Feeds

RIM's enterprise dominance comes to an end

Now head-to-head with Microsoft

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

New hybrid storage solutions

Mobile Workshop After dominating the enterprise mobile email space with the BlackBerry solution for so many years, RIM is no longer the only serious game in town. Despite a number of false starts, arch-rival Microsoft now appears to have closed the gap, at least in terms of forward looking commitment.

In a recent Reg Reader poll, the number of enterprise respondents citing native MS Exchange with ActiveSync as their strategic mobile email platform was almost identical to the number committed to RIM Blackberry.


Click to enlarge

A couple of things are likely to be underpinning this shift. Firstly, the Microsoft solution has grown up somewhat, and with the recent incorporation of push email, historically RIM's big differentiator, the user experience now delivered natively by Exchange is arguably on a par with the BlackBerry.

Secondly, there is the cost factor. As many Reg Readers have pointed out, the MS push email solution is essentially available to Exchange 2003 users for zero charge, whereas the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) needs to be paid for and managed separately – a particularly important consideration as organisations look to scale up their use of mobile email beyond the initial VIP user base.

Countering these arguments, the BlackBerry solution is not dependent on the latest Exchange release, or even Exchange at all for that matter, as the BES will work quite happily in a Lotus Domino environment. And we also have to remember the loyal base of BlackBerry touting senior executives, who are unlikely to give up their latest status symbol without a fight.

Nevertheless, the finding from the poll represents a significant milestone, as single vendor markets are never that healthy. But let's not get too complacent here as the enterprise game has only shifted from a one horse to a two horse race, with relatively little in the way of commitment to platforms other than Microsoft and RIM.

Furthermore, when we look at the mid-market and SMB/SOHO situation, we see a pattern of Microsoft dominance emerging – not anywhere near the level we see with PCs, but clearly heading in that direction.


Click to enlarge

So are the worst fears of those concerned about another Microsoft monopoly coming true? Well, we need to be clear that we are talking about platforms here, rather than devices, and with Exchange being so dominant already as an email server, what we are seeing is a confirmation that mobile email should, in an ideal world, be just an extension of regular email – i.e. there should be no need to mess around with add-ons, relay gateways, and the like.

Where this all leaves RIM is an interesting question. In the same poll, it was clear that enterprises in particular are beginning to look beyond mobile email to mobilising other corporate applications – something that broadens the discussion out beyond email servers. MS clearly has a strong story to tell here, but only if we look across other parts of its portfolio, so the Exchange incumbency influence is weaker in this context, and RIM is positioning hard as a generic mobile application platform.

Meanwhile, there is the whole question of which devices you plug into your chosen platform, which is the topic of another debate that is going on here. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
Shades of Mannesmann: Vodafone should buy T-Mobile US
Biting the bullet would let Blighty-based biz flip the bird at AT&T
Net neutrality fans' joy as '2.3 million email' flood hits US Congress
FCC invites opinions in CSV format, after Slowdown day 'success'
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.