September 11, 2012, 11:53 AM — The main advantage RIM hasand arguably the one thing that has kept it in the game up to nowis the existing BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) infrastructure. But, if the new BlackBerry 10 (BB10) devices dont work with the current BES platform, it could make BB10 dead on arrival.
Galen Gruman explains in detail the chaos that awaits the launch of BlackBerry 10. The current BlackBerry Enterprise ServerBES 5.0.3is done, except for a maintenance update that will take it to BES 5.0.4. The existing BES will not be able to manage BB10, and customers will be forced to migrate completely to BB10 all at onceincluding scrapping the existing BES and replacing itor theyll have to run a BB10 infrastructure in parallel with the current legacy BES system and manage them both simultaneously.
RIM has a lot riding on the success of BB10like possibly the company itself. The platform seems promising. Back in May, I wrote the following after attending RIM CEO Thorsten Heins keynote presentation at BlackBerry World in Orlando: Does BlackBerry 10 look capable and innovative enough to excite users and keep BlackBerry in the game? Yes, I think so.
I stand by that statement. However, what I hadnt anticipated was BB10 being completely incompatible with the existing BES system. On its own, BB10 appears to be a worthy mobile platform. But, if the companies that rely on BlackBerry mobile devices have to scrap their BES infrastructure and start over anyway, theyre likely to consider other options like Android, iOS, or Windows Phone.
There are a lot of companies out there that are heavily invested in the BlackBerry platform. Theyve got BlackBerry smartphones deployed, and the BES infrastructure in place, and theyre really hoping that RIM can turn things around with BlackBerry 10. The fragmentation of BES between the current and next generation BlackBerry platforms is disappointing, and could cause many of those BlackBerry customers to reconsider their mobile strategy.