I am as platform agnostic as you can find. I acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses of every platform available. I need to be in order

Why Every Small Business Team Should Consider the Blackberry

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I am as platform agnostic as you can find. I acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses of every platform available. I need to be in order to provide the most useful information and recommendations to Mobility Nigeria’s clients.

BlackBerry Bold 9780bOf recent, I have been musing over certain recent turn of events in the Nigerian mobile market. Towards the end of last year, mobile networks began to cut Blackberry Internet Service tariffs, making the service one of the most affordable ways to have access to mobile internet in thee country.

Also, RIM recently opened up the AppWorld to Nigeria. Before then, users could not take full advantage of their BB devices, but now, apps are available to maximise their investments in those devices. Need any functionality not built into your BB? There’s an app in the AppWorld for that.

If you couple these incidents and new realities with some of the unique characteristics of Blackberry devices, it is easy to see why every single small business team should seriously consider equipping their members with a Blackberry device and an active subscription.

Cut Down on Internet Access Costs
With between N2,800 and N3,000 monthly, your team members have fairly robust access to mobile internet around the clock – email, web browsing, instant messaging, social networking – the whole works!

Cut down on Voice Calls and SMS Costs
With every team member running an active BIS subscription, voice calls and SMS can be kept to the absolute minimum. Use BB Messaging instead. Set up a BB Group for your business team and broadcast messages and vital info in realtime to everyone on your team.

Send BB messages (text, images, Office documents, etc) to individual team members in realtime.

Improve Communications
With BB Messenger, you are looking at realtime communications. With RIM having got hardware keyboards almost to a fine art, its pretty easy to get your message out.

Reach Out with Ease
If your small business is not already harnessing the powers of Twitter and Facebook, you need to book an appointment with a professional who can show you what you have been missing out on. Blackberry devices have excellent integration of Twitter and Facebook. As such, you can get word out easilly about your products, services and projects. In realtime.

And social networking is a powerful media to get feedback too, so you get to engage your clients, customers and prospects in realtime.

Be Pragmatic
Blackberry devices have come a long way. If you have an OS 5 device, yes the user interface is not exciting. But it is not always about excitement. As a business person, you are thinking about your bottomline.

Still, if you do want some eye-candy and a sleeker user interface, you can pick up any of the OS 6 devices. They are the best of both worlds.

Do you run a small business team? How have you been able to use mobile to cut running costs, improve productivity and extend your reach?

  1. How small is a small business?Certain small businesses can not afford N10,000 for 4 staff.

  2. I see your point, Yomi.

    I became active on twittr just this year, and now realize how powerful it can be. My main gripe about it is its too instantenous. Unlike facebook that records events for me when i am offline. A blackberry is surely the best way to go.

  3. Blackberry apears to be it o! Apart from the cost to own one. I mean like the BB Torch, it is a compelling pick. On account of the drab UI And browser, I can’t see myself using a Blackberry that isn’t running version 6!

  4. While the increased productivity of empowering your team members with BBs- is not in doubt, there is also a downside.

    It is not for nothing that a lot of organisations forbid their staff from using facebook / twitter during office hours. If not properly managed, it is addictive and a great timewaster.

    You can now imagine a situation where workers are busy social-net’working ‘ when they should be ‘working’!

    I would submit certain categories of business (and staff!) will not benefit from empowering their staff with blackberries.

    For all tools, the key thing is to see if it fits your situation. not just embrace a trend because every TomDick&Harry does it.

    As Pirelli says, ‘Power is nothing without CONTROL’.

    A powerful tool in the hands of the wrong person is dangerous to all.

    Analyse if your business will TRULY benefit from blackberrization, and which category of your staff should be blackberrized!

  5. EyeBeeKay,

    Valid points there. Still, staff can easilly do Facebook and Twitter on any other phone they may be using. There’s no way to guarantee that they won’t.

    The way we run things in the organisations that I head is that so long as an individual gets his or her job done well and on time, he or she can tweet, FB or chat all they want.

    Of course, I won’t hesitate to throw out non-performing staff. So far, it has worked well for us.

  6. Very nice and thought provoking article. I quite agree with Yomi on this article but EyeBeeKay’s point should be taken seriously. Category of staff to be empowered with the device should be carefully considered and your business should be able to make profit and improve with the adoption of BB, otherwise, it will just be an adventure into failure.

  7. Eyebeekay point is noted and valid. Power must inevitably have some degree of control otherwise it will be dangerous.

    Blackberry seem to be an easy platform for anyone to use. Not that Symbian or Android or ios cannot do the same. It is just that the integration in blackberry appears to be seamless wih little configuration.

    However, finance remains an important condideration. And workers who are Tech Savy and opt for Symbian or ios for instance should be given a fair consideration. All those pushing and instateneous reply and twiter/facebook integration can be done with Symbian, Android and ios; especially with the right apps.

    …”so long as an individual
    gets his or her job done well and on time,…” he/she could opt for a desirable similarly priced platform.

  8. I’ve never used a blackberry device yet but the idea of team mates communicating in real time sounds good to me. Recently a friend also showed me the tight integration of the blackberry facebook app with the rest of the platform. It’s quite impressive.

    Apart from that, all the features used as selling points for blackberry can be obtained on other platforms.

    I can get facebook app, twitter app and push e-mail on iOS. Plus I spend an average of N1000 per month for my phone’s data service, much less than the BIS subscription charges.

    But like I said, I’ve never used any blackberry device. So I am not passing any verdict here.

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