Since taking the rudder at BlackBerry last year, John Chen has established himself as a confident, outspoken leader with strict character. He is chiefly seen boasting about BBM, plotting strategies, unveiling new phones, and arguing with other CEOs who publicly depreciate the company with their practices - intentionally or not. So far, his forthright delivery hasn't failed to provoke a desired change.
Not long after he made T-Mobile amend its BB-undermining promotion, Chen once again stood up to secure his company's image. This time, it's Good Technology's good-lookin' CEO, Christy Wyatt, that grinds his gears. In January, the enterprise mobility firm began to offer free-with-a-catch migration to its software suite for BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) users. Now, we might be missing some of the finer details here, but the short recap is that, as BlackBerry's situation looked particularly bleak in the end of 2013, those customers felt that being tied to maintenance contracts for a "burning platform" wasn't in their best interest. Switching to another solution, however, would pile in the cost of early termination fees, in addition to that of the switch.
RIM's name change to BlackBerry. Furthermore, at this year's MWC, the Canadian company introduced BES 12, which covers old and new devices of different platforms. What we're able to deduce so far is that Good Mobility's customers are still running BES5, which is an older, Berries-only solution. And only their IT execs know why they would opt for a wholly different solution over an upgrade to BES10.
Commenting on Good's migration offer, Mrs. Wyatt expressed good intentions towards serving customers without libeling BlackBerry - "This isn't about 'let's kick them when they're down'.", she said in an interview. Regardless, her reasoning, along with Good's promotion itself, pretty much came off as a "BlackBerry can't manage other devices, so have our software for free!" proposal. Good's promotion page for contact also claims that "Good provides the only secure mobility solution for iOS, Android and Windows Phone", which is yet another false claim, as we explained above.
Obviously, John Chen cannot let the competition get away with such behavior. Riding high on the announcements of its new phones and BES12, Chen seized the opportunity, and penned a rebuttal for a blog post, titled "Good is not Good Enough". “BlackBerry has provided multi-platform OS management for nearly 2 years now, so let’s put that to rest." - laconically proclaimed the CEO, before reaching for the salt-shaker. "Good Technology may talk about 5,000 customers but with 30,000 new BES10 servers installed in the past year alone, I’d argue that we’re the ones getting the calls from customers.”
John Chen also took a good swing at Good's pricing plan, which offers BES users to migrate for free - but only until June 30, after which a timed subscription contract comes into force. Meanwhile, BlackBerry gives its loyal customers free MDM perpetual licenses for BES10 via its EZPass program. “We’re fully transparent with our customers about what they get from us; our new pricing structure is crystal clear and most importantly, unlike other companies, when we say something is free, we mean that it’s free.” Good sport!