1Ditch the Dual-CEO Structure
RIM has two CEOs—Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie. For years, that arrangement has helped the company as the two men have made smart moves. But as of late, RIM has lost its way, and there’s speculation that the board of directors might want to have a single-CEO structure. It seems like a good idea. Every successful company in the marketplace has just one CEO. It’s time for RIM to follow suit.
2Keep Only One Bold-like Device
For some reason, RIM is unwilling to see the changing landscape in the mobile business. The company’s line of products is rife with small displays and old hat physical keyboards. The time has come for RIM to offer only one such device, perhaps the BlackBerry Bold, and start releasing innovative new designs. By offering only one version of its old-school-looking device, the company can free up cash to do things elsewhere.
3Get Serious About Touch Screens
One of the things RIM should be doing is getting serious about offering far better touch screens. The touch display on the BlackBerry Torch is fine, but it can’t stand up to that in the iPhone 4. RIM should go back to the drawing board and offer up smartphones that come with nice, big displays that offer the same level of quality and functionality as others in the market.
4Stop Expecting the Enterprise to Carry It
For years, RIM has relied upon the corporate world. And for years, the enterprise has kept it going. But the time has come for RIM to stop expecting the enterprise to be central to its business. The fact is, consumer tastes are driving smartphone design even more than corporate buyers. Now more than ever, IT managers are thinking about supporting other smartphone models besides BlackBerrys. RIM must always offer enterprise products, but it can’t expect the corporate world to carry its business forever.
5Discontinue the PlayBook
When RIM offered up the BlackBerry PlayBook, there were some industry observers who said it would likely come in second behind the iPad. But now that it has been on store shelves for quite some time, it’s clear that the tablet won’t do anything of the sort. In fact, it appears they are gathering dust on store shelves. In order for RIM to revitalize its business, it will need to discontinue the PlayBook and go back to the drawing board to develop a new, worthwhile tablet.
6Offer a Real iPad 2 Competitor
After RIM discontinues the BlackBerry PlayBook, the company should get to work on delivering a real tablet that consumers would want. Right now, enterprise users aren’t so keen on tablets, and the consumer space is where the money is. If RIM wants to be successful in the tablet market, it will need to offer a totally revamped device that actually appeals to consumers.
7Double Down on the Services
One of RIM’s advantages right now is its lineup of services. BlackBerry Enterprise Server is perhaps the best mobile application server in the business. BlackBerry Messenger was so good that Apple mimicked it with iMessage. It seems that RIM’s software solutions business is still doing quite well; the company should capitalize on that by delivering even more worthwhile products.
8Start Responding to the Negative Publicity
Everywhere one turns right now, there is something negative being said about RIM by industry pundits, analysts and even shareholders. Yet, RIM has done little to change the dialogue. The company needs to get its marketing and public relations in line and start improving the view of its brand around the globe. If it doesn’t, it will continue to see its perception fade in the minds of both consumers and enterprise users.
Earlier this year, an open letter was written to RIM management by one of the company’s employees. In that letter, the employee said that the company’s workforce did not feel inspired to do great things. That’s a major issue for RIM. For the company to reboot its ailing brand, it needs inspired employees. It simply cannot lose sight of that.
10Always Stays True to the Enterprise
In an earlier slide, RIM was cautioned not to rely so heavily upon the enterprise to carry its business. However, the company must also realize that it has to keep its enterprise customers happy and loyal. Corporate users expect certain things from RIM. And right now, they’re a key component in its operation. If RIM totally turns its back on the enterprise, it will be in even greater trouble. Simply put, while RIM must figure out how to diversify its business to appeal to consumers, it also must ensure that it doesn’t lose sight of the value of the corporate world. It’s a fine balance that it must strike.