RIM's free apps, tech support get measure of support
Companies less interested in compensation than making sure RIM keeps the network up and running
Computerworld - Reaction was somewhat positive to Research in Motion's compensation offer to its customers after last week's global BlackBerry outage that lasted as long three days for some users.
RIM said it would offer free apps valued at more than $100 to its 70 million customers "as an expression of appreciation for their patience during the recent service disruptions."
RIM also said enterprise customers would be offered a month of free technical support. Current customers will get a one-month extension of their technical support contracts, while those without a contract will get one month of enhanced tech support free of charge.
"I think that's a good response" to the outages, said Ken Dulaney, an analyst at Gartner. "They can't break the company. Users should want RIM to remain viable."
Several business customers said they would evaluate the compensation offers before offering a comment.
Separately, many consumers tweeted reactions from "Really?" to wanting to see a full list of the free apps. "Where do we get our free stuff then?" tweeted LukeMarsden.
Several tweeted that one of the free apps, Texas Hold'em Poker 2 by Gameloft, is a gambling app and was an ironic choice given RIM's current circumstances. RIM listed the others as SIMS 3, Bejeweled, NOVA, Bubble Bash 2, Photo Editor Ultimate, DriveSafe.lyPro, iSpeech Translator Pro, Drive Safe.ly Enterprise, Nobex Radio Premium, Shazam Encore and Vlingo Plus: Virtual Assistant.
The complete selection of apps will become available over four weeks, starting Wednesday, and will be available until Dec. 31.
Despite the compensation, some users said they will move off the BlackBerry platform as soon as their carrier contracts run out or a suitable replacement technology becomes available.
"The outage mattered to us, but there wasn't much we could do about it," said Paul Rowton, vice president of Edward Food Giant in Marianna, Ark., in a telephone interview. Several executives still use a BlackBerry, he added.
"We'll probably switch when the iPhone gets 4G capability." That could come in the next version, but not for a year, industry insiders have said.
Rowton said he couldn't assess the value of a free month of tech support or the free apps without more consideration. The most important thing is to have reliable service, he argued. "The outage was frustrating. I tried to get closer to a laptop."
Melvin Goodyear, an infrastructure analyst at Newfoundland Power, a division of Canada-based Fortis, said the outage created big headaches for him on a trip to New York last week. Compensation from RIM is less important than making a thorough evaluation of continued usage of BlackBerry devices, he said.
During the outage, Goodyear had to resort to texting or voice calls with his BlackBerry, which felt like going back to the 1990s, he said. Each text cost him 50 cents, and texting wasn't the best channel for getting tech support updates.
- Silicon Valley's 19 Coolest Places to Work
- Is Windows 8 Development Worth the Trouble?
- 8 Books Every IT Leader Should Read This Year
- 10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Assessing ROI for Mobile Acceleration Clients This EMA® paper examines the business case for deploying mobile WAN optimization client software and builds a ROI model based on the experiences...
- The Apple-ization of the Enterprise: Understanding IT's New World Read this paper for how to tackle Apple-ization (and the related consumerization of IT and Bring Your Own Device/BYOD).
- A Practical Introduction to Enterprise Mobility Management Read the white paper to better understand the basic concepts within mobility management and to learn how you can apply EMM technology to...
- Enterprise Mobility: A Checklist for Secure Containerization The advantages and disadvantages of the multiple approaches to containerization. Learn More>>
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Mobile Security: Containerizing Enterprise Data In this on-demand webinar, Fixmo's Lee Cocking, VP of corporate strategy, explains why Apple-ization trends like mobility and "bring-your-own-device" (BYOD) are driving the... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!