the Bold and introduction of the Classic should not be interpreted as a wholesale return to the smartphone business. Hardware and handsets will be part of the equation for at least two years, but after that it is anyone's guess.

    "I hope it's not confusing to others that all of a sudden, 90 days later, I shift gears," Chen said. "It is nothing to do with that. I mean software and services going forward are still going to be where the growth engine is going to come from, and messaging."
    As I have mentioned a few times before, it seems pretty clear that Chen is moving BB towards the day that BES12 will be able to provide "good enough" security for corporations on non-BB phones, and so BB hardware will be phased out. BB will focus on BES, BBM, and QNX. Chen is a software-and-services guy, and he's been letting go most of the hardware business already (which has lost money for many quarters in a row).

    For folks wondering why there's no consumer advertising, and no updated phones being rushed out, this is why - handsets have a limited future in the company, and even though Chen has laid out his plan here, that plan is subject to further adjustments. If the Z3 is a wild success, the hardware business may have a bit more life left. If the Z3 is a flop, then the end of hardware is likely to be accelerated. I suspect that the "Classic" is going to be built regardless, to try to pull enterprise customers off of legacy and on to BB10, but that very well could be the last BB phone. The Z3 MUST be successful if that's not to be the case.
    04-05-14 01:11 PM
  9. VR6's Avatar
    Go get em Chen!

    Posted via CB10
    04-05-14 02:02 PM
  10. grover5's Avatar
    As I have mentioned a few times before, it seems pretty clear that Chen is moving BB towards the day that BES12 will be able to provide "good enough" security for corporations on non-BB phones, and so BB hardware will be phased out. BB will focus on BES, BBM, and QNX. Chen is a software-and-services guy, and he's been letting go most of the hardware business already (which has lost money for many quarters in a row).

    For folks wondering why there's no consumer advertising, and no updated phones being rushed out, this is why - handsets have a limited future in the company, and even though Chen has laid out his plan here, that plan is subject to further adjustments. If the Z3 is a wild success, the hardware business may have a bit more life left. If the Z3 is a flop, then the end of hardware is likely to be accelerated. I suspect that the "Classic" is going to be built regardless, to try to pull enterprise customers off of legacy and on to BB10, but that very well could be the last BB phone. The Z3 MUST be successful if that's not to be the case.
    That's an interesting guess. Time will tell.

    Posted via CB10
    04-05-14 02:06 PM
  11. qwerty4ever's Avatar
    I'm very pleased at this time, he is now more of a travelling Salesman than a CEO.
    The Life of Walter Mitty?

    Posted via CB10 on BlackBerry Q5
    04-05-14 02:35 PM
  12. LostOnThePianoRoll's Avatar
    So no more phones after 2 years? Or am I getting this the wrong way?

    Posted via CB10 on my Z10STL100-10.2.1.2102
    04-05-14 02:45 PM
  13. Playbook007's Avatar
    I sum what agree with Troy. However I do see them producing a few key devices to complement BES and the corporate world. However if the z3 is a success in emerging markets, then business is business. As for the States, it is quite clear BlackBerry is not welcome amongst the carriers. I think Chen is well aware of this and there is no sense in wasting money in that direction any longer. For the BlackBerry enthusiasts State side, I feel BlackBerry should market directly online, push the updates direct and on time, offer insurance on the devices, apply a no nonsense return/replace policy.

    Posted via CB10
    BuryLancs likes this.
    04-05-14 02:53 PM
  14. bennelong's Avatar
    Sounds like a plan.

    Posted via CB10 on a Z10
    04-05-14 02:54 PM
  15. 40blind40's Avatar
    Great read< sorry I didn't see your post just put another thread on it.
    04-05-14 03:17 PM
  16. early2bed's Avatar
    He's pretty much saying that Blackberry isn't going to be in the hardware business in a couple of years. The ultimate answer to the BB7 vs BB10 issue - it doesn't really matter. He will keep as many customers as possible, try to get to break-even, and look to sell off the hardware business just like he almost sold off the wireless technology unit to Marvell.

    He's practically yelling it to the media, at this point, so the only reason one wouldn't hear it is if they are emotionally attached to Blackberry smartphones.
    Last edited by early2bed; 04-05-14 at 03:44 PM.
    04-05-14 03:34 PM
  17. dblcup's Avatar
    Disappointed with the apparent move away from hardware. In my mind, they never gave the hardware business with bb10 a valid effort.

    Posted via CB10
    04-05-14 05:06 PM
  18. cbvinh's Avatar
    Two points:

    1. Some people accuse Chen of not moving to Waterloo as a sign that he's not committed to recovering BlackBerry. Now we know there was no point... He's been traveling for BlackBerry.

