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RIM CIO aims to reassure unhappy enterprise BlackBerry users

Research in Motion CIO Robin BienAfait's last name means "well done" in French. She's hoping customers will agree that those words apply to the upcoming BlackBerry 10 smartphones that Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM is due to ship in the first quarter of 2013.

"We're committed to our customers and want to see them [be] successful," Bienfait said in an interview at the recent MobileCon trade show. She said that, since April, she has talked to 180 CIOs -- mostly from the U.S. -- who are RIM customers. Many said that they've grown frustrated after years of using BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) and BlackBerry smartphones.

The outage affecting BlackBerry users on several continents for several days a year ago was a big concern of the CIOs, she said. But they also expressed frustration at the slow rollout of new smartphones, including BlackBerry 7 devices in the U.S.

While noting that U.S. enterprise customers still back RIM, Bienfait added, "We've had some missteps, including not having [BlackBerry 7] devices in the carriers' hands."

Bienfait said that she and her team have offered input about features and security for the new BlackBerries, and about BES 10, due to ship at the same time as the new phones.

As RIM's CIO, she said she focuses mostly on software service and support as they pertain to BlackBerry 10 and other products. But her job also includes oversight of BlackBerry operations, the enterprise business unit and internal RIM IT.

This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.

Read more about mobile/wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.

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