BlackBerry vs iPhone in Enterprise: The BlackBerry++ Scenario

20 Comments

blackberry-vs-iphone

I have been speaking with Brian Reed at BoxTone for some time now about iPhone vs BlackBerry and the line I get most often is that it’s a “BlackBerry++” scenario. This denotes that the majority of organizations are using BlackBerry, with a smattering of other devices on the network such as the iPhone and the Pre.

There are a variety of reasons why the BlackBerry has become the business standard. Security and reliability are some of the central reasons, but Brian sums it up as having met three criteria: “Meet the needs of the enterprise IT organization; meet the needs of the enterprise user; be easy to do business with.”

From an IT perspective, BlackBerry provides some essential features that the iPhone currently lacks such as native VPN, native Mobile Device Management (MDM, private on-premise secure OTA app push and a limited number of IT policies. Other features such as a tactile keyboard demanded by speed typers, the all day power, the multi-threaded operating system capable of simultaneous apps, and the reliable service delivery that most mobile business users demand, make the BlackBerry a winner in enterprise for the foreseeable future.

So why is everyone talking about iPhone in enterprise? As mentioned above, the BlackBerry++ scenario is in some ways confusing mainstream media that the iPhone has a significant presence in enterprise. It’s true that these devices exist in enterprise, but these devices are often employee liable versus corporate liable.

A typical case involves a CEO who decides he wants to try out the latest Droid phone and brings it to his IT department and says “get this working for me.” The Android software is new and unpolished, and it may not even support IT policies, but the CEO has to have it nonetheless. Others in the company see the CEO using this device and some want to try it out too. IT admins will either fight against these devices, let employees have them under employee liable conditions, or just give up and let the gadget lovers in the company bring whatever they want on to the network. This is where the iPhone sits in business, as a gadget that a few in the organization want, and IT isn’t elated about. I would be surprised if there is even 1 major organization that has rolled out iPhones across a network in the thousands of devices. BlackBerry has several of these clients.

While I appreciate the Apple design philosophy and the company’s ability to create a revolutionary platform, to date it lacks many of the features required by business. Personally, I would like to see Apple try a slider device, as having a keyboard would go a long way to making the device more functional. But in the end, this may all be a moot discussion. Quarter after quarter, we’re seeing non-enterprise subscriptions go up, and while enterprise subscriptions aren’t necessarily down, they’re being overshadowed by consumer smartphone purchases. Winning the enterprise market may not be enough anymore to be a competitive smartphone manufacturer.

  • Hayweed

    I think the last sentence sums it up. Rimm needs the consumer sales to drive the stock and the consumer sales take resources away from Enterprise sales. Since over 1/2 of their sales are consumer Rimm cannot go back and focus on enterprise.

    Apple is playing consumer only and allowing companies to add it to their devices. Bank of America will allow people to bring their own phones including the iPhone.

    The itab or islate may further pulls enterprise towards Apple. Thinking police, doctors, lawfirm using them as intake form tablets.

    Rimm’s big test will be when Apple finishes their gigantic server farm in North Carolina and opens up mobile me to enterprise. If they offer Rimm like services without the need for a blackberry server, Rimm may lose lots of their smaller enterprise customers to a cheaper alternative.

  • Hayweed

    I think the last sentence sums it up. Rimm needs the consumer sales to drive the stock and the consumer sales take resources away from Enterprise sales. Since over 1/2 of their sales are consumer Rimm cannot go back and focus on enterprise.

    Apple is playing consumer only and allowing companies to add it to their devices. Bank of America will allow people to bring their own phones including the iPhone.

    The itab or islate may further pulls enterprise towards Apple. Thinking police, doctors, lawfirm using them as intake form tablets.

    Rimm’s big test will be when Apple finishes their gigantic server farm in North Carolina and opens up mobile me to enterprise. If they offer Rimm like services without the need for a blackberry server, Rimm may lose lots of their smaller enterprise customers to a cheaper alternative.

  • John Barsodi

    Let me first start by stating, I am pro-AnythingOtherThanIphone and a hardcore BB user for the last 6 years.

    I would challenge a few statements here:”I would be surprised if there is even 1 major organization that has rolled out iPhones across a network in the thousands of devices.”

    Oracle is one, and a number of other Fortune 500 companies as well. They are mainly utilizing tools such as MobileIron, Sybase iAnywhere Mobile Office, GOOD Messaging, etc..

