Newsmakers: Fate of BlackBerry was top of mind in 2013

Why did CDN choose Thorsten Heins as the top newsmaker for 2013? Heins and BlackBerry seemed to be lurking all around the channel community and the marketplace.

As an example, if CDN was covering a new product release on CRM the dialogue would start on software and then edge closer and closer to BlackBerry and if they have a future. It did not matter what story, trend or topic we covered BlackBerry somehow managed to make it into the discussion.
BlackBerry surrounded the marketplace with talk, scuttlebutt and even some new product chatter.
All this talk also hurt the Waterloo, Ont.-based smartphone maker as well as its solution provider partners. Some of these channel partners creating amazing, innovative solutions for BlackBerry 10 and even the Playbook tablet. However, the market was hesitant to accept any BlackBerry solutions because it deemed the company to be unstable.

Early on in the year BlackBerry and its CEO Heins, the first German national to be named CDN’s Top Newsmaker of the Year, made a big splash with the release of BlackBerry 10 and the new devices Z10 and the Q10. The company received many favourable reviews from industry pundits. However, the subscribers still did not make the leap to the new BlackBerry platform. The market acknowledged that the Z10 and Q10 were really good, but they were not game changers.

And, at this stage in BlackBerry’s history the company needed a Hail Mary touchdown pass. Instead Heins completed a 20 yard out pattern for a first down.

At the bottom part of the Top 25 Newsmakers there is Edward Snowden? Snowden became famous for leaking top secret NSA documents. I’m sure the choice of Snowden at No. 25 seems like a curious one, but consider this.

Snowden’s story sparked a year-long debate on surveillance and the rights of privacy for Canadians.
What do you think? Email me at [email protected].

Two quick hits before I go. CDN has learned that Linda Fitzgerald is no longer the president of NCR Canada. CDN is working on trying to find out who has replaced her.

Cheryl Stookes, a CDN honouree for the Women of the IT Channel in 2012, has left SHI Canada to be the new director of public sector sales at Lenovo Canada. CDN wishes Cheryl the very best.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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