BlackBerry: Grow your business with mobile technology

Entrepreneurs are no longer tethered to offices and desktop computers. They are increasingly running their businesses from smartphones and tablet devices on the move. Rory O'Neill, senior director, global enterprise segment marketing, explains how mobile technology can help you to grow your business.

The beauty of intelligent mobile systems is that they help SME staff to work more efficiently, communicate more closely, and react more quickly to business events, and customer requests. Smartphones bring the ability to manage cash flow in real time, as employees carry the mobile web around with them. As a result, the technology can help the company to watch the bottom line and remain solvent.

BlackBerry smartphone users have the ability to work from anywhere, remaining in reliable contact with their customers, suppliers and team members. Being connected and available is absolutely critical when time is of the essence. It can make the difference between the business winning or losing a new client, or fulfilling an order on time.

This is one of the key advantages of small businesses, namely their ability to respond quickly to business events. Having close communication within the team means the business can meet the needs of the customer quickly, respond to an order, answer a query, solve a problem, or ensure the product is delivered on time.

Maximising technology for business growth

BlackBerry applications, such as BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), can help you stay in touch with all the people who matter to your business. This instant messaging app can facilitate staff and customer communication, collaboration and resourcing, in other words, help to ensure the right people are doing the right thing at any point in time.

With BBM you can setup groups of recipients designated based on tasks, projects,  teams to share calendars, to-do-lists and conversations, all in real-time and at no additional cost. You can also share presentations, documents, pictures and other files almost instantly for immediate feedback and discussion.

A business that is able to respond intelligently to a situation will have the upper hand competitively. Mobile computing gives you access to relevant and timely information that will enable you to provide a high quality response. And the company that can move quickly is more likely to secure new business.

Another important strength of enterprise-class mobile technology is that it helps smaller businesses or start-ups to appear larger than they actually are. This empowers them to compete with larger competitors and win new clients by 'punching above their weight'.

Save money with mobile

We live in an increasingly online world. Business people are now using networking tools and social media on a daily basis, as a cost effective way to build their company's name and brand quickly, and broaden their market reach.

Using tools like Twitter and LinkedIn on a smartphone enables small businesses to create a buzz at virtually no cost, just the investment of their time. Start-ups that are too small to have a dedicated marketing department can achieve a huge splash in the social networking space just by being able to dip into their social marketing apps throughout the day.

Start-ups and small businesses can harness the BlackBerry platform right now, and benefit from the sort of enterprise features that big businesses are used to, but at a much lower cost. They can sign up to a tariff through their preferred carrier and connect into the BlackBerry network, receiving emails and other data instantly, even if they don't have their own email system.

Hosted or cloud-based solutions are also available, especially for smaller companies, which reduce the upfront technology cost. Productivity and collaboration solutions such as Huddle, Hullo Mail and gwabbit are also available as applications for BlackBerry smartphones, on BlackBerry App World. These apps and many others like them, often available free of charge, can extend the value of the BlackBerry platform.  In fact, the first piece of business they win will have instantly paid for the system.

For businesses with their own onsite email system, our recently launched BlackBerry® Enterprise Server Express software allows them to instantly connect BlackBerry smartphones to the company network at no charge and without compromising security. It uses the same robust security as the market-leading BlackBerry® Enterprise Server, and includes key IT policies and features to allow simple yet effective data protection and device management.

For a relatively small investment, smaller firms can get the benefits that larger businesses enjoy. It's time to grow.

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