Feeds

RIM's enterprise dominance comes to an end

Now head-to-head with Microsoft

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
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
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.