Google Apps on CrackBerrys, RIM FORE!

I was over at GigaOm and came across a post from the man himself. It was about the new calendar sync application from Google for BlackBerrys. Just to give you a quick background here, Google has been rapidly releasing mobile applications for the BlackBerry platform, for its favorite services. So they support GMail, Search, Picasa, Maps and News. They launched these services in early December.

So the calendar sync impresses me the most. They have smartly integrated the native BlackBerry calendar with the Google Calendar in a bi-directional fashion. So any entries added to the Google Calendar online shows up on the handset within the native view and anything added within the native view is updated online.

Google Sync

It’s pretty slick as now my office appointments, which are synced to my BlackBerry are also synced with Google. This allows me to publicly publish my busy or free times. It’s pretty cool when you start using it frequently. However this post isn’t about syncing work calendar with personal. Although that area needs a lot of attention by itself. This one is about the potential impacts to the Enterprise business domain itself.

As we know, Google has been pushing hard in the small to medium business space for it’s web based office applications. There are many others in this arena, but Google by far is in the lead. They have gained some momentum by partnering with ISPs and service providers like Cap Gemini.

This recent activity within the BlackBerry space has interesting implications. RIM as we know has a solid hold of the Enterprise market. Most companies purchase BlackBerry Enterprise server infrastructure along with the mobile handset equipment, in order to deliver a better experience to their increasingly mobile workforce.

The recent applications, namely Email (called Mail by Google) and Calendar sync for the BlackBerry devices, provide a great option to small and medium businesses. These businesses no longer have to purchase enterprise infrastructure from RIM. They can simply utilize the Google App service and deploy the mobile applications on the handsets. This could potentially hurt the revenue for RIM coming from enterprise infrastructure sales.

In my mind, Google is taking an approach from behind and trying to spread its applications on existing smart phones. This is a smart move in addition to their Android initiative. Small and medium businesses on the other hand do get the benefit of accessing cheaper applications for the enterprise.

64 thoughts on “Google Apps on CrackBerrys, RIM FORE!”

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  2. It's so interesting to read these articles and see how much the mobile landscape has changed since this was written. Google in particular has had quite a few fails in its new applications over the last 6 months.

  3. I like the Blackberry, but it's amazing how much it takes to get a solid app released for it whereas iPhone and Android phones have apps coming out constantly. I really think the Blackberry is still the best business smartphone, but the gap is closing.

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  23.                     Griffey Jr. eager to promote family, fun through new partnership

    In 1994, when major league baseball was in the midst of another labor crisis, Ken Griffey Jr. discovered his love for golf. While the owners and the MLB Players Association went about an arduous 232-day arbitration to settle their differences, Griffey found a new way to ease the frustration.

    “I started playing the day after the strike began,” said Griffey during his appearance Jan. 26, at the 59th PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla. “It was a good time to start. I was playing with guys like Randy Johnson and Jay Buhner at Bear Creek Country Club outside Seattle. You wouldn't believe all the balls we were losing on the course.”

    Griffey, a member of the Board of Governors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), made his first PGA Merchandise Show appearance in support of the new partnership between The PGA of America and BGCA. During his visit at golf's largest exhibition, his longtime friend, PGA Professional Rodney Green, joined Griffey. A native of Annapolis, Md., Green is the PGA director of golf at Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club in Palm Harbor, Fla.

    Green, 49, met Griffey in 1997, when he began working at the Palm Course at Walt Disney Resort and the two became “fast friends.” Green often gives coaching tips to Griffey, and he's caddied for him at celebrity events, including the 2000 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, while playing with Jack Nicklaus, Mark O'Meara and Steve Nicklaus.

    “I think Ken has great respect for the game, and understands the amount of work it takes to play at a high level,” said Green. “Whenever I play with him, he keeps this in perspective. He will have his good days and not so good days. He understands that is part of the game.”griffey shoes

    What impresses Green just as much is how Griffey can balance his love of family and golf. Green said that Griffey's longtime affiliation with Boys & Girls Clubs of America makes the baseball great a great fit for promoting family participation in golf.

    “Ken cares so much about his family, and nothing excites him more than when you talk about family,” said Green.ken griffey shoes

    “We need to give more kids the chance to experience golf,” said Griffey. “I'm happy to do what I can to encourage that. I am always feeling the best when I can be on a golf course with my family. I do get to play golf with my dad often, and I can tell you that those moments are among the best of my life.”

    Griffey said that golf has taught him patience. “You have to think before you act in golf.”

    Green also cited Griffey's competitive nature that did not diminish after leaving major league baseball in May 2010 with 630 home runs and 10 Golden Glove awards.ken griffey jr shoes

    “Ken and I play a lot of golf, and in the 1990s, I said that neither of us have ever made a hole-in-one, and I said, 'I bet I make one before you,' ” said Green. “He said, 'OK, make it light on yourself.' I agreed to a $1,000 bet. If you are not playing with the other person when he gets an ace, it would be $500.”

