BlackBerry for business blog debuts

New blog targeted at RIM's coveted business base

Research In Motion today launched a blog called Inside BlackBerry for Business, featuring a post from its lead contributor, someone identified as "Roger" who has been a RIM marketing employee since 2001.

The blog will offer a business perspective on BlackBerry-related events, research and product information, Roger said in an introductory post. The blog also includes older posts from RIM's Inside BlackBerry Blog.

One recycled blog entry from March refers to seminars last spring by independent analyst Maribel Lopez. The seminars were designed to help IT managers "embrace the reality" that employees are using their own smartphones for work. Another reused post, which originally appeared in June, is titled "Merging work and play with the BlackBerry Platform."

Roger said there will be other regular blog contributors from RIM's marketing team who will look at the use of BlackBerry devices and systems in specific industries, including health care, professional services, finance and field services.

RIM has long had a prominent role in enterprise IT, especially in North America, where organizations have come to trust BlackBerry devices and the security of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES).

However, since the emergence of the popular Apple iPhone three years ago, RIM has also sought ways to sell devices and services to users outside of the corporate market, including professionals who work in small businesses without access to a BES.

That marketing effort has included the introduction of devices with touchscreens, such as the BlackBerry Torch, which provides a physical keyboard along with a touchscreen. RIM is also reportedly readying a 7-inch tablet for release next week. Expected to be called the BlackPad, the RIM tablet could compete with the Apple iPad.

RIM's expanded marketing effort has included TV commercials featuring U2 and other bands.

The Inside BlackBerry for Business blog could be seen as an attempt by RIM to hold onto to its valued business customers. There are signs that Android and Apple devices are cutting into RIM's established business base.

Market research firm IDC recently projected that the BlackBerry, which currently has an 18% share of the global smartphone market, will decline in popularity while the market share for Android devices will grow from 16% this year to 25% in 2014.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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