    “This is where the iPhone sits in business, as a gadget that a few in the organization want, and IT isn’t elated about.”

    That is entirely incorrect, most employees have iPhones personally and love them and continually ask when they can connect to their work email. We’ve had a number of BB users give up their BB’s and use OWA with their iPhone because they prefer it to the BB.

    What it boils down to is that the consumer appeal will bleed and cross over into the Enterprise territory. Companies like Sybase and GOOD will allow Enterprises to separate the consumer aspect and the Enterprise data on those devices in a manner that appease Security and Corporate Risk departments.

    3rd Party Vendors are bridging the gap, so it’s up to Businesses if they want to make an investment to support consumer based devices such as the iPhone in their Enterprise environments. I’m going through this right now with my company.

  • John Barsodi

    Let me first start by stating, I am pro-AnythingOtherThanIphone and a hardcore BB user for the last 6 years.

    I would challenge a few statements here:”I would be surprised if there is even 1 major organization that has rolled out iPhones across a network in the thousands of devices.”

    Oracle is one, and a number of other Fortune 500 companies as well. They are mainly utilizing tools such as MobileIron, Sybase iAnywhere Mobile Office, GOOD Messaging, etc..

    “This is where the iPhone sits in business, as a gadget that a few in the organization want, and IT isn’t elated about.”

    That is entirely incorrect, most employees have iPhones personally and love them and continually ask when they can connect to their work email. We’ve had a number of BB users give up their BB’s and use OWA with their iPhone because they prefer it to the BB.

    What it boils down to is that the consumer appeal will bleed and cross over into the Enterprise territory. Companies like Sybase and GOOD will allow Enterprises to separate the consumer aspect and the Enterprise data on those devices in a manner that appease Security and Corporate Risk departments.

    3rd Party Vendors are bridging the gap, so it’s up to Businesses if they want to make an investment to support consumer based devices such as the iPhone in their Enterprise environments. I’m going through this right now with my company.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/ Kyle McInnes

    @John I did not know that about Oracle, but I can’t seem to find out just how big the deployment was. Considering it’s an 80,000+ sized company, they would be a huge client for Apple. While I didn’t say it exactly, I was trying to find an organization that was predominantly iPhone vs BlackBerry. Is Oracle it?

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/ Kyle McInnes

    @John I did not know that about Oracle, but I can’t seem to find out just how big the deployment was. Considering it’s an 80,000+ sized company, they would be a huge client for Apple. While I didn’t say it exactly, I was trying to find an organization that was predominantly iPhone vs BlackBerry. Is Oracle it?

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com Kyle McInnes

    @John I did not know that about Oracle, but I can’t seem to find out just how big the deployment was. Considering it’s an 80,000+ sized company, they would be a huge client for Apple. While I didn’t say it exactly, I was trying to find an organization that was predominantly iPhone vs BlackBerry. Is Oracle it?

  • Juan Miguel

    La verdad es que si se puede tener lo mejor de dos mundos, ¿Por qué no? Yo uso las dos. Soy usuario de MAC y la sincronización de contactos de mi BB con el Mac da muchísimos fallos.

  • Juan Miguel

    La verdad es que si se puede tener lo mejor de dos mundos, ¿Por qué no? Yo uso las dos. Soy usuario de MAC y la sincronización de contactos de mi BB con el Mac da muchísimos fallos.

  • MobileAdmin

    Considering this is my space and I’ve lived and breathed it for 8+ years this article is pretty spot on in companies that have either regulatory obligations or care about the security of their corporate data.

    I have sat through 2 WES sessions on corporate / personal liable and the vast majority of companies want nothing to do with it. It’s a huge risk and you don’t save money if your are managing your carrier expenses. You also have the headache of dealing with all the personal usage users expect that you may have disabled (applications, SMS etc).

    It’s 2010 this is no longer about getting email access. That was 2003, if your still trying to figure out mobile email your so far behind the curve. Good, Mobile Iron and the rush of others are making great progress but are really asset management and mobile email based. Compared to BES they are limited to device security provided by Microsoft ActiveSync (EAS). You have little to no application deployment / management (a huge thing considering the action in this space). Device side encryption is limited and now a requirement due to a number of states that have regulations around consumer data.

