At this year’s BlackBerry World™, there are tracks that cater to virtually every interest. We’ve been featuring Q&As with the track leaders, because no one knows the value of their sessions better than the person who curated the session lineup. I recently talked to John M., Enterprise Mobility Architect at Research In Motion® (RIM®) and the track owner of Mobilizing the Enterprise with Custom Applications. John works with some of the largest enterprise customers to help them build and deploy applications for the BlackBerry® platform. He tells me there are several great sessions to look out for this year.
Biz Blog: If your sessions are about apps, are they only for people who know how to write code?
John M.: Actually, we’ve worked very hard to tell the story of applications without necessarily focusing on code samples. I really want the BlackBerry® Enterprise Server administrator, IT decision maker or business analyst to come and listen to these sessions and get inspired about building apps for the BlackBerry platform. For example, we’re going to talk about Near Field Communication (NFC) technology in the session Deploying NFC in the Enterprise, but that doesn’t mean we’re going into all the ways you can invoke an NFC listener and parse the data. Instead we’re going to show all the cool things you can do with NFC and display some practical examples of the technology being used right now in enterprises.
Biz Blog: Are there any sessions that do get more detailed for developers and more technically-focused attendees?
John M.: We have the BlackBerry® 10 Jam that’s focused entirely on the developer community with an emphasis on BlackBerry 10. But I think developers coming to this track looking for more technical insight will enjoy How to Overlay (lots of) Data on a Mobile Map-based Interface. This is a hot topic for people deploying field service apps because it covers how to use mapping like Bing™ maps, Google® maps and BlackBerry® Maps. There’s also Develop Your First (Really Impressive) BlackBerry WebWorks App for anyone starting out with the technology.
Biz Blog: What excites you about developing for BlackBerry right now?
John M .: What’s most exciting about building and deploying apps for BlackBerry is that the platform has been designed with tools and functionality that are baked into the technology. The connection service that BlackBerry offers is that always-on service between the enterprise and the BlackBerry® smartphone or BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet. It creates a highly connected device that allows people to write unique applications. The BlackBerry platform is also a secure platform that has been independently verified by security researchers.
Biz Blog: Are there any sessions that are focused on making apps more profitable?
John M.: I’m always looking for ways to show that enterprise apps can go beyond nice-to-have apps to inject value into the revenue stream. So, you might be using field service apps with maps that make your reps more efficient in moving from point A to B so they can see more customers in a day. Or maybe you’re using NFC technology to take mobile payments or take advantage of point of sale opportunities. You might even be creating forms that can be used to take applications for credit cards or insurance policies. Many of our sessions focus on the opportunities for creating revenue or efficiency.
Biz Blog: What really excites you about BlackBerry World?
John M.: Before I was an employee at RIM, I worked for a large financial company, and I came to BlackBerry World every year simply to see the Solutions Showcase. Getting to see all these vendors and what they bring to the table is amazing, whether it’s peripherals or software to help extend the value of your BlackBerry deployment. I would literally use the Solutions Showcase to set my agenda for the year and determine what vendors I would invest more time with at a later date. So registering for BlackBerry World is a must for me – it’s such a great place to learn about so much.
What is your development challenge and what do you hope to learn at BlackBerry World? Let us know in the comments.