RIM weighs options, maybe you should too

RIM has reportedly hired bankers to explore options for the sinking company. If you depend on BlackBerry, you need to consider your future.

RIM’s ship is sinking. The company announced its second straight losing quarter, and plans to let a significant number of employees go. It has also reportedly enlisted the support of J.P. Morgan Chase and RBS Capital Markets to help it shop for partners or suitors to eke out some value before the whole thing comes crashing down. If your business relies on BlackBerry devices, perhaps its time for you to consider your options as well.

The demise of RIM isn’t really news. I’ve been chronicling the downward spiral of the iconic smartphone platform for some time. I respect the fact that there are actual people who work for RIM, and families that will be impacted by the fallout should RIM fade into oblivion, but the reality is what it is.

Don’t throw dirt on the coffin just yet, though. There are still options for RIM that could keep it afloat, or at least give the BlackBerry platform a new lease on life--perhaps under the stewardship of new owners. Who knows? I’m not suggesting everyone abandon ship today, but you should at least scope out where the life boats are situated and have a plan in place to transition off of BlackBerry if the need arises.

It seems to me that the most likely outcome for RIM will be to sell off much of its patent portfolio. Other mobile platforms and device makers could benefit from having RIM’s patents in their arsenal for the ongoing legal battles that have become standard operating procedure for the tech industry.

If RIM does sell the lion’s share of its patents, though, it doesn’t mean the company will disappear entirely. RIM has already put pieces in place that could hint at what the future holds for the company--BlackBerry Mobile Fusion. BlackBerry Mobile Fusion extends the capabilities of BlackBerry Enterprise Server to enable customers to manage iOS and Android devices in addition to BlackBerry.

The up side for BlackBerry customers is that Mobile Fusion also provides a path to transition to other mobile platforms, and continue to squeeze value from the existing investment in a BlackBerry infrastructure.

RIM essentially pioneered the concept of MDM (mobile device management), and it can leverage its current customer base to embrace that role and transition its business model to become a leader in MDM. It can take the cash from a patent portfolio sale, and dump it into innovating and refining its MDM platform.

For businesses that have invested in a BlackBerry infrastructure and rely on BlackBerry devices for mobile communications, BlackBerry Mobile Fusion is a perfect solution. Customers can continue to use the BlackBerry management tools they’re accustomed to, and move to alternate platforms like iOS and Android by attrition.

I offered my two cents a few months ago for how RIM could turn things around. It seems that RIM doesn’t read my posts, but it’s not too late for RIM, or the customers who depend on BlackBerry devices. At this point, the answer is simple for both parties: focus on BlackBerry Mobile Fusion.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tony Bradley

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?