RIM's Business Plan Needs a Quick Fix: 10 Things to Do Without Delay

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-11-28 Print this article Print

5. Consider selling use of the network

Before Jim Balsillie left RIM, he was reportedly working with carriers to offer them access to the company’s network. The idea was to allow carriers to offload some of their traffic, such as data, on the BlackBerry network and pay the company fees to do so. When Heins took over, that idea was quickly shelved. But was shelving the idea such a smart move? Selling use of the BlackBerry network would have delivered a much-needed revenue stream to the company and could have bolstered its otherwise ailing operation. That idea should be brought back to the table.

6. Pay less attention to the U.S.

The U.S. is, at this moment, a lost market for RIM. Therefore, the company should focus more of its efforts on Europe and emerging markets around the world. It wouldn’t be a good idea for RIM to leave the U.S. market entirely, but it should stop focusing the majority of its business there. RIM’s future is international, where customers are far less likely to be wooed by Apple’s iPhone. RIM mustn’t overlook that opportunity.

7. Put an end to litigation

RIM is currently embroiled in a host of patent-infringement suits around the world. Some of those, RIM has brought against other companies. In others, such as the Nokia case, RIM has been hit with a charge. The time has come to end all litigation. By the look of things, mobile patent litigation isn’t going anywhere and it’s only going to prove more costly. RIM needs cash right now. The last thing it should be doing is spending it on lawsuits.

8. Raise cash for acquisitions

Speaking of cash, RIM should consider every last option for enhancing its bankroll. RIM isn’t generating as much revenue as it once was and its expenses aren’t being managed as well as the company’s shareholders might like. So, RIM needs to start raising cash. How? First off, the company should, as noted, license its patents. RIM should also entertain the possibility of selling off plants and other unnecessary assets. It’s time for RIM to implement a slash-and-burn policy and get rid of anything that isn’t absolutely essential to its future success. At this point, it’s about survival.

9. Remember the importance of apps

Amid all of the talk of software and hardware, RIM tends to forget about the growing importance of mobile apps. From its BlackBerry App World to the programs the company develops on its own, RIM needs to ensure there is an ample number available to satisfy customer needs. RIM must also ensure the apps are intuitive and work well on mobile platform. The importance of RIM’s software efforts cannot be underestimated.

10. Get BlackBerry 10 out unexpectedly early

RIM hasn’t delayed its BlackBerry 10 operating system once; it has done so twice. Right now, the company says that BlackBerry 10 will be available in early 2013. Although it might be difficult, RIM should find a way to get BlackBerry 10 out early—before its January 30 launch date—to silence critics and to prove that it will do whatever it takes to appeal to customers. Timing is everything. And RIM of all companies should know it.

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