When I first joined Research In Motion® (RIM), I must have done about 50 tradeshows a year. That might be a slight exaggeration, but not by much! I loved travelling around the country and meeting with customers, but more important, this was a key part of RIM’s strategy to learn about various vertical segments and really engaging with the industry.
Through these events, I can’t tell you how many customers told me about how much they loved their BlackBerry smartphone — and they also provided valuable feedback about how organizations were using BlackBerry solutions in real life.
Over the years, RIM has utilized various feedback mechanisms and beta programs, which have changed with our customer base, technology offering, and size & scope of the organization. Regardless of the forum used, RIM’s interest in listening to customers, understanding core needs, and developing meaningful solutions to meet those requirements has remained at the forefront of our endeavors.
In this spirit, I’d like to introduce you to the BlackBerry Beta Zone – the central location where we communicate with and receive feedback from avid BlackBerry users and organizations like yourselves about beta software. So far, we’ve had great feedback from users about it.
With the BlackBerry Beta Zone program, organizations and individuals have the opportunity to test, evaluate, and share feedback on the latest BlackBerry software before it’s released. Whether you’re an end-user, a small business using BlackBerry® Internet Service, or an enterprise with globally architected BlackBerry® Enterprise Server infrastructure, the BlackBerry Beta Zone program is available for you to access.
In addition to the input you can have on future BlackBerry software, beta organizations enjoy access to pre-release software – which means they can test software in a non-production environment before deploying it widely to their organization, thus working out all the kinks in their systems/process. Additionally, having early access to technology allows IT organizations to better prepare staff for future upgrades, leading to smoother deployments and more productive constituents enjoying the latest technology.
Several software beta programs are launching in the near future including:
- BlackBerry Enterprise Server beta releases
- Enterprise instant messaging beta releases
- Enterprise collaboration software
- Chalk™ Pushcast software
Please note: beta programs for most enterprise software require a valid Non-Disclosure Agreement with RIM to participate.
BlackBerry Beta Zone continues to offer programs for consumer apps and past programs have included apps such as BlackBerry Messenger (BBM™), BlackBerry® Traffic, Facebook® for BlackBerry Smartphones and Twitter® for BlackBerry Smartphones. If you’d like more information on these programs, or to nominate your organization, click here for organizations and here for end-users.