The Smartphone Challenge is bringing a busload full of decked-out BlackBerry to small and medium businesses around Texas. The company in question gets these devices with free airtime, apps, and service for two weeks, after which the Smartphone Challenge tries to take the BlackBerrys back. To date, they haven’t been able to wrestle the handsets from the fevered grasp of these SMBs, but the Smartphone Challenge continues to dare companies to put away a BlackBerry after they’ve spent some quality time with it. The big thing is education – supporting new users and smoothing the learning curve is absolutely essential to increasing adoption.
Here’s everything your company needs to know about the Smartphone Challenge.
We’ve got an FAQ below, but also an interview in MP3 format that covers the broad bases of the Smartphone Challenge, more details on Rackspace’s involvement and the general e-mail setup, as well as a bit of insight on what it takes to seduce employees into using their BlackBerrys and the needs of small and medium businesses.
Do companies usually seek you out, or are you actively targeting companies/sectors in need?
At this point in time, we are currently targeting our customers. We have made a few press releases, have handed out tons of brochures, etc. I will say though, every customer that has gone through the process has at least referred one other business. Some have already contacted several businesses on our behalf.
How do you show these companies why they need smartphones? We heard you have a party – what does that entail?
The first part of this question is rather easy… we simply find something (typically a software program within their vertical market) that they absolutely cannot live without. It might be a CRM, a medical software, Real Estate MLS listing program, etc. and pre-load those on the BB devices prior to the launch. They go nuts!
As for the party, every customer is different! We typically have a cake (with our SPC logo), we have snacks, several different bottles of wine, we’ve even brought beer to a contractor that we knew liked to drink. The learning environment is fun. We found that the more involved that you get the client on the launch, the faster they get hooked.