It's Time to License BlackBerry 10 OS

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-01-23 Print this article Print

5. License BlackBerry 10

Heins has already said that he will at least consider licensing the BlackBerry 10 to other hardware makers, but he won't make it a priority in his plans. Why? BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system looks to be an ideal choice for many hardware vendors looking to target enterprise users and it could become a cash cow for RIM. There's nothing wrong with licensing high-quality solutions to other firms-just ask Microsoft.

6. Keep Balsillie and Lazaridis out of the C-suite

Although Balsillie and Lazaridis are no longer calling the shots at RIM, they still have their grips in every facet of the company. Underlings who remain loyal to them might not be so willing to take Heins' direction. One of the first things Heins should do is bar both Balsillie and Lazaridis from the C-suite. The two men nearly brought RIM to ruin by their failure to change course sooner and they should not play any role in its decision-making going forward.

7. Sell off the hardware business

For months now, investors have been calling on RIM to sell off its hardware business and instead focus on software, services and patents. It's not such a bad idea. The chances of RIM becoming a top hardware vendor in the smartphone business again are slim even with Heins at the helm. Plus, there are several companies looking to consolidate their business and acquire hardware vendors right now. RIM should take advantage of that.

8. Remove all the top executives

Although Balsillie and Lazaridis were the two people who were most often in the crosshairs of critics, it should be pointed out that the rest of RIM's top executives have done little to help the company as well. So, perhaps Heins should get off to a whole new start and remove all of RIM's top executives. Not only would the move bring in fresh ideas, but it could deliver a jumpstart to RIM's shares.

9. Redefine the U.S. brand

When one examines RIM's performance in 2011, they'll find that the company did quite well overseas, but struggled in the United States. Realizing that, Heins should try to redefine the U.S. brand and make it one that consumers and enterprise users will trust again. Outages, poor hardware and outdated software have caused many U.S.-based customers to turn their backs on RIM. Heins must address that as soon as possible.

10. Get employees excited again

Last year, an unidentified RIM employee wrote in an open letter to his company that morale was low and his colleagues and he weren't necessarily heartened by what they were seeing at the company. It was a telling letter and it illustrated something that Heins should try to change. Happy employees are productive employees. And productive employees make for profitable companies. Heins must do everything in his power to improve employee morale this year.

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Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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