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BB10 A Bold New Direction – How do we get there?!

October 28, 2012 2 comments

BB10 A Bold New Direction – How do we get there?!

After all the beauty that is, and the engineering behind BB10, BES10, and the NOC, as far as I can tell nobody has posted about “How Do We Get There?!”

Sure you’ll here the naysayers  pundits, and haters complain saying “Are we there yet?!” and already thinking of something new to hate on RIM for after launch.

Infrastructure:

Let’s look at the existing infrastructure … NOC, provider APN, BES and services.

NOC will remain and perform as it should, yet I’m unsure with RIM running as lean as it is currently are prepared to handle a massive sales spike should the BB10 platform become successful right after launch (I give 1 full quarter after launch to see that success tally in sales numbers and subscriber growth) – #BB10Believe. Will RIM re-hire those esteemed technicians/engineers it previously laid off (will they return on such short notice; incentives incentives). For the most part it should remain highly stable and efficient as ever, yet RIM cannot afford a long outage after BB10 deploys officially.

Mobile Fusion/BES 10 (BES 10 launches officially as a full replacement to both BES 5.04 and Mobile Fusion) … RIM has this covered like BES on a nest! There is nothing to worry from deployment, implementation, documentation, use cases, hosting solutions, nadda! Nothing to worry about all things are considered.

BB10 the platform has 2 real question marks to consider – of which I’m RIM is working on internally. Marketing & Pricing. How will RIM market BB10 as a platform? Globally and per region/country? How will RIM play its strengths, the benefits of BB10, and how will they dispel that “RIM is dead there is nothing to see” myths publicly and openly outside of developer meets?! Most importantly how will the pricing, both the product and services offered by providers in each country, be done? Are we talking Add-On plans, A La Carte, or All-In-One bundles (all you can eat)? Will the pricing also be apart of their marketing strategy against entrenched strongholds by the competition?

We’ll have to wait and see, but I for one am salivating for shipping launch!

I previously mentioned that BB10 has only 2 things to consider … I was partially right if we consider that from RIM’s perspective. What about the end user perspective?

Migration/Transition:

Now lets consider the things that will affect migration from previous handheld OS’ (4/5/6/7) & Services for BIS during transitioning.

As and end user you’re already familiar with RIM’s current BB OS has stood the test of time with regards to full database backup of your data within the handheld. This includes Emails (all accounts), Call logs, SMS, MMS, Auto-complete entries, word substitution  preferences within applications & the data they hold (sign-on, settings, content from sharing etc), and finally the system settings!

How will RIM deliver a solution for existing BB users to migrate that content in their existing devices to the new platform? Will it be smooth and worry free? Will a new (BBDM) BlackBerry Desktop Manager be created to handle this?

I sincerely hope that if BBDM is used to migration from previous BB OS to BB10 that its lean and not bug riddled, and has options in clear description of what it will and will not transfer up to the end user. I also hope that is NOT coded using IntelliSync; time to stop paying Nokia for that RIM build it from the ground up its a bold new world!

Now there is the other end of the spectrum that will affect end users. If there is a change in the APN used by providers or in how BIS is used … users will have issues.

Ever order a new BB in the USA that was marketed as a Consumer device when you’re on BES only to find out BES Activation & data would not be available?! Arrgh! (AT&T I’m hating on your for this!!) Has anyone enjoyed the annoyance of not getting BIS emails when you switch providers and have to have the previous carrier remove connection to your email address so that the new carrier can now provision connection?!! What about ordering a new BB10 device on the same carrier, and service plan changes while you wait 5-12 days for that product to arrive and go through headaches of no emails/BBM/browsing?!!

Again I’m sure RIM and carriers are WELL aware of these potential issues before they occur … yet its something nobody is talking about.

PS: BBDM is used vs BDM because BlackBerry is two uppercase B’s not one.

FACT: Did you know BB10’s Browser is coded entirely in HTML5?!

Hurricane Sandy

October 27, 2012 7 comments

I think all these press over Hurricane Sandy is a bit too much! Although a hurricane is a serious act of God to deal with and can affect lives directly or via infrastructure destruction … I honestly think that RIM should be at the forefront of displaying advertising of its strengths through concern. 

Let me explain in point form: 

During & After a hurricane, use SMS/MMS networks tend to get congested with voice calls

Carry spare wall & car chargers – a strength of BB/Nokia/android devices vs iOS. 

