BT has launched a new service that looks to bring the features of the BlackBerry to smaller businesses.
While there are many service providers for the BlackBerry device, a company spokesman said, “This is the first time a company is integrating all these services for a small business user,” without need for additional IT server software.
With BT’s BlackBerry Internet Service, or BIS, a user need not have an additional e-mail account for his company and can collate mail from at least 10 different e-mail accounts like Yahoo or Hotmail.
For owners of the BlackBerry 8700, BT has a special offer on Sat Nav, with the rental free for the first three or six months, on one- or two-year contracts.
Interestingly, BT seems to have overlooked the fact that BlackBerrys are not Wi-Fi enabled. So unless BlackBerrys upgrade, small business users paying for services like e-mail, instant messaging through Yahoo and GoogleTalk will soon find themselves 260 pounds (US$488) short for just an e-mail account, and a Sat Nav device. Wi-Fi is scheduled to roll out all over the United Kingdom by the end of this summer.
An Ipsos Reid BlackBerry ROI study in 2004, which comprised 210 BlackBerry users, showed that an average user could convert 54 minutes of downtime (time when traveling or when not in front of the PC or laptop) into productive use. But users, thankfully, might still get to relax when they’re traveling on the London Underground.
-Radhika Praveen, Techworld.com (London)
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