RIM Managing Explosive Growth
Research in Motion (RIM) was founded in 1984 by Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO, and Douglas Fergin, Vice President of Operations. RIM has been a leading innovator in North America for the past 28 years, headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. While RIM has advanced as a smart phone company, they have always been a master of wireless products, starting with Mobile x wireless packet-switched data communications networks in 1988. In RIM’s earlier days they also were leaders in the development of wireless point of sale (POS) systems, wireless modems, software, and firmware for radios and computers. RIM was a steadily growing company until 2005, when the company took amazing strides in launching carriers around the globe and creating strategic partnerships with several major companies (BlackBerry, 2006, p. 10). From 2005 to 2008, RIM grew from 1.3 billion in revenues to over 6 billion, and grew from 3 billion to 6 billion in 2007 alone. RIM’s explosive growth was a result of their famous product line BlackBerry. BlackBerry was one of the first corporate phones that integrated a secure process for checking and sending emails. “Document Push is said to be a unique feature not found in any other document management solution on the market” (Document, 2005, p.11). BlackBerry dominated in business and military sales of phones, and then became competitive in 2007 with consumers as well. Summary of Culture
The most essential characteristic of RIM’s culture is their ability to innovate and work in an environment that allows for creativity to cultivate. The location of headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada has been a major focal point of RIM culture since the start of the company. RIM is comprised of a wide arrange of employees by age which allows them to remain cutting edge and knowledgeable of the wireless industry. RIM’s culture can be seen as a direct link to their low employee turnover rates and high employee satisfaction. SWOT Analysis of RIM
RIM has numerous strengths that have helped them to create a competitive advantage. RIM’s main strength is their ability to innovate. RIM has been a leading innovator in wireless products since the late 80’s, and continues to grow R&D alongside sales. RIM has the advantage of being located in Waterloo, Canada where the local talent pool for engineers and computer science graduates is abundant because of the University of Waterloo. Due to innovation, most of their strengths have been derived from a combination of patents, copyrights, and contractual agreements that all surround their cryptographic and software source code. The cryptographic and software source code allowed RIM to obtain a first mover advantage in B2B sales of mobile devices to businesses and military by integrating email into their mobile phones. This also allowed them to obtain significant brand recognition for creating a secure voice and data transmission solution. Once RIM was established in the business and military segments, it began to make head way in consumer markets with their new products, BlackBerry Pearl and BlackBerry Curve. RIM’s copyrights also gave them an advantage of creating strategic alliances and partnerships with major companies such as Sony Ericsson, Nokia, Yahoo, and HTC (BlackBerry, 2006, p.11). Weaknesses
Some of the very strengths of RIM can also be seen as some of their greatest weaknesses. RIM holds an internal pride for locating the heart of its R&D in Waterloo. While this has been a great source of talent and company culture, it has also put a clamp on their opportunity for growth geographically and for expansion into other market segments. RIM’s employees are only so focused on maintaining control of R&D in Waterloo they reject any change in location; therefore stunting their growth overall. RIM’s primary reason behind keeping R&D centered in Waterloo is for the sake of their...
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