Google + RIM: The Perfect Shotgun Wedding
Now that the sleeping giant has awakened and graced the world with Windows Phone 7, many are looking around the room at who the odd man out is. Most people will agree that the incumbent, Apple, is not too concerned about this sudden 4th player coming to the table. I think soon the stats will show that not too many defections occurred with the release of Windows Phone.
However, the ones that seem to be knashing their teeth the most are the Android crowd. In fact, shortly before WP7’s launch, Google was bold enough to come out and say the world doesn’t need another OS….clearly worried about fragmentation.
What then of RIM? The Blackberry is flailing to find a voice in the consumer smartphone fervor. Certainly, it provided a good corporate alternative to Windows Mobile when it came to email. But how many people do you know are saying “hey, I want to go out and buy a Blackberry!”…? The Torch was a miserable failure from a consumer standpoint. No doubt, corporate users will replace dying BBs with Torches, but one has to wonder how many of those users carry an iPhone or Android.
Then we have what is perhaps the most damning announcement, Dell is kicking RIM out of the house. Even in good economic times, CIOs had a hard time stomaching a secondary server that was needed to work with the corporate Exchange infrastructure. Now Dell is boldly announcing what more companies are thinking…why do we need a Blackberry Enterprise Server when now we have a phone that works directly with Exchange and is something people would actually want to carry?
Certainly not the position RIM wants to be in, and with the recent privacy fervor with India, Saudi Arabia, et al…how comfortable do you feel emailing someone with a Blackberry? It could all come together for a perfect storm of bloodletting (or juicing as it were) for the Blackberry.
So who might be the white knight in all of this? Well Google of course. They are dying to get inside enterprises, and their Google Apps suite certainly hasn’t been doing the job. Google and Blackberry hitching up would suddenly get Google’s name on a server in practically every major company in the world. From there they could launch an attack on the enterprise from the inside.
First task would be to separate BES from Exchange and make it a force unto itself with a Google messaging platform. It would essentially be an Exchange and Office Communication Server (now Microsoft Lync) wrapped up into one. Consumers already rave about Google Voice….GV for the Enterprise? Even better.
Then of course Google could put the aging Blackberry OS to rest and migrate everything to Android, while keeping the more coherent app store Blackberry has fostered. No need to stay in the hardware business either. There is something to be said about letting OEMs make the hardware, just go the Microsoft route and establish a chassis standard.
RIM escapes their current debacle altogether and Google removes a player from the market while firmly wedging themselves between Microsoft and Apple….while staying relevant.