    It all comes down to cost. These other solutions are not as cost effective as BES. The cost for us if we did one of the platforms is 3x the current BES CAL cost we have procured. So spend more and get less? Great for the user but not the enterprise, even moreso if these are personal liable. Who covers that CAL cost? Should enterprise cover that? Still cheaper to deploy a Blackberry.

    We took a hard stand last year after waiting for Apple to meet the security needs. They obviously have no desire to do more and we can’t wait for their yearly response on what is new / fixed (as they won’t share any roadmap). Windows mobile is just a mess and Droid doesn’t even support EAS security settings. So it’s Blackberry only. It meets out needs, we can manage as granular as we want and our cost is low. We’ll continue to monitor the other platforms but from an enterprise perspective – their focus is on the consumer.

  • MobileAdmin

    Considering this is my space and I’ve lived and breathed it for 8+ years this article is pretty spot on in companies that have either regulatory obligations or care about the security of their corporate data.

    I have sat through 2 WES sessions on corporate / personal liable and the vast majority of companies want nothing to do with it. It’s a huge risk and you don’t save money if your are managing your carrier expenses. You also have the headache of dealing with all the personal usage users expect that you may have disabled (applications, SMS etc).

    It’s 2010 this is no longer about getting email access. That was 2003, if your still trying to figure out mobile email your so far behind the curve. Good, Mobile Iron and the rush of others are making great progress but are really asset management and mobile email based. Compared to BES they are limited to device security provided by Microsoft ActiveSync (EAS). You have little to no application deployment / management (a huge thing considering the action in this space). Device side encryption is limited and now a requirement due to a number of states that have regulations around consumer data.

    It all comes down to cost. These other solutions are not as cost effective as BES. The cost for us if we did one of the platforms is 3x the current BES CAL cost we have procured. So spend more and get less? Great for the user but not the enterprise, even moreso if these are personal liable. Who covers that CAL cost? Should enterprise cover that? Still cheaper to deploy a Blackberry.

    We took a hard stand last year after waiting for Apple to meet the security needs. They obviously have no desire to do more and we can’t wait for their yearly response on what is new / fixed (as they won’t share any roadmap). Windows mobile is just a mess and Droid doesn’t even support EAS security settings. So it’s Blackberry only. It meets out needs, we can manage as granular as we want and our cost is low. We’ll continue to monitor the other platforms but from an enterprise perspective – their focus is on the consumer.

  • MobileAdmin

    Considering this is my space and I’ve lived and breathed it for 8+ years this article is pretty spot on in companies that have either regulatory obligations or care about the security of their corporate data.

    I have sat through 2 WES sessions on corporate / personal liable and the vast majority of companies want nothing to do with it. It’s a huge risk and you don’t save money if your are managing your carrier expenses. You also have the headache of dealing with all the personal usage users expect that you may have disabled (applications, SMS etc).

    It’s 2010 this is no longer about getting email access. That was 2003, if your still trying to figure out mobile email your so far behind the curve. Good, Mobile Iron and the rush of others are making great progress but are really asset management and mobile email based. Compared to BES they are limited to device security provided by Microsoft ActiveSync (EAS). You have little to no application deployment / management (a huge thing considering the action in this space). Device side encryption is limited and now a requirement due to a number of states that have regulations around consumer data.

    It all comes down to cost. These other solutions are not as cost effective as BES. The cost for us if we did one of the platforms is 3x the current BES CAL cost we have procured. So spend more and get less? Great for the user but not the enterprise, even moreso if these are personal liable. Who covers that CAL cost? Should enterprise cover that? Still cheaper to deploy a Blackberry.

    We took a hard stand last year after waiting for Apple to meet the security needs. They obviously have no desire to do more and we can’t wait for their yearly response on what is new / fixed (as they won’t share any roadmap). Windows mobile is just a mess and Droid doesn’t even support EAS security settings. So it’s Blackberry only. It meets out needs, we can manage as granular as we want and our cost is low. We’ll continue to monitor the other platforms but from an enterprise perspective – their focus is on the consumer.

  • Rodrigo Romero

    I said it before and i’ll say it again…GOOGLE SHOULD BUY RIM. Why? each company has what the other lacks to be the indisputable mobile market leader. And maybe BBCool should open a post long enough showing this. Just to name a few:

    Google Has: docs, maps, mail, calendar, contacts, dbase and app engine, dns, cloud computing, voice/gtalk, Android, chromeOS and Chrome Browser
    Rim Has: surepress, suretype, touchpad, security, encryption, BB messenger, VPN, BES, A Huge market, wireless technologies research.

