“The BlackBerry platform is not too crowded yet & that makes it a great opportunity for mobile app startups.” – Pradeep Rao, Research In Motion (RIM)

It’s easy to trust the “BlackBerry Boys” TV commercial. After all, it does seem to be the device of choice in India these days. What was once a business executive’s lifeline has now become ubiquitous. But that hasn’t taken away BlackBerry’s sheen in the enterprise market.

Other platforms such as Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS might have taken consumer mobile telephony by storm. But enterprise mobility solutions have always been BlackBerry’s forte.

We at YourStory caught up recently with Pradeep Rao from Research In Motion (RIM), the makers of BlackBerry. Pradeep brings to the table over 24 years of professional work experience with responsibilities covering Business Development, Alliances & Partnerships, Consulting and Account Management. He joined RIM UK in February 2009 in Professional Services team as a Business Development Manager and later as a Business Consulting Manager for Enterprise Sales EMEA. He currently leads the Enterprise Solutions initiatives in the Alliances team based in Bangalore, India.

Pradeep is also one of the speakers at the Mobile Apps Conclave (organized by CellStrat) that is due to happen in Bangalore on the 29th of April 2011 (click here to know more and avail a 40% discount on the entry fee, an offer exclusive to YourStory readers).

In this chat with YourStory, Pradeep speaks about the themes that he’d like touch upon at the Mobile Apps Conclave and how mobile app development startups in the enterprise mobility space stand to gain from the BlackBerry platform.

Pradeep, what are the themes that you intend to cover at the Mobile Apps Conclave?

I intend to speak about enterprise mobility trends, both globally and those specific to India. Also, I think that aligning mobility initiatives with enterprise growth strategies is another key topic that needs to be covered. In addition, I’m going to try and touch upon the deciding factors for successful deployment of mobility solutions in the enterprise domain.

What are your views on the enterprise mobility application space in India?

Well, startups and entrepreneurs developing these apps have to understand the needs of the enterprises. And they’re phenomenally different from what you would think of for a consumer app. I say that because for enterprises, the mobile app can’t be a pint-sized version of the desktop-based software. Customer experience has to be enhanced through mobility.

Also, it’s vital that the apps are easy to implement and deploy. Few enterprises are willing to take the risk of completely custom-made applications. They need ready solutions. Ideally, 70-80% of the app must be ready, with the rest being customizable according to specific client needs. And most importantly, you’ve got to show the customer something on the device. You can’t expect to get business without having something to show for. You’ll have to prove your worth before you get on-board.

For instance, you can look at the mobilization of SAP on BlackBerries. The developers need to ensure that the app works seamlessly on the platform and to derive maximum benefit, must try to integrate it with the strengths of the platform as tightly as possible.

According to you, what are the factors that will encourage startups and entrepreneurs to get on the BlackBerry platform in terms of app development?

The enterprise market works very differently. Unlike the consumer market, you don’t upload your app on to a website and wait for it to get downloaded. You’ll have to go out to sell. We understand that not everyone has those capabilities. So, getting on the RIM partner network will help hugely in selling. Our sales teams will do everything to take it forward. Crudely put, it is cooperative selling. And that really helps in taking the app to the next level.

Apart from that, the BlackBerry platform is not inundated with apps. The Apple App Store has about 300,000 apps and its Android counterpart has about 150,000. In contrast, the BlackBerry App World has only 25,000 apps. So, it’s easier for apps to get discovered. Also, monetization of apps is likely to be a lot easier on the BlackBerry platform as the profile of users is distinctly up-market and made up of people who will definitely be willing to pay if they see value in an app.

So, if you're a media/marketing leader, a technology executive, a brand manager, a developer, an evangelist, an innovator or a part of senior management, come be a part of the Mobile Apps Conclave to ride the wave of the mobile app revolution! Click here to know more about CellStrat's Mobile Apps Conclave!

Also, do let us know your thoughts about this story by writing to us at feedback@yourstory.in.

Sriram Mohan | YourStory | 22nd April 2011 | Bangalore


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