When talking with many of our customers the answer would appear to be a resounding yes. Employees of companies that have adopted Blackberry technology tend to feel trapped, on one hand they hate their Blackberries but on the other feel they can’t live without them.
The big question is why?
I personally see a Blackberry as a more advanced version of a pager. They feel more like a way of the company communicating to/at you rather than a tool to help you do your job better and more efficiently.
We’ve had so many reports of people not even able to get a full nights sleep because an email or a message will come through and they can’t resist reading it and responding to it.
So how do companies make a Blackberry more attractive to its employees? How could it be more of a useful tool?
As an employee how would you feel if instead of a Blackberry you were offered a learning device which would not only send you corporate communications but also offer you a complete multimedia training solution? Maybe a tool that could help you perform research for that important meeting you are on your way to? A tool that is constantly connected to the company and the world at large but also has the ability to disconnect from work out of hours and offer social entertainment?
When the iPhone was first launched in late 2007 it was just a small object of desire, a phone with entertainment and web browsing as standard. The problem was it had limited business use. That has changed with version 2 though and Apple are now tackling Blackberry head-on with full support for Microsoft Exchange and push emails.
Blackberries would appear to be optimised for email first, iPhone for web. In this information hungry world surely a phone that is optimised for the internet has far greater potential as a business tool?
Now that Apple have included 3rd party application support it has opened up a whole new world of possibility for the iPhone and its users. Apps like Salesforce Mobile, a tool for organising and referencing prospect information and data or Lion Clock, an app that lets you keep track of project billing on the go.
As a company you also have the benefit with the iPhone of rolling out training to each and every handset no matter of the end users location. Whether it’s a video message from the CEO or a Flash-based training exercise the iPhone can handle it no problem and report back to base when the results from the training are in.
This morning over on Jay Cross’s Informal Learning blog there is a video he filmed yesterday at the Future of Media Summit ’08 featuring Robert Scoble talking about where he feels learning will be in the immediate future. For me the interesting point he made around his baby boy growing up in the world that is always connected seemed completely logical. The ability to research absolutely anything right now is going to be vital going forwards, not just for businesses but also for individuals and life in general. You can watch the whole video below.
So how would you feel if your company was to give you an iPhone instead of Blackberry? Would it inspire you, motivate you or still weigh you down?