How To Build and Sell BlackBerry Enterprise Apps

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We had a chat with Gregg Ostrowski this week about enterprise apps and BlackBerry 10. Gregg is the Senior Director of Enterprise Developer Partnerships and focuses on enterprise developers and “behind the firewall” applications. We were curious about how to sell Enterprise apps and what Gregg could offer developers and sales in terms of tips. Read on for more.

blackberry balance and enterprise

Developers:

1. Build in HTML5/Webworks

According to Ostrowski, enterprise developers have been really positive about HTML5 and BlackBerry Webworks because it allows them to hit the most number of devices. In an organization of 5,000-10,000 employees, you’ll find a range of BlackBerry devices from OS 5 up to BlackBerry 10 and PlayBook. Webworks allows the enterprise to target all of these devices with a single build.

2. Leverage Push

With the ability to push data to the device, those using the enterprise app will have more timely access to information. If there’s an urgent message from corporate or something your field technicians need to be aware of immediately, Push gives the app the ability to send this data at the time of need.

3. Leverage the Inbox

The inbox has always been a core productivity space, especially on BlackBerry. With BlackBerry 10, the inbox becomes even more powerful with the Hub. The Hub is the space on BlackBerry 10 where all messages can reside and the user “Peaks” into the Hub whenever something comes up.

Sales

4. Truly Understand the Business Problem

When selling into enterprise, it’s important to truly understand the needs of business and the problem that you’re trying to solve for them. It’s important to build the solution with the exact problem in mind and not try and jam a previously built solution to fit the enterprise needs. All too often someone tries to simply sell a solution to enterprise because they think it could be another client, but the solution isn’t specifically tailored to that problem or client.

5. Use Public App World to Demo

One promotional method for Enterprise apps that sales can leverage is to put a demo app in the public App World (versus the private Enterprise App World that exists behind the firewall). By putting a demo of the enterprise app you’re trying to sell in App World, potential clients can check out the app and if they like it, make a recommendation to IT to flag it as an enterprise app. RIM could really help this by either creating a “Demo” category in App World or allowing star reviews to be turned off. Too often users outside of enterprise will give a demo app 1 star and say it doesn’t work without really understanding that it was meant to be a demo.

You can follow Gregg Ostrowski on the BlackBerry biz blog at this link.