Strategic Management Assignment

Topics: BlackBerry, Smartphone, Personal digital assistant Pages: 14 (4113 words) Published: April 1, 2010



Research in Motion Ltd.

Tutor: Mr. Nguyễn Anh Quân

Students: Phạm Thanh Hằng

Mậu Minh Tuyến

Vũ Ngọc Anh

Class: Tutorial 3

Course: Strategic Management

Date: 16/09/2009

Word count: 3, 261 words


Besides external environment analysis, in order to craft a plausible strategy, the company has to understand itself as well, or in other words, to carefully evaluate its resources and competitive position. In this report, we look into the case of Research in Motion Ltd. (RIM) to illustrate this point. Firstly, we will provide readers with background knowledge of the company, following by assessment of the company’s current strategy. Then, the SWOT analysis is executed, and the weighted competitive strength assessments is considered. Lastly, from the analysis, we provide the list of issues and problems that merit front-burner managerial attention.


1. Company’s background:

RIM was founded in 1984 by Mike Lazardis. Based in Waterloo, Ontario, the company also has offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. RIM provides platforms and solutions for access to time-sensitive information, including email, phone, Instant Messaging (IM), short message service (SMS) messaging, Global Positioning System (GPS), Internet and intranet-based applications. RIM is known primarily as the maker and provider of Blackberry wireless devices and e-mail services. It can provide users with a wireless extension of their work and personal email accounts, including Microsoft Outlook, IBM Lotus Notes, Novell GroupWise and many Internet service provider (ISP) email services.

RIM has recently reached 14 million subscribers worldwide and had just over $6 billion in revenue. In early 2008, RIM was one of Canada’s largest companies with a market capitalization of $69.4 billion. RIM had more than 100,000 enterprise customers and an estimated 42% market share of converged devices.

Revenues were contributed mainly by handheld sales (73%), followed by service (18%), software (6%) and other revenues (3%). In 2007, 57.9% of RIM’s revenues were derived from the US, 7.3% from Canada and the remaining 34.8% from other countries. RIM had over 270 carrier partnerships in more than 110 countries. In terms of product innovation, RIM has a wide range of product design and innovation awards, including recognition from Computerworld as one of the Top 10 Products of the Past 40 Years.

2. Assessment of company’s current strategy

2.1 Company’s strategic approach:

RIM’s strategy focuses mainly on differentiating its products from those of competitors in order to serve a niche market for business class. In terms of differentiation, the BlackBerry wireless platform and line of handhelds include e-mail, phone, IM, SMS, internet, music, camera, video, radio, organizer, GPS and a variety of other applications. BlackBerry’s small size, long battery life, and ease of use, made the product extremely popular with busy executives who valued the safe and secure delivery of corporate mail. In fact, organizations that relied on sensitive information, such as the U.S. government and large financial institutions, were early and loyal adopters of BlackBerry and RIM’s largest customers. RIM’s enterprise e-mail servers, which were attached to the customer’s e-mail and IM servers behind company firewalls, encrypted and redirected e-mail and other data before forwarding the information to end consumers through wireless service providers (see Exhibit 3). RIM had more than 100,000...
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