RIM Announces Corporate Name Change and BlackBerry 10 Release Dates
Research In Motion debuted its two upcoming BlackBerry 10 smartphones today at a press event simultaneously held in New York, Toronto, London, Paris, Dubai, Johannesburg, Jakarta and Delhi. Revealing its Blackberry Z10, a touchscreen only device, and its BlackBerry Q10, RIM’s new smartphones are the first to host the highly anticipated BlackBerry 10 OS.
"This is one of the biggest launches in our industry and today is not the finish line, it's the starting line," said RIM CEO Thorstein Heins at the press conference.
One feature everyone’s talking about offered on the BlackBerry 10 is called Balance. The feature is perfect for professionals who want to use their phone for both business and pleasure and can do so through a swipe gesture that switches between “work” or “personal” profiles. What Balance does for businesses, RIM claims, is keep data secure without the need for employees to use two smartphones.
Another feature offered on the BlackBerry 10 OS is Flow which allows users to switch between apps easily through finger gestures, improving the overall BlackBerry multi-tasking experience.
In the smartphone world, your phone is only as good as the apps it offers. RIM announced today that BlackBerry 10 offers users over 70,000 mobile apps with big names among the mix including Skype, Amazon Kindle, SAP, Angry Birds, NHL, Tim Hortons, Air Canada and more.
The BlackBerry Z10 releases in Canada on February 5th and will retail for approximately $149.99, while the Q10 is expected to launch sometime soon after, although has no announced release date yet.
Other important announcements made at the launch included RIM’s official corporate name change to BlackBerry. BlackBerry will be traded on the TSE as BB and as BBRY on NASDAQ.
"This change from Research In Motion to BlackBerry comes at a defining moment in our company's history," said Thorsten Heins, President and CEO. "RIM created the first BlackBerry smartphone and changed the way millions of people around the world stay connected. We have used that same ingenuity and innovation to redefine mobile computing with BlackBerry 10. As we launch BlackBerry 10 around the world, now is the right time to adopt the iconic BlackBerry name."
RIM also announced its appointment of Alicia Keys as Global Creative Director.
"Alicia Keys has come to BlackBerry because she believes in the product and technology, and subscribes to our overriding philosophy to 'Keep Moving': to empower people through mobile computing and communications," said BlackBerry President and CEO Thorsten Heins. "We are excited she will be bringing to us her enormous capabilities, as well as a vast network of relationships in the entertainment, social media and business communities, to help shape our brand and grow our business."
Photo source: Engadget
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.