1. mrfreeze's Avatar
    At BlackBerry, a New Strategy Emerges

    John Chen, who became interim CEO of BlackBerry last month after the company abandoned plans to sell itself to its largest shareholder, has provided few details about how he intends to restore the dilapidated smartphone pioneer. But some early signs of his strategy are emerging.

    The first Chens late-November C-suite purge, which saw the the ouster of COO Kristian Tear, CMO Frank Boulben and CFO Brian Bidulka, and the resignation of board member Roger Our New CEO Isnt a Moron Like the Rest of You Martin. News of the shake-up was released along with a comment from its orchestrator, offering the briefest of outlines of BlackBerrys path forward: I will continue to align my senior management team and organizational structure, and refine the Companys strategy to ensure we deliver the best devices, mobile security and device management through BES 10, provide multi-platform messaging solutions with BBM, and expand adoption of QNX embedded systems.

    Now we have the first evidence of that strategy in deployment. Overlooked amid last weeks debut of BBM Channels, BlackBerrys latest addition to its still-popular BlackBerry Messaging application, was a bit of news that shows the troubled smartphone maker once again scrambling to find solid ground in a market it pioneered.

    BlackBerry has inked a dozen deals that will see BBM preloaded on a bunch of Android handsets built by manufacturers in emerging markets like Africa, India, Indonesia, Latin America and the Middle East. Under the new arrangement, BBM will be installed on smartphones from the likes of Celkon, Micromax, Mito, Nexian, and Zen. Not OEMs of particular renown in the West, but significant players in the emerging markets to which they cater.

    Which makes this a noteworthy move. Because, while BlackBerry itself might be losing smartphone share in emerging markets like Indonesia and India, BBM continues to be quite popular. Making the service cross-platform, as BlackBerry has done, will only make it more so. And preinstalling it on budget handsets in emerging markets, so users neednt incur download charges, promises to make it even more appealing in those locales.

    Now, with 80 million monthly active users, BBM remains a rickety player in a cross-platform messaging market dominated by the likes of WhatsApp and Line, which each boast hundreds of millions of monthly active users. But thats a solid foundation, and one upon which BlackBerry may be able to build that multi-platform messaging solution that Chen says is core to the companys new mission.
    Source (All Things D):
    BlackBerry Targets Emerging Markets for Multi-Platform Messaging Bid - John Paczkowski - Mobile - AllThingsD
    12-02-13 10:45 AM
  2. anon1727506's Avatar
    Now, with 80 million monthly active users, BBM remains a rickety player in a cross-platform messaging market dominated by the likes of WhatsApp and Line, which each boast hundreds of millions of monthly active users. But that’s a solid foundation, and one upon which BlackBerry may be able to build that multi-platform messaging solution that Chen says is core to the company’s new mission.
    Where did they get the 80 million active users from? Is this an official number from BlackBerry, or just a wild guess based on the BBM download numbers and where the expect BlackBerry hardware active users should be?


    Don't really see a new strategy here... BBMx and BB Channels have been in the works long before Chen showed up - this is just a continuation of TH strategy.

    Not saying the BBM isn't going to be key for the company or Chen going forward.... just not willing to give him credit where it isn't due yet.
    JeepBB likes this.
    12-02-13 10:59 AM
  3. prplhze2000's Avatar
    Execution

    Posted via CB10
    12-02-13 11:39 AM
  4. cbvinh's Avatar
    Although this article was published today, it's a bit outdated given the open letter to enterprise customers from John Chen. The open letter clearly reveals strategy...
    12-02-13 11:47 AM
  5. alternator77's Avatar
    Where did they get the 80 million active users from? Is this an official number from BlackBerry, or just a wild guess based on the BBM download numbers and where the expect BlackBerry hardware active users should be?


    Don't really see a new strategy here... BBMx and BB Channels have been in the works long before Chen showed up - this is just a continuation of TH strategy.

    Not saying the BBM isn't going to be key for the company or Chen going forward.... just not willing to give him credit where it isn't due yet.
    If it was a continuation of the old strategy the cmo and coo would still be employed. I think that the board is slowly starting to wakeup and realize that real change is needed. Could be why z30 marketing has been minimal getting ready for something bigger 5.2" in soze to be exact.

    One can only hope.

    Posted from a phone....
    12-02-13 12:56 PM
  6. FlashFlare11's Avatar
    While the BBM rollout is a continuation of Heins' strategy (really Jim Balsillie's), I can't see it as BlackBerry's "savior". There's no way just BBM can sustain a company as large and as resourceful as BlackBerry. BBM has to be a means to an end.

    This is actually where I see Chen's software expertise coming in. BlackBerry is very Apple-like in that it's a software company first though, unlike Apple, much of BlackBerry's revenue comes from service contracts, BES subscriptions, etc. (with Channels soon to be added to the list, no doubt). I think that even if BlackBerry continued making hardware (which is something I heavily support) the changes have to come at the software level. BlackBerry 10 is great, but we know what QNX is capable of. If BlackBerry can leverage QNX and BlackBerry 10 in a meaningful way, that's what'll really pull BlackBerry back.

    Posted via CB10
    12-02-13 01:18 PM
  7. mrfreeze's Avatar
    Although this article was published today, it's a bit outdated given the open letter to enterprise customers from John Chen. The open letter clearly reveals strategy...
    I agree and clearly this strategy was in progress before Chen took over.

    I just post news when I see it. Doesn't necessarily mean I agree with it.

