I have watched the saga of Blackberry pretty closely over the past year. As players like Apple, Google, Amazon and now Microsoft have consolidated their story around provisioning solutions on a vertical stack from the datacenter to the device to provision end to end comprehensive solutions for their customers across the device, operating system, applications, application provisioning, clouds and cloud provisioning to help their customers derive maximum value out of their investment in the respective end to end cloud, players with a limited footprint like Nokia and Samsung have had to play with one of these players in terms of embracing the technology stack and ecosystem to further their destiny.
This has left Blackberry as the odd person out in this emergent thinking as it has a mobile device based ecosystem but the remainder of the pieces extending back to a robust cloud infrastructure and ecosystem to back up the device not exactly kicking into high gear.
So much so that the mindshare in the enterprise space that used to be Blackberry’s for the taking seems to have slipped if the face of the whole notion of bring your own device coming to the fore when it comes to the enterprise domain. You see a sprinkling of devices across the enterprise landscape be it Apple or Google supported devices. The common denominator being that all these devices also allow phone, messaging and surfing capabilities and due to the ubiquity of the ecosystem of developers across these platforms it might be easier for enterprises to float and complete projects on one of these device ecosystems to extend solutions that they need to run their enterprise smoothly as compared to any other device platform. Even a behemoth like Microsoft is facing this headwind as of date when it comes to being able to sell the Surface device and platform into the enterprise, let’s not talk about Windows based phone devices.
It is with this background that I ask whether it will benefit Blackberry to closely align itself with a player like SAP, Oracle or even Microsoft for that matter to help natively extend solutions that help run an enterprise like ERP, SCM and CRM onto its device and platform, maybe even bring back the playbook and articulate it as the enterprise solution tablet and make it part of the mix as well.
Here’s hoping that the Blackberry platform can find a purpose beyond the phone, messaging and surfing paradigm that seems to afflict the rest of the ecosystems and help reinvent the enterprise computing segment for the mobile age by making the mobile platform the centerpiece of articulating how enterprise solutions of the future can make the day in life of an employee, customer and partner better.