BlackBerry’s annual company general meeting was held recently. The high point of the meet had been Thorsten Heins presenting his 3-phase plan, among other things. BlackBerry subscribers have almost lost their patience waiting for one thing or another. The 3-phase plan effectively places the progress of the platform on a timeline with a workable perspective. The plan seeks to put an end to the indefinite waiting for development in devices and software.
The first phase essentially involves a complete refocus of the company. Reduced costs, strong liquidity, enhanced product relevance and improved public sentiment. BlackBerry has taken a number of steps to this effect. The first phase generally involves the hiring of new executives and efficiently cutting out the middle management. Removing the middle management from the picture reduces the complexity and properly optimizes the company’s supply chain. The executive management promotes a very high performance ethic throughout its employees. These cost-cutting measures effectively saved them a billion per year.
Cost-cutting and sharper management will ensure that BlackBerry has a strong foundation for the future. After all, even the best made product could face failure in case of lack of proper funds or counterproductive bureaucracy. The current phase is the second phase that followed the previous one. This phase involves investing and building products. Products such as BBM, BES, BB10 devices and so on are the main focus in this phase. This phase is all about cost efficiency while bringing about innovation. That is achieved by focusing the funds in a planned and limited fashion. BlackBerry has about six devices in the pipeline to be released by the year end at least.
Media reports have speculated that BlackBerry has been uncharacteristically under-spending and over-saving. Thorsten however, has stated that the coming months will see an increased spending budget. We can only assume that this would mean a greater expenditure on development of products and improvement in marketing.
The final phase of the plan is the part where everybody is happy, reaping the rewards. This phase may take some time to materialize, maybe sometime in the next 4 quarters if we are to be optimistic. At this point of time, the only goal of the company would be to bring about new services in newer industries. BlackBerry will now look to achieve leadership levels in the field of mobile computing and bringing the company back to their profitable ways. This does seem like it is still some time along the road. Thorsten Heins didn’t elaborate any further on what direction the company might take when they achieve their target.
All the planning in the world is one thing but the result however, is a whole other thing. Thorsten, in spite of his great optimism, has been quite frank about this particular situation. There can be no guarantees for success ever. The best course of action BlackBerry can take is to stick to their plans and work harder than ever to see the fruit of their collective efforts. The success of Phase 1 will have a great bearing on the success of the following phases. We can only wait with patience for the onset of phase 3 and the resurgence of BlackBerry.