Are Blackberries Being Dumped By Corporate Customers?

I must admit that I’ve started to see more Android and iPhones pop up in companies. Plus I’ve gotten some work lately to set up MS Exchange servers to support those phones as well. So I’ve wondered if RIM’s dominance in the corporate market was slipping. Then I read this story in the Globe And Mail this week that suggests that my observations were perhaps accurate to a degree:

Bank of America and Citigroup have joined a growing throng of financial institutions eyeing alternatives to the BlackBerry for corporate e-mail.

The banks are testing software designed to make Apple’s iPhone secure enough for company messages, Bloomberg said, citing three people familiar with the plan.

A source at Bank of America confirmed the details of the report. A Citi spokeswoman declined to comment.

Well that has to suck if you’re RIM. But I’m really not surprised. If you’re a company who wants to use Blackberry product and you have an MS Exchange or Lotus Domino e-mail server, you need to get a copy of Blackberry Enterprise Server. Now small business can score a copy for free, but larger companies can spend as much as $100 a device to provide e-mail to workers outside the office. If you want to use a iPhone or an Android phone (or those new Windows Phone 7 devices for that matter) in your company and you have MS Exchange, then you have ActiveSync built in already. So those phones will take very little effort to get access to your e-mail server. Just make sure you have all the latest service packs and roll ups installed. Cost to you: Other the cost of the devices, nothing. Plus I don’t hear about governments wanting to ban those devices. That’s another plus that companies have to take into account. Finally, ActiveSync is very secure as it supports remote wipe as well as SSL encryption. That’s good enough for most companies, but third party products exist for the truly paranoid.

Sorry RIM. It looks like your days might be numbered.

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