If a federal judge orders an injunction that shuts down BlackBerry e-mail service in the United States, business customers have the option to switch to another wireless e-mail platform. But migrating to another platform won’t come cheap, according to two consultancies that have analyzed the costs of such a move. Switching from BlackBerry devices and servers to a competitive platform will cost as much as $844 per client, according to a report to be issued on March 1 by the telecom consulting firm Telwares Communications.
“The number that I came up with was really the baseline of looking at the tactical steps of what it would take to switch over 500 users,” said Michael Voellinger, vice president of wireless services at Telwares in Pleasanton, Calif.
And a Jan. 13 report from J. Gold Associates yielded similar numbers, estimating an almost identical switchover cost of $845 per user. Both reports factored in software license and device costs, as well as the time it would take to deploy the new solution.
“Switching to a new e-mail platform is a nightmare, so I concur with the $845,” said John Halamka, CIO of Harvard Medical School and Caregroup Health Systems, a Boston-area hospital group that supports some 800 BlackBerry devices.