    2. Given he's business-minded, if hardware makes a profit, he'll keep BlackBerry producing it. Since the Foxconn deal is for five years, hardware won't go away in two.
    Last edited by cbvinh; 04-05-14 at 05:48 PM. Reason: fixed spelling typo
    04-05-14 05:30 PM
  19. bicyclexpress's Avatar
    I agree. Very, very sad news for those of us who love this operating system. I would like to see where BB10 development goes in the next couple of years. Hopefully it happens.

    Posted via CB10
    04-05-14 05:32 PM
  20. BB10user07's Avatar
    As I have mentioned a few times before, it seems pretty clear that Chen is moving BB towards the day that BES12 will be able to provide "good enough" security for corporations on non-BB phones, and so BB hardware will be phased out. BB will focus on BES, BBM, and QNX. Chen is a software-and-services guy, and he's been letting go most of the hardware business already (which has lost money for many quarters in a row).

    For folks wondering why there's no consumer advertising, and no updated phones being rushed out, this is why - handsets have a limited future in the company, and even though Chen has laid out his plan here, that plan is subject to further adjustments. If the Z3 is a wild success, the hardware business may have a bit more life left. If the Z3 is a flop, then the end of hardware is likely to be accelerated. I suspect that the "Classic" is going to be built regardless, to try to pull enterprise customers off of legacy and on to BB10, but that very well could be the last BB phone. The Z3 MUST be successful if that's not to be the case.
    He has said many many times that hardware is here to stay...It is not going anywhere...Yes focus is going to be software and services to get onto long term profitability.. Without hardware BlackBerry security is not complete..

    Posted via CB10
    BigAl_BB9900 likes this.
    04-05-14 05:37 PM
  21. BB10user07's Avatar
    Two points:

    1. Some people acuse Chen of not moving to Waterloo as a sign that he's not committed to recovering BlackBerry. Now we know there was no point... He's been traveling for BlackBerry.

    2. Given he's business minded, if hardware makes a profit, he'll keep BlackBerry producing it. Since the Foxconn deal is for five years, hardware won't go away in two.
    Agreed it makes complete sense...Troy has a known negative bias towards BlackBerry just like lot of people has positive bias.

    Posted via CB10
    04-05-14 05:40 PM
  22. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    He has said many many times that hardware is here to stay...It is not going anywhere...
    ...for the immediate future, yes, based on the current plan. But if you can't see that he's setting expectations for the future as clearly as he can without outright announcing the end of hardware (which would immediately kill all hardware sales), then you don't understand how the game is played. And if the Z3 launch goes badly, Foxconn could easily cancel the contract after the release of the Q20. They aren't in the business of losing money either, and I promise you, they can cancel that contract if they lose money with BB.
    04-05-14 06:57 PM
  23. akabbani's Avatar
    Anywhere we can find the list of countries he'll be traveling to?

    Posted via My Beast Q10
    04-05-14 07:10 PM
  24. badiyee's Avatar
    As I have mentioned a few times before, it seems pretty clear that Chen is moving BB towards the day that BES12 will be able to provide "good enough" security for corporations on non-BB phones, and so BB hardware will be phased out. BB will focus on BES, BBM, and QNX. Chen is a software-and-services guy, and he's been letting go most of the hardware business already (which has lost money for many quarters in a row).

    For folks wondering why there's no consumer advertising, and no updated phones being rushed out, this is why - handsets have a limited future in the company, and even though Chen has laid out his plan here, that plan is subject to further adjustments. If the Z3 is a wild success, the hardware business may have a bit more life left. If the Z3 is a flop, then the end of hardware is likely to be accelerated. I suspect that the "Classic" is going to be built regardless, to try to pull enterprise customers off of legacy and on to BB10, but that very well could be the last BB phone. The Z3 MUST be successful if that's not to be the case.
    How many times do you have to 're-predict' this, when in one of your more infamous threads you even made a bolder claim that BlackBerry would have finished by Z30?

    Ever since then, 2 devices announced, and production is still on-going.

    If people get paid for every time people have to read about you predicting death and decay, I think people here could have the money enough to buy BlackBerry, irregardless whether the option is exercised or not.
    BB10user07 likes this.
    04-05-14 09:56 PM
  25. kevets's Avatar
    This guy is a quote machine! "It's not a religion. It's business." Chen rocks. Let's hope he gets the software team rocking, and just work with Foxconn to churn out some sweet hardware.
    04-05-14 10:06 PM
47 12

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