Praveen blogged a link to an article on CRN about how the forthcoming version of Windows Mobile, when combined with Exchange 2003 SP2 will be a Blackberry killer.
I’ve recently done extensive research on this very topic which i will now share with you (this is a long post so go get a cup of tea now…).
IMHO, Windows Mobile 2003 combined with the current release of Exchange 2003 or SBS 2003 is ALREADY a Blackberry killer.
Lets assume that youur target organization already has Windows and Exchange (or SBS) and the prerequisite MS CALs although it doesnt make much odds as both solutions need them so it would be a cost option for both.
Next solution cost element is devices.
AFAIK, in the UK, you cant buy a SIM free blackberry (although all 4 operators offer them so this probably isnt so much of an issue).
According to expansys, a single blackberry device is £350 inclusive of VAT. A comparable SIM free Pocket PC Phone edition device can be found for £389 althought it’s only about £150 with an airtime agreement.
Realistically, either device could be got free by any company who already has good mobile provider contracts already in place.
So far we’re equal then.
The next thing you need is a data tariff in order to send and receive your email and contacts etc.
Blackberry devices are typically provided with an unlimited data package for around £40 (dependent on operator) whereas Pocket PC devices normally come with a pay as you use tarriff which equates to roughlly £6 for 6mb of data. I ran this for the last couple of weeks synching every 5 minutes between 8am and 6pm and every 2 hours outside those times. I came in under 2.5 mb for the last 2 weeks and i get quite a lot of e-mail.
(on a side note, i’d be interested in knowing how many e-mail messages an average user in your organization receives in an average day. Email me at adamfATcontentmaster.nospamDOTcom if you’d be willing to share such info with me. I can then get a more accurate picture for this sync cost comparison and i’ll update it as i get more info – remove the AT, DOT and nospam add the appropriate punctuation as required 🙂
OK now we have everything we need to start sending and receiving e-mail to and from our mobile devices.
Well we do if you have the Pocket PC (or smartphone works equally well)
If you have a Blackberry, you’ll be needing to buy a Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) license and Blackberry CALs>
The BES license will set you back approx £3500 and includes 20 CALs. Additional CALs cost about £70 each although i think you get bulk discounts.
Before we get into the arguments about the relative pros and cons of user experience based on device form factor and OS, you can already see the vast difference in cost. I think that the form factor debate is an important one so i’ll cover it in part 2.
The push e-mail improvements allegedly coming in ES2003 SP2 would just improve the Microsoft Solution.
Just so you know, i’m not blindly just regurgitating marketing information. I have actually done live implementations of both solutions in a live environment so im aware of the pros and cons of both.
[Via Adam’s Mindspace]
Another post around the ‘BlackBerry Killer’ articles worth reading