When we mentioned RIM’s new Alliance Program launching Jon let us know that some smaller shops or individual devs are not that happy with the new program. (case 1 | case 2) The problem arises from the fact that there is no level between the free registered and paid associate tiers. You must be an associate if you want access to BIS-B which is the only truly reliable way to communicate to the internet from a BlackBerry app. Some of that is resolved in OS 5.0 but 99% of BlackBerrys are not running OS 5.0 which is not even released (officially).
It used to be that you just paid up the $2,000 entrance fee and you got access to BIS-B and a few other perks. That alone was a huge barrier to entry for many applications especially free ones. Now you also have to complete 45 member points to be eligible. You have a whole year to complete those 45 points but this will definitely discourage many budding independent developers.
I do not intend to rant on RIM but this BIS-B issue needs to be resolved. The fact that you need to pay a $2,000 +45 points ransom to create a solid internet connection for your BlackBerry application is absurd. It will just discourage smaller developers who are driving the growth of RIM’s main competitor. I was hoping for more from the new Alliance program but it seems like more of the same.
I totally respect the effort RIM (especially Mike Kirkup) has put into engaging developers in the community with this new member points system but they are turning a blind eye to these smaller developers. Many of these developers just need a solid network transport layer and none of the extra frills that RIM throws in like named developer support.
I am curious how RIM will respond to this issue… Hopefully they will do the right thing and provide a solution for smaller developers. Until then we can continue having fun setting up APN’s for our smaller developers.
This point system detailed below might be reasonable for medium or even small firms but for a 1 man shop it is absurd to force them through such a system to maintain their associate tier membership and keep BIS-B support. Even the $2,000 entrance fee for BIS-B is asking too much when no other smartphone platform requires such a high participation cost.
|Influenced Revenues||0-10 per quarter|
|Customer References (limit to 2 per year)||5 per submission|
|Valid Case Study (limit to 1 per year per partner, only if approved by RIM)||10|
|Completed Competency (through Certifications, see Certification Requirements)||10|
|Sponsorship of RIM Organized Event (maximum points awarded each year is 10)||10 per sponsorship|
|Company representation at the BlackBerry Developer Conference||5|
|Company representation at WES||5|
|Company representation at Alliance Summit (either North American or European)||5|
|Completion of Alliance Member Survey||3|
|Promoting BlackBerry Alliance Membership on your organization’s website||5|
|Submit quarterly activations or PIN numbers||2 per quarter|
|Up-to-date company profile and contacts||2|
|Up-to-date solution submission for RIM distribution||2|
|Sales tools submitted for RIM distribution||2|