Research in Motion (RIM) customers, which include GoDaddy Group Inc. and asset management firm Thames River Capital UK, are preparing for the worst: losing the BlackBerry service their employees depend on for their communication.
RIM’s stock has slumped more than 70 percent in the past year, and tumbled 19 percent on June 29 after the company posted a quarterly loss and delayed the BlackBerry 10 operating system, increasing the pressure on RIM to find a buyer or sell assets. While RIM has built infrastructure to ensure continued service, some customers are devising backup plans as RIM prepares to face shareholders at its annual meeting tomorrow.
“In the past three months there’s been a lot of concern that the BlackBerry platform won’t be around in the future,” said Maribel Lopez, founder of Lopez Research. “It’s not unheard of for a large phone manufacturer to go out of business.”
Millions of employees connect to their offices through mobile email, making companies eager to have a replacement or fallback plan ready.
Bloomberg: “Thames River Capital supplies about 140 of its 170 employees with smartphones, most of them BlackBerrys, said Robert Cockerill, head of infrastructure at the London-based money manager. With the delay of BlackBerry 10 and a service contract with RIM expiring this year, Cockerill said he expects much of his staff to switch to Apple’s iPhone or devices based on Google Inc.’s Android platform”
“There is a risk of RIM getting bought,” Cockerill said in an interview. “But if you have the right support you can be agnostic and it won’t really matter.”
GoDaddy, an Internet domain-name and hosting company based in Scottsdale, Arizona, could switch users to iPhone or Android devices “within hours,” says Auguste Goldman, chief infrastructure officer at the company.
In the event of a “significant outage” for BlackBerry devices, GoDaddy has a plan to migrate users to other platforms.