Tuesday, June 26, 2012

RIM split: a question of good strategy or implementation

Research in Motion (RIM), the maker of Blackberry products, has been struggling with success for the past few years.  As a former Blackberry believer, turned Android fan, I have kept a close eye on the news concerning RIM.  There have been times where I have scratched my head, like after hearing the news about a new Blackberry tablet called “PlayBook” which I had a feeling was destined for failure before launch.  And there have been times when I have felt a genuine sadness for the firm, like when I heard news reports that analysts believed RIM would need to eliminate close to 90% of its workforce. 

The latest news circulating about the firm and their supposed plan to split the company into two businesses: a hardware and software business.  The hardware/handset portion which includes all blackberry products would be split from the popular blackberry messaging service.  I thought it was an interesting idea but sounded familiar.  Then I came across the article below.

The article compares the supposed RIM split to two other businesses: Apple and Palm.  Both of these firms at one point tried to split their business in a similar fashion.  Neither attempt was met with success.  However, the author talks about some key missteps in the implementation of this strategy by each company.

RIM is not in the same situation as either of those companies was at the time.  The situation for RIM might be even more grim:  its hardware is no longer popular and its messaging service is quickly becoming forgotten. However, with partners such as Google and Microsoft available to RIM, this strategy might not be such a bad idea.

What do you think?  If this strategy is sound, what must RIM do to ensure its successful implementation?



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