Luke over at Inside BlackBerry for Business Blog had a chance to sit down with RIM’s CIO Robin Bienfait for a little Q&A. Luke posed some tough and interesting questions from enterprise customers. If you are not sure who or what Robin does at RIM here is a little summary: “Robin oversees the Enterprise Business Unit, BlackBerry Operations, Customer Service, and Corporate IT functions. In short, she plays a major role in leading the vision for BlackBerry enterprise solutions, and the execution of making that vision a reality.”
Here is just a portion of the Q&A I found interesting:
Ok. I’m going to get right into the tough questions that our customers are asking. I know it’s important to you, and to all of RIM’s employees, to make sure that our customers hear information directly from you. – How can enterprises be confident that RIM will be around until the launch of BlackBerry® 10, and beyond, as a stable solution provider?
Our leadership team is very aware that BlackBerry is facing a few challenging quarters as we approach the launch of BlackBerry 10 – and we know there is much work to be done. A few weeks ago in Australia I met with many of our customers from the banking and financial sector; these customers rely on us, and we need to re-confirm their faith in our ability to perform and deliver. And we will work to do just that.
All companies need to go through changes in their evolution and it is our turn right now. Thorsten is making a lot of changes to ensure the company is addressing its challenges to give our customers the comfort that the company is not standing still and will be here to meet their needs. I think it’s important to look closely at the position that our business is in: We have $2.2 billion of cash in the bank, zero debt, are bringing in seasoned industry leaders who understand BlackBerry customers, are reducing costs in non-core areas, and investing in a plan to radically shift the company and the technology. I’m confident that we’re well positioned. What’s important is that we have a clear direction, are pivoting rapidly, and are absolutely committed to achieving these goals.
Our customers see a lot of media activity around RIM and speculation about its future. Will RIM be acquired or bought out, and if so, would this disrupt BlackBerry service for enterprise customers?
RIM is clearly a hot topic right now and many individuals and publications are speculating about our strategic options and future. We are a public company so media and analyst scrutiny is expected during such a major transition. The reality is straightforward: We have over 78 million customers that need our services on a day-to-day basis, and we’re firmly committed to the launch of the BlackBerry 10 platform. Our primary goal is to support our customers and drive value for shareholders and employees by continuing to invest and develop our enterprise initiatives.
You know, strategic partnerships have always been a part of RIM’s business model. We started building partnerships with carriers over a decade ago, and we’ll keep building partnerships to bring the best expertise and technology into the services and products we provide. I acutely understand the strategic importance of RIM’s network to our customers, and we are absolutely committed to upholding our long-standing history of providing this service reliably. The RIM network has supported critical functions for customers for over a decade; our global messaging infrastructure remains a competitive advantage.