Battery Life and deep sleep mode for networking!

RIM’s NOC for compression & efficiency of data, not to mention relays that will send when data is available, automatically! Android & iOS does NOT have this in either of their current form for: SMS/MMS, Browser links/pages, or calls (yes BlackBerry’s have a setting to redial when network is available!)

Just a quick random thought on this. I invite you to suggest yours to boost this post.

 

Cheers & be safe citizens

BlackBerry 10 Jam Enterprise Tour – Toronto

October 23, 2012 10 comments

BlackBerry 10 Jam Enterprise Tour – Toronto

Yup I signed up, showed up and was quite impressed at what RIM had to show, share, and also to see that BB10 Developers are enthused at what has to offer. Administrators, or those that are curious can search for and review current BES 5.0.4 documentation here.

BB10Jam Enterprise Billboard

Saying that Developers are enthused is saying a lot considering their quite recluse in their showing of any elation.

The venue was well chosen, not too costly and definitely accomodating with 2 breakfasts’, Lunch, and 2 intermission snacks served at the Chelsea Inn off Gerrard Street in Toronto.

Attendance was well over my expectations, considering this was for a BES Enterprise programmers session, and not just freelance developers (public dev’s I call them).

Let me be up-front … I did NOT receive a DevAlpha B device … I’m no developer, and RIM has done a fantastic job of authenticate developers: posers vs REAL Developers.

RIM Staff on site where using RIM devices … practicing what they preach [9900, PlayBook, and 9790]. Impressive!

RIM is working with corporate vendor partners to ensure the applications that corporate users and enterprises rely on.

SAP, Citrix, Cisco, Box.net, SalesForce.com, Splashtop, Adobe, et cetera.

RIM has a strong vision & road-map going into the future, and their not playing around. RIM is leaner, meaner, and “laser focus” to deliver. Their in this to win their users/business BACK.

Attendees where shown a taste of BB10 DevAlpha and its ability to project device content externally, and also like the PlayBook, to display separate content internally.

BlackBerry Balance

BlackBerry Balance … in a word is THE BEST Security implementation to protect Corporate data, and protecting YOUR personal data from the corporation. Those of you born in generation X did not have paranoia of “big brother” and in many ways understand that RIM’s BES imbodies “Big Brother” via its IT Policy’s. After all that is the GOAL of IT Policy’s … for us as worker bees to adhere to and not leave potential security leaks to the error of human nature (we want to share). However, RIM is THEY ONLY company that a) offers such a breadth of IT Policy’s b) security (both hardware encryption/end to end data transmission), while c) offering complete peace of mind that your personal data will remain intact in the event of an IT Policy security wipe … without changing the end user experience that you’re used to with the device out of the box.

The following has separate instances of Personal/Work data:
Pictures
Browser
Email
Notification Alerts
PIM: Calendar, Tasks, Notes, Alerms/Alerts
File Browser (yes even the file system can be locked down and protected).
Applications: Enterprise Deployed or not can also be secured separately.

NOTE: Should you have BB10 device deployed on BES10, and your personal document is edited, that too is now corporate data – yet the original remains yours. Original I griped at this philosophy  yet quickly thought it is the best solution as the competition, users circumvent corporate data security implementations by doing this or similar tasks. I’m sure RIM will adjust this based on the source of the document/file, and in which instance it was opened up into.

BlackBerry Push

BB10 Enterprise Push

BB10 Enterprise Push – Whats New

Developers can create and deploy BB10 Applications completely internally, without RIM ever having knowing about that internally created app, nor having a copy. However ALL BB10 applications must be signed before they can be deployed. BES10 has its own AppWorld, controlled in Balance, to deploy in-house applications.

The Core of this event was for the developers. Not just simply talking about the ‘code’ or the tools (which where provided for free to all: PC/Mac and support to work on Linux as well offered).

The key presentation was to show how the upcoming BES10 Enterprise solution … I’ll say it again, the “solution” can deliver FAR more than the competition:

Behind the firewall Access for corporate applications
(ability to access Software, DB’s, VM-enviro’s, file systems on Servers/workstations or services).

BB Balance
(Securing Corporate data without restricting users personal experience = BB Balance). Auto identifies Enterprise data based on its source.

Developers can enforce work apps to connect to BB Device Service (MDS) on BES.

