RIM’s Mobile Data Service will provide additional corporate data access capabilities. Although the company’s BlackBerry corporate email product has been successful within enterprises, it now faces declining revenues and increasing competition. It will need to continue diversifying its solutions going forward.
RIM will introduce a new Mobile Data Service feature to its BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
Canadian wireless solutions firm Research in Motion has added a new addition, Mobile Data Service, to its BlackBerry Enterprise Server. The Mobile Data Service will support additional wireless corporate data access and interaction capabilities beyond email. Enterprises will be able to deploy new mobile applications on the existing infrastructure.
In the past few years, RIM’s BlackBerry device, which provides ‘always-on’ wireless access to corporate email, has proved highly successful in the US. There are currently 325,000 active BlackBerry users in 14,500 companies. However, RIM’s revenues have been falling recently (down 26% since Q1 last year).
RIM is facing increased competition from other corporate data services providers. The Handspring Treo and the Palm i705, with combined email, Internet access and telephony capabilities, are direct competitors to the BlackBerry devices. It also faces competition from wireless operators: Sprint PCS announced on Monday the introduction of its own wireless email service, Business Connection.
The new enterprise server, introduced to provide more corporate data services, can be seen as a shift in focus for the company. RIM began by focusing on one aspect of mobility: wireless corporate email. However, as competition has increased, it has been forced to extend its capabilities.
The company recently announced the introduction of a new device, the BlackBerry 5810, which has telephony capabilities as well as email access. The new Mobile Data Service feature demonstrates another example of diversification into corporate data services provision.
RIM will continue to diversify its offerings as competition increases from industry players such as Palm, Handspring and Microsoft. Indeed, since mobile enterprise solutions revenues are unlikely to increase significantly in 2002, this is the only real way that the company can survive.
Related research: Datamonitor, 2001: Global Mobile Devices