I read the Globe & Mail report. Heins isn't mentioned all that much. The report does go into some detail into how poorly-managed and directionless the company became around the time the iPhone came out. Heins doesn't come out looking good, but neither do Balsillie or Lazaridis.
In hindsight, Balsillie probably was correct in that BBRY should have pursued the software side to make it cross-platform. It may be too late for BBM given the many alternatives (What's App, etc), but as a private entity it does have a decent chance of becoming a stable and profitable software player with BES10 as long as management undergoes a complete overhaul.
thor finished the job,in reading the aricle its obvious bbry never was able to lwad once the iphone came out.they failed to innovate for the consumer if the consumer was a target.heins was just awful on his rollout
It was a novel plan. If RIM could get BBM onto hundreds of millions of non-BlackBerry phones, and charge fees for it, the company would have an enormous new source of profit, Mr. Balsillie believed. “It was a really big idea,” said an employee who was involved in the project.
But the plan ran into stiff opposition at senior levels. Not long after Mr. Heins took over as RIM’s CEO in January, 2012, he killed it, with Mr. Lazaridis’s support.
That was it for Mr. Balsillie. Weeks later, he resigned from the board and cut his ties to the company.
“My reason for leaving the RIM board in March, 2012, was due to the company’s decision to cancel the BBM cross-platform strategy,” Mr. Balsillie said in a brief statement to The Globe and Mail, his first public comments on his departure. He declined a request for an interview. Mr. Lazaradis resigned from the board this past March after delaying his retirement for a year at the board’s request.
Mr. Balsillie began floating the idea that carriers could instead offer BBM as their own enhanced version of text messaging, generating revenue for carriers while providing a cut for RIM. He called it “SMS 2.0.” (SMS stands for “short message service.”) RIM would agree to reduce the fees it charged for services, in exchange for gaining access to hundreds of millions of non-BlackBerry users.
He and Mr. Brown discussed several options. For example, carriers could offer BBM as part of a standard “talk and text” plan for entry-level smartphone users. Because of its extra functions, BBM would save customers from having to buy a data plan.
Or, carriers could offer an expensive plan that included BBM and other offerings from BlackBerry, including one gigabyte of cloud storage on which they could keep photos or songs. The carriers could then sell extra services such as radio through BBM. It would also make the wireless companies’ customers “stickier” – less likely to defect – since they couldn’t move stored data to rival mobile carriers as easily.
The SMS 2.0 plan was a throwback to RIM’s move a decade earlier to form partnerships with mobile providers and share revenues. It was a chance to make BBM the dominant chat messaging service, and would have created a new story
for the BlackBerry brand.
A few carriers responded positively to Mr. Balsillie’s initial entreaties and by mid-2011, he was calling SMS 2.0 the company’s top strategic priority.
To round out the strategy, and build a suite of cross-platform services, RIM made a few acquisitions, such as instant messaging firm LiveProfile. The service had about 15 million users and worked on Apple and Android devices, giving BBM the entrée it needed to those platforms.
But the plan deeply divided the company. BBM was still an important driver of BlackBerry sales. Making it widely available to competitors represented an added threat to RIM’s faltering handset business, led by Mr. Heins at the time. Many inside the compa