Sunday, October 06, 2013

How to Lose a Market

Someday (perhaps soon) RIM will be a case study in how to lose a market. Everybody knows the story but this is about one company's journey.

It started in the fall of 2000. The CIO of this Fortune 100 company sent this note to his technology manager.

The notes at the bottom are:
I want to try one of these - Can you please arrange. I want to interface with e-mail. Thx.
Signed by the CIO.

Then a yellow sticky from one of the technologists:
Handle this with great care. This is how a mess starts.
You can guess where this went next. Soon BlackBerrys were everywhere. And a significant investment in BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) and the associated licensing.

By 2007 there were approximately 4,000 BlackBerrys deployed. That's over $200,000 per year just for BES licenses.

Then on June 29, 2007 the world changed.

The enterprise guys said the iPhone would never succeed. It was just an iPod with a phone. We all know where that went.

Fast forward to 2013.

Even Gartner is piling on.

The enterprise is facing an expensive upgrade to BlackBerry Enterprise Server 10 in the face of the overwhelming success of not only the iPhone but Android and Windows Phone smartphones.

That was too much. Before the end of 2013 the enterprise will be an iPhone shop.

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