    Android would end up having, more security and enterprise tools like BES working together with a Google Apps enterprise account and VPN. Consumers (BIS) or Mixed users (BIS/BES) can haver better communication/collaboration tools (talk, bbm, voice in a single app), better PIM management (contacts, calendar, mail), better HTML5 Capable browser, a huge growing App market, an existing Computing Cloud with all apps and data there…lots of data centers (almost zero outages) hence, All OS compliant (using webapps), a lot of user market, marketing extension to mobile world, and more investment for hardware and software innovation.

    This is the best fusion i can see in the near future for 2010…then launching the first phone by the end of 2011.

  • Rodrigo Romero

    I said it before and i’ll say it again…GOOGLE SHOULD BUY RIM. Why? each company has what the other lacks to be the indisputable mobile market leader. And maybe BBCool should open a post long enough showing this. Just to name a few:

    Google Has: docs, maps, mail, calendar, contacts, dbase and app engine, dns, cloud computing, voice/gtalk, Android, chromeOS and Chrome Browser
    Rim Has: surepress, suretype, touchpad, security, encryption, BB messenger, VPN, BES, A Huge market, wireless technologies research.

    Android would end up having, more security and enterprise tools like BES working together with a Google Apps enterprise account and VPN. Consumers (BIS) or Mixed users (BIS/BES) can haver better communication/collaboration tools (talk, bbm, voice in a single app), better PIM management (contacts, calendar, mail), better HTML5 Capable browser, a huge growing App market, an existing Computing Cloud with all apps and data there…lots of data centers (almost zero outages) hence, All OS compliant (using webapps), a lot of user market, marketing extension to mobile world, and more investment for hardware and software innovation.

    This is the best fusion i can see in the near future for 2010…then launching the first phone by the end of 2011.

  • weemdog

    I agree with MobileAdmin. I work in the banking industry and we MUST keep our data secure. The iPhone doesn’t cut it. Plain and simple. Yes, it is a fun cool toy, but it is NOT a business device. Anyone who says it is doesn’t know what real businesses require in the way of security. (Cost is definitely an issue too, but if the data is not secure it doesn’t matter how much the technology costs.)

    Consumer appeal cannot overshadow the real-world security requirements of the enterprise. The end-user employees of a company cannot be the ones to determine what technology is used. Management must make a strategic business decision for an overall network security model and implement it. If that means having no encryption and a wide-open network, then an iPhone will work great. If that mean a highly secure network with encrypted data from end-to-end, then Blackberry is the way to go.

    Just my $.02.

  • weemdog

    I agree with MobileAdmin. I work in the banking industry and we MUST keep our data secure. The iPhone doesn’t cut it. Plain and simple. Yes, it is a fun cool toy, but it is NOT a business device. Anyone who says it is doesn’t know what real businesses require in the way of security. (Cost is definitely an issue too, but if the data is not secure it doesn’t matter how much the technology costs.)

    Consumer appeal cannot overshadow the real-world security requirements of the enterprise. The end-user employees of a company cannot be the ones to determine what technology is used. Management must make a strategic business decision for an overall network security model and implement it. If that means having no encryption and a wide-open network, then an iPhone will work great. If that mean a highly secure network with encrypted data from end-to-end, then Blackberry is the way to go.

    Just my $.02.

  • themikado

    @MobileAdmin- “if your still trying to figure out mobile email your so far behind the curve” Wow. You must be so advanced that spelling and grammar are beneath you.

  • themikado

    @MobileAdmin- “if your still trying to figure out mobile email your so far behind the curve” Wow. You must be so advanced that spelling and grammar are beneath you.

  • Me27513

    What nobody’s mentioned so far is that these devices are also used for phone calls, and the iphone is simply terrible for call quality. After researching both devices, I went with the iphone because the interface was easy and beautiful. However, after several days I have still not had a single call that didn’t drop within 30 seconds. I also cannot hear the caller’s voice, even with the volume turned all the way up. The iphone is a toy. A lovely one, but business users like myself should demand more. My old Blackberry was a workhorse. I should have stuck with it.

  • Jamila34

    wow