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Blackberry Network Technology

Is RIM's Centralized Network Model Broken? 104

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the packet-switching-will-never-catch-on dept.
wiredmikey writes "Is RIM's centralized network model broken? Andrew Jaquith thinks so, and provides an interesting analysis on why RIM should move to a decentralized model. After two long outages this month, many believe that the end is drawing near for Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry. But is Research In Motion in trouble? Financially, RIM continues to be a healthy company, throwing off billions in profit each year. But if it doesn't 'think different' about its network strategy, its customers may think different about their choice of handset vendor, Jaquith argues. Jaquith says RIM should dismantle its proprietary centralized delivery network, something that has been a key strength for the company. Data plans that provide TCP/IP over wireless carrier networks are now ubiquitous, nullifying a key RIM advantage. Does BlackBerry need to rethink its network model to effectively compete moving forward?"
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Is RIM's Centralized Network Model Broken?

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  • Arguably... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @06:22AM (#37905356) Journal
    Given the amount of legacy investment(not just on RIM's part; but on the part of some of their bigger corporate customers) in their proprietary stuff, its relatively good uptime history, and the fact that some people still value its particular set of advantages and disadvantages, it seems insane for RIM to scrap it. Consider, which of the following seems easier and less risky:

    1. Scrap proprietary BBM/BIS/etc. and attempt to recreate featureset of the same in midflight with some sort of decentralized setup.

    Or:

    2. Keep all the various RIM-specific tricks around; and take advantage of the fact that flash is cheap by buying or building an IMAP/Activesync mail client that runs on your handsets(and has a bunch of centralized knobs and switces to keep the BES admins of the world happy). If the customer wants a classic blackberry, turn it off. If they want a decentralized offering, turn it on. If they want both, turn both on.
  • Yes and no. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MrCrassic (994046) <deprecated@[ ].il ['ema' in gap]> on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @06:54AM (#37905500) Journal
    The trivial and common response to this (and the original post I was going to write) is that it needs to GO because its competitors don't do this and, thus, don't have to worry about losing internet and email service if one cluster of huge servers somewhere in their country goes dark for a bit. Many consumers might have agreed with this school of thought with their wallet and went elsewhere.

    The thing to keep in mind, however, is that this centralised model was NEVER meant to "serve" regular home consumer usage patterns. Remember their devices from yesteryear? You know, the business-only, no bullshit phones that would be totally useless for Joe Consumer? That, if anything, showed that their target market was for people who needed really good phone and email device with extra high security, if required. Their centralised model (outages aside) ensures the highest quality for both of these requirements with a battery life that is still unmatched by iOS or Android

    The problem is that the market has shown that most people are fine with "good enough," and Blackberry devices are FAR from that. Their Their work phones might still rule with email, but their iPhone or Droid does that and much more satisfactorily enough to meet their needs. It's also cheaper per month and has more "apps." Additionally, they are, slowly but surely, becoming secure enough to be seriously considered for the workplace. Once this happens, Blackberry has no leg to stand on.

    I think RIM needs to worry about moving their phones to the 21st century. Outages happen; bad market strategy shouldn't.
  • by Ubergrendle (531719) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @10:22AM (#37907206) Journal
    Agreed. The computing socialist in me who thinks in terms open systems, free market, open source, wild west internet subconciously resists centralized systems like blackberry.

    That is, until I have enterprise cost, control, security, and efficiency considerations to take into account. Blackberry administration, security (both device and messaging network), and frankly support are still industry best.

    There's no android or iphone device close to the level of security that is offered in a blackberry; if data security (including personal communications) is paramount to your enterprise there's really no other choice. We've tried GOOD and citrix sessions on iphones or tablets, but frankly the performance is crap and the costs prohibitive.

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears

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