After attending RIM’s BlackBerry Enterprise Forum yesterday in Ottawa, two major things stuck out: the event was twice as big and the crowd seemed 10x as engaged as the last BlackBerry Enterprise Forum event in Ottawa.
While 89Apps does not fit into the target demographic for these events, which cater to the IT administrators of medium and large corporations/government departments, it is always an interesting opportunity to meet folks from an important part of the BlackBerry customer base.
Another big difference at yesterday’s event compared to last year was the speakers. This year the event was kicked off by Andrew McLeod RIM’s Country Manager for Canada, a higher profile speaker which indicated how important these customers are to RIM. Following Andrew’s presentation and a look at RIM’s suite of mobile device management solutions was what the crowd seemed most excited for: the live BlackBerry 10 demo.
Jamey Schein, RIM’s Manager of Carrier Product Management, took to the stage to show off the Dev Alpha device running a recent version of BlackBerry 10. This demo did not detail anything that had not already appeared in past demos, however much of the crowd seemed to have been seeing it for the first time. One neat thing was a brief glimpse of Docs To Go which looks fantastic on BB10. Jamey mentioned the work his team is doing with the carriers, which has included demoing the BlackBerry 10 devices to the C-level executives at Bell, Rogers, and Telus and that they have gotten very enthusiastic response from these executives.
Events like this are a perfect lead up to the release of BlackBerry 10. It is reassuring to see the progress RIM is making and, as an app developer, it is comforting to meet excited BlackBerry customers who are excited about the future of BlackBerry.