Research in Motion has been widely known to be struggling to gain an edge over its competitors with its BlackBerry smartphones and tablets. They recently announced Mobile Fusion, which is the company’s security software for the iPhone and Android due out in late March. The company didn’t provide a price for the application but the RIM vice-president for enterprise product management did mention that it will be “competitive” with rival offerings.
The company seeks to “bring together” the BlackBerry Enterprise Server technology for BlackBerry devices with mobile device management (MDM) capabilities for iOS and Android onto a single web-based console. According to Reuters, Mobile Fusion will help “corporate IT staff to set and monitor rules for password apps and software on a range of devices,” which includes Apple’s iPad, iPhone, and devices running Google’s Android mobile OS.
RIM seeks to take “full advantage” of security capabilities on each of the platforms. Furthermore, the software “will manage RIM’s PlayBook independently from” a BlackBerry smartphone, though it will require a PlayBook software update (due out in February). For those of you who didn’t already know, the PlayBook was released this past spring but the tablet failed to gain momentum.
Not all analysts were looking forward to the move to the multi-platform MDM marketplace. According to Phillip Redman "It will help stem the tide of those companies that may have considered eliminating their BES but it won't help sell more phones. That's what they really need to do." Research in Motion made a name for itself by selling its BlackBerry smartphones and accompanying services to businesses and their employees, though this hasn’t been successful as of late. Reports are suggesting that Apple has chipped away at RIM’s core business as enterprise clients have increasingly taken to the iPhone and iPad.
Data from an enterprise security solutions firm named Good Technology (one that RIM’s Mobile Fusion will be competing with) shows that enterprise users have a “clear preference for Apple products,” though the numbers don’t include RIM devices because they use RIM’s BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
The handset maker has been headed in a downward spiral for quite some time and this move seems to be their new hope. RIM previously cut around 2,000 jobs, about 10.5% of its workforce just recently and has been shipping a disappointing 10.6 million smartphones and 200,000 PlayBook tablets last quarter, all while profits slipped a whopping 47%. Furthermore, RIM’s unstable BlackBerry services haven’t helped the company, as users experienced an outage that lasted as long as four days last month with other issues arising shortly after.
Do you think RIM will be able to turn their losses around with the introduction of Mobile Fusion? Share any thoughts below!