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Former RIM Director Mike Kirkup Laments BES vs BIS BlackBerry Experience


Long time RIM exec Mike Kirkup left RIM recently from his role of Director of Developer Relations after 10 years. He is actually quite positive on RIM’s prospects but Tom pointed out an article Kirkup wrote today about “three reasons I miss my corporate managed BlackBerry.” In the post Kirkup details how different the enterprise BES experience is from the consumer BIS experience. We have been telling RIM this for ages and they seem to finally be getting it with the Gmail integration.

Still its sort of crazy to think that many of RIM’s developers do not fully understand the traditional consumer BlackBerry experience when evaluating the BlackBerry solution and improving it. Mike Kirkup laments the lack of instant email delivery and PIM sync along with global address book lookups. Many developers have tried to step in and fill in the gaps like RIM has with Gmail & Yahoo sync but it looks like RIM may finally get it with the first QNX powered superphones. It looks like RIM will finally introduce a traditional IMAP and ActiveSync client in the devices which should alleviate most of the pains Mike ran into when moving from BES to BIS. Still should RIM be forcing their employees to use BIS so they understand what its strengths and limitations are?

I am really curious to learn what all of you think about Mike’s experience!

9 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. I agree completely w/ this position. It’s always been the biggest issue I had w/ jumping from WM (2003 thru 6.1) over to BlackBerry. Not that it wasn’t light years ahead of those WM platforms (WM7 is a different story), the lack of ability to do true email push + calendar/contact sync was my ONLY beef w/ RIM. I understand the whole security issue and device mgmt, but if you simply gave folks the choice to have this basic functionality it would have gone a long way to keep RIM on the top of the pile. Now they have alot of digging to do, and continuing to stay locked down to BES just adds to their problems (which they need fewer of right now). In the end, looking forward to the options that QNX brings, but IMO, compared to a Droid or iOS, BB OS7 is still the best game in town as a communication device. If you want a multi-media device w/ flatulence apps, then the other 2 are the way to go.

  2. Mike was never an exec at RIM.
    Why don’t you write about the 3 VPs who have left in recent weeks.

  3. Mike is essential to RIM!

  4. I’m on BES so I don’t know anything about BIS. I’ve been wondering what the differences are and whether I might just go to BIS. I’m at a university so although I’m on BES my employer couldn’t care less and I could go to BIS easily. In fact I heard some talk that the uni might shut its BES down 🙁

    • BIS is just a single (BB assigned) email address, if you even choose to use it, that does push for that email address only. You can also setup Hotmail to push over a BIS account and maybe some others, but otherwise on BIS you are required to just do pop or some kind of email forwarding from your other accounts to your BIS address ([email protected] for example). Other than that, nothing else, no contact sync, no calendar sync. It’s just a simple push email account w/ internet access thru RIM servers.

      That being said, MS and RIM have entered a partnership w/ Office 365 that is suppose to give us BIS users nearly full blown BES capability thru our small biz Office 365 accounts. But that’s vaporware at this point, still ‘coming soon’ according to MS and RIM. We shall see. Once I have that capability, and the ability to jump ship to WP7 should RIM go down the turlit, then I’m good to go.

  5. I have both. There are things my BES BlackBerry does that I really miss on my BIS BlackBerry, BUT there are things I do on my BIS BlackBerry that i’d never even TRY on my BES BlackBerry. Just sayin’… 😉

    That said, every BES BlackBerry can do BIS, unless your admin blocks it. Right? I have 5 BIS email accounts on my BES BlackBerry. AND BIS can do IMAP if your email server supports it and you manually setup the email account via logging into BIS from a PC and using advanced settings rather than letting the on device email setup app do it “on the fly”.

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