Application availability controlled by BES/AppWorld:
Optional or Required by end user or a group.

Mandatory applications can be Silently pushed to the end user devices … NO MORE REBOOTS are required!! IMPRESSIVE! (rejoice).

BB10 Data Flow

BB10 Data Flow

Developers, press, and those that work in IT and manage BlackBerry devices via BES where ALL presented with a treat of sorts. RIM’s own head of BB10 programming was on hand, not just to present – which was most impressive, but also to take unprepared questions and literally on the fly demonstrated his advice and solution regarding WebWorks/HTML5 coding … showing an application he developed previously demonstrating his experience and advice. WOW! Most Impressive!

(if I can get the video orientated correctly I’ll load it asap)! You should’ve seen the look of awe on all the developers in the room! It was definitely palpable and the aplause was sincere!

RIM did a fantastic job on this event … and I was ONLY able to attend the morning show … the afternoon was dedicated to developers directly with hands on coding debugging, code guidance & help, and solutions to the tough issues programmers face.

Some more media to share – taken first hand.

BB10Jam Enterprise – Invocation FrameWork

BB10Jam Enterprise - Cards BB10 Flow

BB10Jam Enterprise – Cards BB10 Flow

 

BB10Jam Enterprise - AppWorld for Work (Balance)

BB10Jam Enterprise – AppWorld for Work (Balance)

BB10Jam Enterprise - UI Guidelines

BB10Jam Enterprise – UI Guidelines

BB10Jam Enterprise - UI Guidelines Notifications 1

BB10Jam Enterprise – UI Guidelines Notifications 1

BB10Jam Enterprise - UI Guidelines Notifications 2

BB10Jam Enterprise – UI Guidelines Notifications 2

BB10Jam Enterprise - UI Guidelines Notifications 3

BB10Jam Enterprise – UI Guidelines Notifications 3

BB10Jam Enterprise - UI Guidelines Notifications 4

BB10Jam Enterprise – UI Guidelines Notifications 4

 

The Journey to BlackBerry 10 begins now! RIM invites government officials

October 20, 2012 1 comment

RIM invites government officials … 

The Canadian Press has learned that Research In Motion (TSX:RIM) has sent invitations to a list of select politicians for an event in the nation’s capital on Nov. 7. Some of Ottawa’s key government officials will be among the first to get a sneak peek of the new BlackBerry 10 operating system. 

Some of Ottawa’s key government officials will be among the first to get a sneak peek of the new BlackBerry 10 operating system

Up until now RIM has only released 2 versions of their Developer Alpha Devices (A&B), both of which are only Touch-Screen versions of BB10 represented. RIM has already officially announced that a full qwerty device will launch at the same time as the full touch-screen variant of BB10 devices. Yet we’ve YET to see even an alpha device shown off or mentioned. 

I find the fact that NOW developer BB10 device has yet been released for testing, shown to the public, or even to government as of yet shocking! These are the type of customers that MADE RIM what it is in the past and keeping them going today. Sure, RIM can tout 80 million subscribers … and the majority is still consumers … but THOSE consumers are NOT the ones spending tens of thousands of dollars per year for BES/BES-Hosted email servers/services (respectively), or purchasing BlackBerry devices in huge bulk as hardware upgrades or now as replacement devices to those being battered through hell & high water. 

RIM would gain so much knowledge from developers with a full-qwerty alpha/beta unit. Free feedback of how yet again an evolutionary, class leading designed physical keyboard on a smartphone can just be the most efficient way to type on a mobile device with accuracy that only a PC keyboard can rival. Also how battery life would do with full HSPA/LTE/GPS in full swing with an application that is not coded (in its early stages by developers) to see the wurst case scenario of battery drain.

An application targeted for a full screen device surely would be recorded differently from layout to less lines of code to a smaller resolution that is squared. But there is more to it than that. During testing a developer can fully realize that there are other paradigms at play with a target market that prefers full-qwerty and that applications need to be specifically designed to that users use cases of such a device; notifications (LED/Audio/Vibrate/on-screen), GUI layout, data entry, data display, battery life, LTE/WiFi/GPS as potential data drain. 

Tuesday October 23rd BlackBerry Jam for Enterprise is at the Marriott Hotel on Gerrard Street in Toronto, and its hear that I hope we’ll see our first full-qwerty BB10 device.

