Research in Motion
Research in Motion (RIM), the maker of Blackberry devices, once dominated the corporate smartphone market. They were able to offer convenience to users in the form of a quality, easy to use smartphone that provided for voice, email, texting, etc. At the same time, they offered security to corporations for those same users. Corporations were able to remotely wipe a smartphone if it was lost or stolen, communications were encrypted to and from the smartphone, and compliance to company use policies was ensured through policy enforcement on the smartphones. RIM was able to provide services to corporations that no one else was capable of providing and they were willing to pay for those services.
Move forward a few years and RIM is in serious trouble. RIM is laying off a significant portion of their employee base, leadership is being shaken up, stock price is plummeting. Many question whether RIM can or will survive. The question du jour is whether they will go into bankruptcy or who will buy them.
While the future of RIM is uncertain, understanding of what led to their downfall is evident. RIM failed to adapt to the market and trends. First, RIM did not adapt to the “bring your own device” trend, in which employees user their personal smartphones instead of Blackberry devices. Second, RIM failed to keep their smartphones relevant in the eyes of the consumers. They didn’t keep pace with the technologies being provided by Apple, Google, and Microsoft. The smartphones provided by RIM were no longer “better” than the competition. Finally, RIM no longer stayed relevant in their corporate security offerings. They were not able to differentiate themselves and their capabilities from what was being provided within the messaging suites companies where using.
Research in Motion rested on their laurels instead of advancing their offerings. They relied on their domination of the smartphone market instead of improving. They moved away from the one thing that made them dominate – they stopped innovating.