1. W Hoa's Avatar
    The new centre is located at Wavefront, the Vancouver-headquartered Canadian Centre of Excellence for Wireless Commercialization and Research where start-ups and more senior companies test and develop apps for all wireless mobile platforms from Apples iOS to Android, Windows, BlackBerry and others and connect to wireless carriers around the globe.

    Later today, some 200 developers will gather at Wavefront to celebrate the opening of the BlackBerry Tech Centre there, an event that Wavefront president and CEO James Maynard describes as an acknowledgment of Vancouvers significance as a centre of wireless innovation.

    We have a very strong technology community here that thinks mobile, he said. In terms of the mindset and the talent, we rank really highly in the world, so Im glad that BlackBerry has recognized that in terms of putting the centre here.

    Its Vancouver centre will be Research in Motions hub for the entire Pacific Northwest, not just Vancouver.

    This is a Pacific Northwest footprint so that means invitations are from Oregon north to come to this event, its not just a Vancouver thing, Maynard said in an interview Tuesday.

    I think that is significant why did they come to Vancouver as opposed to dropping into Seattle or Portland?

    The other two BlackBerry centres are in Kitchener, Waterloo and Santa Clara, California. Maynard said with Wavefront also having a presence in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, it can offer RIM a link to developers right across the country.

    They can roll one program through us and we can reach the developer communities across the country as well, so it gives RIM great leverage, he said.

    The BlackBerry centre is actually a room filled with computers. But within those walls will be the test devices developers need, plus computers and the software for developing apps and porting applications over from other mobile platforms.

    There will be RIM people here, not full-time, but there are RIM-dedicated developer resources that will be here in addition to the hardware and software systems that they provide, Maynard said.

    That ability to port applications meaning a developer who has an iOS app can relatively easily create a BlackBerry 10 version is a key point in the new BlackBerry 10 platform, said Maynard. With earlier BlackBerry operating systems, the process was long, complicated and costly.

    Another strength Maynard suggested that will serve RIM well in the rollout of BlackBerry 10 is its long-standing relationship with both enterprise customers and with wireless carriers.

    They have unbelievably strong relationships with hundreds of carriers around the world, which means their distribution I mean assuming the product holds up as billed and were hearing its pretty good it means that theyre going to be able to, said Maynard, pausing a second before he continued: hopefully theyll survive.

    While RIM was a pioneer in the smartphone market and once a leader, its market share has dwindled considerably. Despite the decline, Maynard pointed out that BlackBerry still enjoys strong market share on several continents. In North America, Apple iPhone battles it out against smartphones running the Android operating system, with Samsung topping the competition.

    If you go to Indonesia, India and Africa, BlackBerry is the premier brand, said Maynard. So BlackBerry in North America is viewed through this North American-centric Apple- and Google-dominated lens.

    When you go globally are they growing as fast as the other guys? No, but theyre holding their own. I dont think its as doom and gloom as people would put it out to be.

    Canadas tech sector has a lot riding on RIMs success, suggests Maynard.

    I think Canada suffers from a dearth of major multinational technology anchors and the growth of an ecosystem is dependent on having successful multinational-headquartered anchor tenants, he said. So I think that for Canada and the ICT structure, BlackBerry needs to survive.

    While the BlackBerry centre seems a coup for Vancouver, it represents only a part of Wavefronts growing operations. The non-profit started in 2009, taking up half a floor in the Guinness building in downtown Vancouver, with a staff of seven and a handful of start-ups sharing space and taking advantage of Wavefronts testing and usability services.

    Today, Wavefront has expanded to fill one-and-a-half floors in the building. It has 32 employees, 30 companies on-site and 2,000 member companies.

    We have become a strategic go-round between the multinationals looking for innovation connectivity and the ecosystem right across the country, in addition to whats happening here in Vancouver, said Maynard.

    Read more: RIM pins hopes on BlackBerry 10
    Jaralle, spike12 and BBNation like this.
    01-29-13 09:31 PM
  2. kill_9's Avatar
    “There will be RIM people here, not full-time, but there are RIM-dedicated developer resources that will be here in addition to the hardware and software systems that they provide,” Maynard said.
    Without full-time dedicated Research In Motion staff what is the point of the BlackBerry Development Centre again?
    01-29-13 09:59 PM
  3. Zarpan's Avatar
    Without full-time dedicated Research In Motion staff what is the point of the BlackBerry Development Centre again?
    You're always so negative with your posts....

    Anyway, there are "test devices developers need, plus computers and the software for developing apps and porting applications over from other mobile platforms.", as well as RIM staff available at certain times. That seems similar to the Windows Store App Labs, and I don't see people questioning the value of those.

    Some developers may not have a BB10 device, but are interested in porting over an app. This would allow them to test the app on the actual devices to make sure it works properly. Same if you wanted to make sure the app worked okay for both BB10 screen resolution sizes. As well, it sounds like you'd be able to schedule time with RIM staff on certain days. The Windows Store App Labs often work the same way - if you want to meet with a Windows expert, you'd schedule time on a Monday in Vancouver.
    cjcampbell likes this.
    01-30-13 01:01 AM

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