Q&A with RIM Sr. Director Bryan Lee at the 2012 SMB Influencer Awards Gala in New York


We’re delighted to be sponsoring the 2012 SMB Influencer program yet again, and this year’s Awards Gala is in full swing here in New York City. Influencers and members of the SMB community have come from far and wide to honor their peers and take part in the awards ceremony. Research In Motion® (RIM®) is a huge supporter of small and medium-sized businesses around the world, with smartphones and mobile device management solutions that are affordable and scalable. Over the years we’ve heard some amazing success stories of businesses that have used BlackBerry® solutions to help grow, expand, and communicate with customers and stakeholders.

I’ve managed to catch up with RIM Sr. Director for Enterprise Accounts Bryan Lee here at the event to chat about RIM’s commitment to the SMB community, Bryan’s role and impact at RIM, and the SMB Influencer program. Check it out below for the full scoop!

Biz Blog: Hi Bryan – tell me about what you do at RIM

I have the great pleasure of leading our U.S. enterprise sales division, which includes support for both large enterprises and small to medium-sized customers. In addition, I work closely with our VAR community who sell and support the BlackBerry solution.

Biz Blog: How has RIM been involved in SMB communities around the world?

Being connected, keeping your ideas and information secure, and engaging in real-time communication with your customers is crucial for starting and growing a business. These are areas that we focus on and work to constantly improve. Being reliably connected to everyone that you need to be connected with, and having access to all of the information that you need, really enables success. You know, as we’ve designed our business product roadmap and launched business solutions over the past 10 years, we’ve had SMB’s in mind with products like BlackBerry® Enterprise Server Express, BlackBerry Business® Cloud Services, and the upcoming BlackBerry® 10 platform. We love the passion and dedication that this community embodies, and we love to support them.

Biz Blog: We’re all very excited about BlackBerry 10. How will this new platform enable small and medium-sized businesses and business owners?

The flow of BlackBerry 10 will enable new levels of productivity – we’ve had some sneak peeks of this at BlackBerry World™ and the recent BlackBerry® Jam Americas event in San Jose. The platform has been designed for rapid and functional interaction to help you get things done quickly and efficiently, staying on top of the many tasks and communications that you engage in on a daily basis. BlackBerry Hub, for example, lets you access all of the information that you need at a glance, and the people view in the calendar shows you who you’re meeting with and collects all the information you have about that particular person without having to jump between different applications. Integration with services that small businesses use is a major aspect, like Box being built right into the OS along with other cloud storage providers.

Ease of setup and implementation is also an important point for small businesses. ActiveSync® connectivity is available right out of the box, providing a free option for connecting the devices to your work mail server. For more robust device and application management, security, and BlackBerry Balance™, BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 will be available at launch. We’ve even enhanced the process for getting work mail, calendar, and contacts set up from a user experience perspective, which we shared at BlackBerry Jam Americas 2012.

Biz Blog: Why are programs like the 2012 SMB Influencer initiative important?

Providing solutions for small and medium sized businesses is a good thing, but it’s also important to get out there and meet with the members of the community. It’s a real pleasure to do that and get to discuss challenges and solutions that are faced every day. We’re also here to honor the top 100 influencers; it’s fantastic to see the impact that many of these individuals and organizations have had.

Biz Blog: Any final thoughts for the SMB community?

Stay tuned for more details on BlackBerry 10; we’re very excited to share this with you and show you how it can help in your business. There will be more sneak peeks ahead of the launch in Q1 2013, so be sure to visit the Inside BlackBerry for Business Blog. Lastly, a big “congratulations” to each of the top 100 SMB influencer champions!

Biz Blog: Thanks for joining us, Bryan!

Stay tuned for more coverage of the SMB Influencer Awards Gala, and more details about BlackBerry 10. How have BlackBerry solutions or products helped you grow and operate your small or medium-sized business? We love to hear your stories – share in the comments below!

About Luke Reimer

@Luke_Reimer is a Senior Marketing Manager at BlackBerry helping to design, launch, and manage enterprise marketing programs - particularly concerning content across digital mediums. Beyond spreading BlackBerry goodness in enterprise communities, you can find Luke cooking up a storm, out on his motorcycle (when Canadian weather allows), or digging into a good science fiction book.

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