    Posted via CB10
    12-02-13 02:01 PM
  8. cbvinh's Avatar
    I agree and clearly this strategy was in progress before Chen took over.

    I just post news when I see it. Doesn't necessarily mean I agree with it.
    I appreciate the posting. It's interesting to read how people outside the Crackberry community interpret BlackBerry actions. I'm wondering if the author will follow up this article or will just stick to the premise that BBMx is the "new strategy" of BlackBerry.
    12-02-13 03:56 PM
  9. GTiLeo's Avatar
    I agree and clearly this strategy was in progress before Chen took over.

    I just post news when I see it. Doesn't necessarily mean I agree with it.

    Posted via CB10
    “I will continue to align my senior management team and organizational structure, and refine the Company’s strategy to ensure we deliver the best devices, mobile security and device management through BES 10, provide multi-platform messaging solutions with BBM, and expand adoption of QNX embedded systems.”
    the Letter from Chen says they are commited to enterprise, which this statement says, but this was also a letter to enterprises. just because he said that does not mean that there is no focus on devices or on QNX systems. while BlackBerry can survive just supplying MDM whose to say that they will not still make enterprise centric devices or QNX embeded systems like an indash mobile office for ones car that can bridge to your mobile device so you can do your business while on the go the way many are doign with tablets.

    its really still very early in Chens position to fully have a plan on what they want to do and what their logn term strategy is
    12-02-13 08:31 PM
  10. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    BlackBerry is very Apple-like in that it's a software company first though, unlike Apple, much of BlackBerry's revenue comes from service contracts, BES subscriptions, etc.
    BB has absolutely NOT been a software company first - they were always a HARDWARE company. They only worked on software that directly served the hardware. Proof? Where are all of the native BB apps and cloud services? There aren't any. And that's exactly why, per your quote: "unlike Apple, much of BlackBerry's revenue comes from service contracts, BES subscriptions, etc."

    BB is trying to reinvent itself as a software company. That is clearly why the board brought in John Chen, and why he has stated several times that his focus will be on software and services. That's what this whole "transition" is really all about. If BB was a software company all along, there wouldn't need to be a transition.
    JeepBB likes this.
    12-03-13 09:46 PM
  11. GTiLeo's Avatar
    BB has absolutely NOT been a software company first - they were always a HARDWARE company. They only worked on software that directly served the hardware. Proof? Where are all of the native BB apps and cloud services? There aren't any. And that's exactly why, per your quote: "unlike Apple, much of BlackBerry's revenue comes from service contracts, BES subscriptions, etc."

    BB is trying to reinvent itself as a software company. That is clearly why the board brought in John Chen, and why he has stated several times that his focus will be on software and services. That's what this whole "transition" is really all about. If BB was a software company all along, there wouldn't need to be a transition.
    whose to say thats even what they are planning, i do believe its more the media that is trying to say they are a software company and will sale their QNX based software. bottom line is BlackBerry is a services company that suplies hardware and software for their products. QNX would be the software company.

    as far as their cloud SERVICE they sold off that section last year and built in Box and Dropbox into BB10 as when Heins was in command he said they would outsource all parts that they see they are not strong at. Box and Dropbox are clearly better with cloud services, so the way he thought of it why build our own and waste money when they can do it just the same. the same went with Maps, they bought Tom Tom data and just built a basic app to show you how to get here and there.

    from a man whose chief roll was operations and running things efficiently at a lower cost, it makes sense that he would do this, why focus on these things when their main goal was to establish BB10, do that first which is by far the most difficult and then focus on the development of everything else.

    BlackBerry is a service company
    12-04-13 12:09 AM
  12. southlander's Avatar
    Where did they get the 80 million active users from? Is this an official number from BlackBerry, or just a wild guess based on the BBM download numbers and where the expect BlackBerry hardware active users should be?
    There are estimated to be about 60 million BlackBerry BBM users, active. BlackBerry said they added 20 million cross platform BBM active users, though there were more than 20 downloads.

    Z10STL100-4/10.2.1.1055
    dusdal likes this.
    12-04-13 12:50 AM
  13. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    There are estimated to be about 60 million BlackBerry BBM users, active. BlackBerry said they added 20 million cross platform BBM active users, though there were more than 20 downloads.
    The problem with this is that 60+20 in this case does NOT = 80, because (I believe) the vast majority of those 20M downloads were current BB users. For example, in Malaysia and Indonesia, two huge BB markets, the release of XBBM has caused existing BB users to abandon BB phones in droves in favor of Android phones + BBM. I've seen at least a couple dozen Crackberry users from those countries talk about that, including a couple that worked in cell phone stores.

    In the US and Europe, many BB customers have additional devices (tablets or secondary phones) and have installed XBBM on those devices.

    None of those are net new users. No doubt there are some net new users, mostly prior BB users who switched platforms but still remembered BBM fondly, but if I had to guess, I'd guess that number was 3-5M net new users. Admittedly, I have no official data to back that up, just general observations and common sense.

    Also, with any app, and especially with a communications app, you will always get people who install an app, try it once, and never use it again. Some may uninstall it right away, and others will let it live on their device unused. With a communications app, network effects is what makes it valuable, so if a majority of your contacts aren't using a platform, most people will find little value in the platform regardless of features, UI, or whatever.

    The bottom line: USAGE is what will really matter, and it's simply too early to know what usage is going to look like. Usage will be high on the launch month, because every person who launches the app will "count", but in the following months, usage patterns will tell the story. That's why we won't really know much about XBBM until the next quarter.
    12-04-13 03:56 PM

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