“I don’t have an alarm clock. If someone needs to wake me up, then I have my BlackBerry next to me.” – Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg no longer carries a BlackBerry. The once iconic, business leaning, mobile device maker has lost 80% of its market value since 2011. It seems the smartphone wars began and BlackBerry took a ‘wait and see’ approach, finally deciding to get involved when it was too late. Companies migrating away from the struggling Canadian manufacturer can do a few things to prepare for the transition to a new platform. Here are some basics.
Pick The Platform: There is a growing trend of companies moving to a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) policy, but most companies using BlackBerry provided the mobile hardware to their staff. If you are leaving BB, now may be a good time to switch to a BYOD policy. If so, what devices will be approved? BlackBerry sees the writing on the wall and they are attempting to transition to a service/software company. The logical first step is porting their BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) infrastructure to other platforms. BlackBerry Mobile Fusion does just this, but only for Android and iOS devices. Windows Phone and RT are not supported (yet).
Pick The Apps: This will be time consuming but the result will be as good or better than the BlackBerry experience. Make a list of all your mission critical apps and check them off as you find replacements. Email, calendars, contacts, spreadsheets and more, are quickly becoming cloud-based applications that require little more than a browser. It is likely you won’t be deploying much software on the phones themselves. These cloud-based apps are available from anywhere, and from any device. They also allow your teams to collaborate in real time, from multiple platforms, from anywhere with the Internet. Android and iOS handle this with aplomb. Microsoft even offers the whole package with Office 365; their own cross-platform, cloud based productivity suite. There will just be some minor transitioning work to do.
Pick a Partner: BlackBerry provided an ecosystem; Android, iOS, and Windows mobile devices are quite capable, but you may need to team up with a partner who can build you your own ecosystem, or migrate your existing enterprise applications to your new platform. Architech is this partner and can develop the cloud apps, web apps, and mobile applications you need to support Android or iOS. Leading companies have chosen us to help them bring great ideas from concept to market, faster; contact us today so we can get started on yours.