Does your company use BlackBerry devices for its workforce? If not, then you might be wondering why. Further, you might be looking for ways to convince your boss that going BlackBerry is a good business decision. That’s where we come in.
We’ve heard from a number of workers who think that a BlackBerry could make for better business. The problem is finding a way to show the boss that it would be a quality investment. So we’ve cooked up eight reasons your boss should get your company BlackBerry devices. If you have any more to add, leave a comment.
1. It makes them more productive
You want a productive workforce, right? Sure. We all do. When you get more done, typically that means better performance, which translates into more money. So what would you think if I told you that BlackBerry users can turn an hour of downtime every day into production? That’s the deal, according to one study.
That’s a huge swing. That’s taking an hour a day an employee is wasting, and turning it into an hour where something gets done. Say you work a 9-5, with an hour for lunch, so seven hours a day. And say two of those hours are downtime. With a BlackBerry user, you go from a 5-2 split to a 6-1 split. Any manager should be happy about that.
How do they do it? We’ll get into a lot of that later in the list. Let’s say for now that people who have BlackBerry devices typically like to use them. That means that they’ll be installing applications, like eOffice document creator and editor. Having these applications on a BlackBerry can turn time spent twiddling thumbs into productive hours which benefit the company.
2. They can be in two places at once
Not every hour of work is spent in a cubicle or behind a desk. Sometimes we have to take meetings or go run some business-related errands. Those are hours that we’re away from our computers, and thus can’t access much of the work that makes us productive. It’s no one’s fault — just a facto of business.
Not so with BlackBerry users. Mobile employees can be reached instantly, in case there’s a change of plan. They can also perform many tasks while they’re out on the road. If they’re out driving, they can check their email via a product like iLane. If they’re taking a bus or cab to a meeting, they can check and respond to email right away.
Plus, with the advent of remote desktops like RDM+ and WICKSoft Mobile Documents, employees can access the documents and files they need even when they’re not in the office. In fact, they can even create a BlackBerry virtual workstation. This makes sending them out much easier, since they can essentially be in two places at once.
3. You can make sure they’re where they say they are
Sometimes, what’s advantageous to the company might not be so great for the employee. Yes, the employees might want BlackBerry devices, but do they know all that comes with it? Take, for instance, the GPS issue. Most corporate-owned BlackBerrys run through a BES server, which is run by an IT administrator. Since most new BlackBerry devices contain GPS units, they can take advantage of that and keep tabs on employees.
The IT administrator would just have to install a program like TeleNav Track, and the boss would know where you are while you have the device. What’s that you say? The meeting ran long? Then why are you at Bada Bing? Hey, it’s one of the prices an employee pays for receiving the gift of BlackBerry.
4. You can reach them whether they’re in or out of the office
If you’re a manager, I’m sure this has happened to you. It’s getting close to 5:00, and you get an important message that you need to forward along to an employee. You compose yourself and prepare to ask him or her to stay late, just this one night, because something needs to get done. But by the time you forward the email, they’re gone. Crap. You can call their cell phone, but as someone who once worked for a big corporation, many times the employee will just hit the “ignore” button.
With a BlackBerry, there is no excuse. You have it so you can receive emails at all times. This isn’t to give you carte blanche to keep your employees on a leash. But it’s a good way to get in touch with employees while they might not be in the office. It is, after all, one of the major selling points of corporate BlackBerrys.
5. The cost might be higher to not give them a BlackBerry
Let’s use a business term right here: Return on investment. Clearly, buying BlackBerry devices for your workstaff, and then all the Enterprise software behind them, is going to cost a little bit. However, if viewed as an investment rather than a cost, having a BlackBerry workforce can prove profitable.
A study on BlackBerry ROI was conducted by Ipos-Reid back in 2005. Their findings included:
The average BlackBerry user who dialled into the corporate network prior to using BlackBerry would spend 6.6 hours a month dialled into the corporate network. Since becoming a BlackBerry user the average end user is dialled into the corporate network for 1.9 hours – a drop of 71%.
In light of this, Ipsos calculated that a company could save $276 per year for an average BlackBerry user. The researchers calculated this figure by exploring the total cost of ownership for an average BlackBerry user, with voice activated on their BlackBerry handheld, and where the company has a 100 user setup.
The annual TCO is $1,264 for an average BlackBerry user, which includes the BlackBerry ($183), BlackBerry Software ($56), server hardware ($50), airtime – data and voice, BlackBerry pilot costs, and internal support costs. With similar calculations carried out for RAS hardware solutions, Ipsos found that a company could save $276 per year for an average BlackBerry user.
So you can save money and create a more efficient workforce.
6. You can communicate with them instantly
This is kind of covered up in No. 4, but it certainly deserves a closer look. Sometimes, you just need instantaneous communication. BlackBerry makes that possible. Whether it’s through email, SMS, or BlackBerry messenger, employees can get that message right away and start acting on it if necessary. This all goes along with the increased productivity factor.
You can also take advantage of instant messaging, if that’s what you and your employees prefer. A program like Mundu instant messenger can connect you to the major IMers — Yahoo, ICQ, AIM, MSN, Gtalk, and Jabber. There will be so many ways to stay in touch that it won’t feel like they’re out of the office at all. Sorry, employees. Yet another cost of your company having BlackBerrys.
7. Saving them money makes them happier
I know plenty of corporate BlackBerry users who have completely dumped their personal cell phone. Or, at least, have downgraded to a prepaid phone. This is because many companies allow their employees to use the allotted voice minutes and text messages, so long as they don’t go over. Since out-of-work hours usually means nights and weekends, it won’t cost the company a dime.
It can also help employees save money through applications like Mobile Checkbook for BlackBerry, which can export to QIF, XLS, or HTML files, or trackIT, which can export to Quicken, MS Money, and QuickBooks.
An employee that saves money is a happy employee. Keep this in mind when considering a mobile workforce.
8. Keep them, and you, up on the latest technology
Who knows what lies in the future of gadgetry. By keeping your employees armed with BlackBerry devices, you can turn them into mavens. And then they can report back to you with the latest in BlackBerry Software and hardware. This can help you make future decisions regarding technology use in your company. Who knows. Even if one person catches on, maybe that makes the difference between staying ahead of the curve and falling behind the pack.
All the more reason to get that expense approved to arm your employees with BlackBerry devices.