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BlackBerry's BB10 Creates Mobile Adoption Decisions for the Enterprise

As BlackBerry’s BlackBerry 10 (BB10) device becomes available in the U.S. this week, Gartner analysts said enterprises must determine user demand, address bring your own device (BYOD) support, forecast the health of the BlackBerry business and decide whether to upgrade the BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES).

Van Baker, Gartner research vice president, has examined some of the issues BlackBerry will face in the enterprise market in the report, “BlackBerry's BB10 Creates Mobile Adoption Decisions for the Enterprise”. Below is his commentary in today’s analyst blog post:

Although BB10 presents a modernized new platform based on touch technology, market conditions will make it extremely difficult for BlackBerry to rise above iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8 platforms. In fact, Gartner predicts that through 2016, BlackBerry will achieve less than 5 percent worldwide smartphone market share.

Gartner has identified three key impacts and recommendations for organizations to consider:

BlackBerry's BB10 device presents a modernized new platform based on touch technology not only to its dedicated development community but to lure new application developers.

The question is whether the new platform is sufficient to motivate the buyer to choose BlackBerry over the platforms they know. It comes down to how effective BlackBerry's marketing will be, and how much money they can spend to excite the user in favor of a BB10 device. That challenge will be daunting, but at least BlackBerry has made a reasonable attempt with a competitive platform, and it will get its chance to prove to both end users and developers that it has an attractive platform. Gartner recommends that enterprises trial BB10 products and familiarize themselves with the offering whether or not they intend to deploy or support.

Market conditions will make it extremely difficult for BlackBerry to rise above iOS, Android and Windows 8 platforms. Success in the consumer market is necessary to ensure long-term viability in business markets.

BlackBerry's major market is the consumer buyer, so while BlackBerry possesses a strong enterprise brand, a resurgence within that market will not rectify BlackBerry's financial position. Gartner recommends that organizations considering BES10 for a mobile device management (MDM) solution to support multiple devices should wait six months until it is clear that BB10 has proven successful in the consumer market. It is important to wait to make any moves toward full support of BB10 devices until the market makes a clear statement on BB10's success (or lack thereof).

BlackBerry has not opened management API support to popular MDM tools. This will limit the appeal of BB10 devices for those enterprises that manage smartphones through cross-platform MDM tools.

Many enterprises are enhancing their MDM tools as they deepen the applications deployed on mobile devices and want stronger security. When additional policies, containers or enterprise application stores are required, an enterprise must select an MDM tool. Today, the only strong MDM solution for BB10 devices is BES10. While BES10 supports iOS and Android devices, it does so using policy manager features and not the container strategy it offers for BB10 devices, nor does BlackBerry offer the same policies on BB10 devices. We recommend that BlackBerry work to support alternative MDM tools by opening up additional MDM APIs. That would provide both Microsoft's Exchange Active Sync and the MDM camps with an easier path to support BB10 devices even if it is only through a BYOD program.

Additional analysis can be found in the Gartner report “BlackBerry's BB10 Creates Mobile Adoption Decisions for the Enterprise” on Gartner’s website at http://www.gartner.com/resId=2351820.

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