What will become of BlackBerry? Are banks going to fund investors to allow for a potential acquisition?  Will BlackBerry be able to support itself and its promise for new innovations now that CEO Heins is out? The big question is how may this impact end users?
Many businesses have been fans and supporters of BlackBerry services and now that things are sketchy, it may be time for a contingency plan. In the world of telecom it is always a good idea to have redundant infrastructure and a failover plan in place. The same goes for wireless services. Employees rely on their devices to conduct business throughout the day and on the road and any interruption to service and support can have a significant impact on day to day activities. BlackBerry is now relying on potential tax refunds to help bring them out of the dark and back into the light hoping to spark a new flame with consumers. They promise a better BlackBerry in terms of devices and the overall experience. However let’s not forget about the millions they lost in marketing new equipment that was not so hot on the market, trying to fix issues with devices and netting out with a slew of inventory they could not sell.
No one knows what the future will bring but it is best to be prepared. I would start thinking about testing out some new devices and looking for more financially sound support. There are so many manufacturers and operating systems available from Microsoft to Apple, iPhones to DROIDs, and most carriers have all types. Your account representatives should be happy to offer you test devices to try out, of course with the hope of selling new equipment or upgrade lines for new terms. If you have BlackBerry servers then most of the other manufacturer devices and OS should be supported but it is always a good idea to test them out.
Make sure to do your research also and not rely only on what account reps tell you. They may not know. For example, check reputable blogs and studies about equipment experiences and don’t buy something brand new that has not been tested on the market. Consider getting references from other businesses with similar profile requirements. Take a look at financials and historical reports for manufacturers to ensure they have the backing to support their brand long into the future. Although, this could change on the fly if poor decisions are made.
When testing out new devices, it might be best to have a power user try it out. This should be someone who is a heavy user and will use multiple applications being offered. This will allow you to ensure the functions and features will meet your business requirements and all users will be happy. You may also want to consider having multiple devices throughout the company based on end user likes and needs.
I am not telling you to make a change now and that BlackBerry will not come back into the spotlight. With all of the internal changes going on they may surprise us and get their feet firmly planted on the ground. However they need to come out with something soon that will inspire businesses to keep the faith!
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Leigh Merz

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