Thursday, 28 June 2012

RIM posts first loss in 7 years, considers splitting firm

So I have been and continue to be a very avid Blackberry user, and have happily used a BlackBerry for almost 5 years now. So when I saw the latest news that RIM have posted a loss and are on the brink of splitting their company I thought, that is so not the right thing to do. That brings us to this blog post.

OK so RIM  are taking a battering from other handsets, particularly Apple and Android handsets with profits falling to the brink of staff cuts, almost 5000 at the time of writing.

What I find funny and quite annoying is that RIM hired JP Morgan to come up wth strategy to save the company, and what did they come up with, yes you guessed it staff cuts and possbly splitting the firm in two. One for the handsets and one for messaging. This advice is so far from what RIM need to do its laughable.

Remember RIM you need to spend money to make money, making your company smaller is not the way to go to increase profits.

Now here is what is wrong and what should be done, well kinda.
  1. Firstly the problem is that RIM have failed to keep up to date with the continued move into applications, and that has left the Blackberry OS too far behind the competition. So people like myself who use a blackberry are in a position where we can not get the same amount applications for our handsets. Answer open up the development of applications for the Blackberry OS, but dont go too far as to make it opensource. 
  2. On the apps front, dont just port old apps to your new operating sytem, develop new applications to keep up with the times, porting is good but you need new innovations.
  3. Now it appears to me that RIM are totally missing the spot when it comes to keeping up to date with their market, the mobile phone market has changed since they first came around and although messaging has moved on, RIM and the Blackberry handsets have not, and are still targeting older users with enterprise solutions, however alot of handset sold are to young people, and in some cases mid to late teens if not younger. This is the market that RIM is missing out on, although alot of people use BBM their overal handset use is limited to this and this alone, and as this is where the RIM story began they need to focus more on how this can be utilised.
  4. Email, simple really RIM are not fully pushing the fact that their handsets are still the best for Email as they operate true push email, no other handset offer this type of email with the service and experience that RIM does. So as the world is continuing to move towards mobile workers, I dont see how they can be making such huge losses. This market would allow RIM to kinda burn the candle at both ends, by targeting people who want to use mobile email.
Splitting the Company. Dont Do It!!

Ok word of warning to RIM, don't split your company into two, as you cannot have Blackberry Messaging and Email without the handset, so in splitting the company and lets say selling the handset side will only lead to problems, due to the loss of control of the one thing that makes RIM and Blackberry unique the "Blackberry" handset. This will also lead to increased costs in the future as who ever did buy the handset side, will either expect payment for RIM to use Blackberry services on their handset, or and this is more likely they will pay a license fee for the use of Blackberry service, this fee will be less that the current income RIM makes from handset and messagin licensing to service providers.

So in short RIM dont split up your company, as you cannot have Blackberry messaging without the handsets.

In Closing

OK so I have loads of ideas that could save RIM, and before you go saying "what do I know" I have worked with some of the largest companies on the planet, Orange, Microsoft, Google to name but a few and have always been able and continue to spot opportunities and bring saving and improvement to companies, and not by cutting staff.

In a nutshell RIM needs to give up the idea of splitting the company, and look to add a better offering of applications to its arsenal, and finally broaden the target market, push the likes of BBM and its benefits, mainly cost compared to SMS, to the younger generation and push the benefits of a true push email experience to the slightly olders users, also make people aware that in order to use Blackberry email you dont need to have enterprise architecture to support it.

So Thorsten Heins if your reading this and want to save RIM, you know where I am and only have to ask. I dont even charge anywhere near as much as JP Morgan, but always get results.

Sean J Connolly

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