BlackBerry 10: Can RIM re-ignite its business love affair?

Can RIM use its new BlackBerry software to convince businesses to fall in love with the platform all over again?

It's hard for a smartphone company to be truly unique, but RIM offers tight control of devices and management including features such as lock wipe. It's these features that have been a long-term strength.

"Achieving FIPS 140-2 certification means that BlackBerry 10 is ready to meet the strict security requirements of government agencies and enterprises at launch," said Michael K. Brown, vice president of security product management and research at RIM.

"What differentiates BlackBerry is that it integrates end-to-end security, and includes certified encryption algorithms for data at rest and data in transit. No other mobile solution has achieved the level of security accreditation that the BlackBerry solution has."

So far, all UK networks have claimed they will be supporting BlackBerry 10 devices, including EE, who will offer the devices on its 4G network. None, as yet, have revealed information about price plans or whether they will be available on business-specific contracts.

The fact that the new BlackBerry models will be available across networks is a help rather than a hindrance, Bamforth says, adding that, to succeed, RIM also needs "strong content security and unified communications integration messages as well as device management and playing well in a mixed environment."

He adds: "It's hard for a smartphone company to be truly unique, but RIM offers tight control of devices and management including features such as lock wipe. It's these features that have been a long-term strength."

For RIM to succeed in this next chapter, Bamforth thinks it could build on strengths businesses started using it for in the first place.

"[RIM needs] a marriage of business mobile device management (MDM) with secure and segregated user bring you own device (BYOD) policies and apps and content for user and IT appeal," he says. "The key is to offer features that allow the device to span both home and office and bridge life and work, not balance life and work."

The end of an era or a new chapter?

The smartphone industry is so fast-paced, moving more slowly than competitors is as good as standing still. Bamforth is not the only one looking at the tweaks RIM needs to make moving forward. Indeed, Jan Dawson, chief telecoms analyst at Ovum, believes BlackBerry 10 will boost the company's brand and reputation but won't necessarily be a panacea.

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