Can RIM Get Its Enterprise Groove Back?

10:15 AM -- The evidence has been mounting for a while now that BlackBerry is losing enterprise ground to Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Android devices.

Indeed, a recent survey from iPass Inc. (Nasdaq: IPAS) suggests that the iPhone is already top dog with enterprise users on a 45 percent market share, while BlackBerry has fallen to 32 percent and Android grown to 21 percent share.

This shift towards the iPhone and Android devices is due in part to the growing trend towards "bring your own" (BYO), notes iPass: About 73 percent of IT departments now allow non-managed devices access to business resources.

Now equity research firm MKM Partners has piled into the debate with a note suggesting that even if RIM hasn't lost its top enterprise position yet, it's only a matter of time:

    We question the methodology of the recent iPass Mobile Workforce report which concludes that iPhone is already #1 in the Enterprise with 45 percent market share, but we strongly agree that iPhone and Android are quickly gaining share. According to our research, Blackberry is losing its hold over financial services as IT departments increasingly allow users to bypass the BES [BackBerry server] and access the Exchange server with BYO handsets. According to the information sources we monitor, it appears Blackberry sell-through has also recently slowed due to increasing competition in India, several "core" European countries and Latin America.

So what can BlackBerry do to get its enterprise groove back?

I think that recent moves to open its software to Android apps definitely represent a step in the right direction. The company still has a massive installed base that it can exploit by allowing them access to Android and maybe more.

Is it already too late though? Certainly the recent outage and lackluster response to newer devices has done RIM no favors.

Anyone got any other suggestions on what RIM can do to try and maintain its diminishing position in the enterprise? — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

Vocio 12/5/2012 | 4:48:16 PM
re: Can RIM Get Its Enterprise Groove Back?

Apple was on it's death bed once and clearly they came back, so maybe you look for new CEO's (since RIM has two) with vision and leadership that allows RIM to comeback. Probably hard for the existing management since one may conclude, fairly or unfairly, they're to blame for not adapting to consumerization and BYOD sooner. 

IT managers liked BES, but I don't think they were ever in love with BES, at least not until other more attractive options emerged. That's the great thing about capitalism, innovate and build a better mouse trap, then let the market dictate whether you've suceeded. Seems the market has spoken quite clearly about RIM's success. Maybe they can use their current leadership to acquire smaller competitors with better technology. 

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