We’ll see soon enough but it looks like RIM is looking to be their target  

BlackBerry 10 Marketing

October 13, 2012 Comments off

Since the most recent quarterly results from RIM I’ve had some ‘serious’ thoughts about BlackBerry’s future in kind.

We all know how badly the stock has performed & wrongfully downgraded to such a low level over the course of the past two years. Along with that is the BlackBerry brand; its no longer considered a global powerhouse it once was.

Going forward I feel RIM will need to concentrate on the following to substantially place BlackBerry 10 products & services in the spotlight. Remember the “BlackBerry 6 – Many Devices, One System, Great Experiences” ad? How it showed 3 people using BB6 all differently & uniquely to suite their needs? This should be your guide going forward, yet straight to the point, hard hitting, effective marketing advertising strategy.

Enterprise:

RIM needs to emphasize on what BlackBerry 10 offers to the corporate user! This is most effective in TV Commercials & web video posts, however it can be done in print.

Show off BlackBerry Balance as a security & privacy paradigm (will personal calls automatically/manually be rejected with a preset/choice of sms responses or to voicemail. How a corporate executive be on a call walking down the hall to a meeting, access files on a server or their PC & share it via WebEx/Email/Save it for displaying in the board room. Highlight how quickly this user can access information on the fly – maybe showing that executive being interrupted by another just before entering the board room with clients already just being seated before a presentation (editing a slideshow document).
Consumers:

Show how personal, inviting, and social this platform can be! Show off different target markets of users (in various regional locations) can effectively use their device according to their needs: A social butterfly, a sports superstar, a fashion diva, small business owner, a busy single mother juggling young kids & her life (both professional/personal).

The most critical thing in these advertisements & marketing strategy is to show users not only using the core strengths of the BB10 Platform but also 3rd party applications and how they integrate with the platform! API’s, Code efficiency’s is all greate to the developer – but the end user, it must seem like … magic/sleight of hand.
I’d personally love to see the end products using high-quality materials: Metal or pieces of carbon-fibre. RIM must have recognized just how many more units of the Bold 9900 sold vs the 9810/9790 (the latter of which recently discontinued). Almost one year after its release, the 9900 still feels like a quality product! I want this for the BB10 devices going forward.

Categories: Uncategorized

BB10 … Some thoughts

October 8, 2012 10 comments

BB10 Flow.

  1. Inbound Calls – is Picture ID for my contacts now full screen? (I don’t mind if the picture is cascaded behind on-screen information related to the phone app).
  2. IS the Hub still accessible while on a Call? 
  3. Can I jump to the Hub while on a conference call and jot down notes? (jump to speakerphone/BT headset for the call). 
  4. Can I enter a new appointment/meeting during that call … and most critically if I’m NOT in a data connection (WLAN/3G/LTE) will it automatically Sync when I’m in coverage/connected immediately and seemlessly in the background?

IT Perspective:

How do we troubleshoot Sync’ing issues: One-Way or Bidirectional?

How do I perform a Soft-Reset vs a Hard-Reset?

Is there 2 levels of Hard-Reset; 1 where settings remain, the other where restore to factory remains?

If I perform a Hard Reset will settings for ActiveSync remain, just the data being wiped in order to auto restart sync from scratch?

Are we STILL stuck with full wipe to have IT Policy? Or will the IT Policy refuse the device to be used when wiped with policy on it until local connection to a new DesktopManager with corporate user authentication?
(think of high rate of thefts of a desirable device).

Will RIM directly support SIM unlocking to the end user going forward?

 

The most critical thing that RIM needs to address is BIS! How often do end users, and recently corporations switch providers where a user must delete their personal emails sync’ing to a device and then are required to set up their personal email address again? Most IT departments will not support personal email setup inquiries or problems with personal emails unless it affects corporate email setup/use. In the latter most cases IT will just simply remove the offending personal email (BIS) setup entirely. 

The issue lies in AppWorld and the account used to register with it. My AppWorld download history (for both BB7/BB6/BB5 apps and a few on PlayBook was registered to my previous carrier account email address BBoi@rogers.blackberry.net. Since its been months (12/15?) since I used a BB I’m heavily considering going back to BB, sincerely, yet my email address is no longer valid since I’m now on Telus Mobility. How will I restore my apps, contacts, notes, BBM since their all related to that address?!

Categories: Uncategorized
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