    In January 2001 on the Palm Course at the Disney Resort, Griffey and Green were on the 12th tee, and “Junior” stepped up and hit a 5-iron 195 yards to an elevated green with a partially obscured flag.griffeys 2012

    “Ken hit a high cut, which for a lefty means the ball curves left,” said Green. “We never saw it after it came down to the green and drove up and looked everywhere. Ken looked in the hole and found his ball. He is immediately on his cell phone calling everybody and bragging how he got me! I paid him with a money order. I don't carry that kind of change!”

    Griffey, who recalled the moment with a big smile, said his shot “was a Charles Barkley butter cut.”

    About two years later, Green made his first ace and telephoned Griffey, who agreed to pay him when the two met. Then playing for the Cincinnati Reds and facing the former Florida Marlins, Griffey invited his friend to join his family at dinner in Miami. Griffey remembered to reimburse his friend and then pointed the waiter to Green.

    “Oh, by the way, that gentleman there is picking ups the tab,” said Griffey. Through the ensuing years, Green has made up for that moment by scoring two more holes-in-one, and finding griffey shoes

    “Ken Griffey Jr. hits the ball further off the tee than perhaps 25 to 30 percent of those on Tour,” said Green, who watched Griffey test a new Nike driver during a “speed trial” at the PGA Merchandise Show. With only one warm-up swing, Griffey hit the ball 353 yards in the computer-monitored hitting area.

    “He has a solid move through the ball, and has really improved his short game, especially the pitching wedge. He has about an 8 handicap, and I know that he will work to lower that. You think there is pressure for someone standing over a four-footer to win a match? Ken thrives on that kind of pressure. In fact, the quiet in golf bothers him.

    The best thing is that he's a good person, a good friend and a great father.”<hr>

                        Nicklaus, Griffey Jr. team with PGA, USGA in support of Golf 2.0

    Jack Nicklaus, whose legacy as a champion can be rivaled only by his legacy as a global golf-course designer, businessman and philanthropist, has joined his industry peers on nurturing perhaps one of the most important and lasting blueprints in golf today-ensuring the future of the game. The golf legend, whose 18 major championships set a standard for excellence, joined The PGA of America, United States Golf Association and representatives of Boys & Girls Clubs of America Thursday at the 59th PGA Merchandise Show in support of Golf 2.0. The new comprehensive, strategic plan is designed to retain and strengthen core players, bring former players back, and welcome new golfers to the game.

    The 72-year-old Nicklaus teamed with PGA of America President Allen Wronowski; PGA Chief Executive Officer Joe Steranka; and United States Golf Association Executive Director Mike Davis in a media roundtable discussion. They were joined by representatives of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America-The PGA's new Official Youth Development Partner-featuring Board of Governor member Ken Griffey, Jr., the baseball great turned avid golfer and BGCA Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications Evan McElroy.

    Nicklaus said he is familiar with sobering statistics about those who have left the game, and has committed himself to supporting all efforts to secure the core players, engage those who have lapsed, and build the next generation.king griffey shoes

    “I care about this game; it's given me so many great things for me and my family through the years,” said Nicklaus. “This initiative is not a PGA of America initiative; it's not a Jack Nicklaus initiative. This is a golf industry initiative, because it is a golf industry issue. We all have a stake in this. Whatever happens is because of all of us. It's our future.”

    Among the multi-pronged plan to engage new players is a partnership with Boys & Girls Club of America, a five-year mission that will introduce youth nationwide to the game of golf. Beginning in 46 selected cities, golf training equipment and instructional support from PGA Professionals will be provided through this partnership to help youth build character, develop healthy lifestyles, and learn the game of golf.

    “Anything that you are trying to draw to this magnitude, you need the support of the industry stakeholders and partners and relationships,” said Wronowski. “You also need very special individuals and great supporters and proponents.”griffeys sneakers

    The PGA of America's commitment to Golf 2.0 includes nine Player Development Regional Managers to foster growth in the game in key areas of demand throughout the country. Steranka explained that the retraining of the industry extends well beyond the 27,000 men and women PGA Professionals.

     “Now we are extending that training to golf facility owners, operators and non professional staff,” said Steranka. “We are going to realign our playing fields to make have some entry level courses in golf park like settings, whether they are at existing courses or whether they are remade through the [American Society of Golf Course Architects] ASGCA program or portable courses where we can bring a golf course.”

    Griffey, who began playing golf in 1994 after baseball's second strike, said it was not long before he “was hooked on the game.” He said that his oldest son did not want to pursue baseball, and will attend the University of Arizona on a football scholarship.

    “I was astounded that he did not want to continue in baseball, but I know that I can ask him if he wants to join me for golf, and he is the first to pack up the car with the clubs. He is now teaching my nine-year-old the game.”cheap griffeys

    Griffey recalled his trepidation of having to play in the same foursome with Nicklaus at Pebble Beach, and was unable to get any sleep. “We get to the golf course, and start on the 10th hole. They read Jack's résumé, which says he's won this five times, that four times and something else three times. He hits it down the middle, Mark O'Meara hits it down the middle, Steve Nicklaus hits it down the middle, and I hit mine dead left. The first words Jack said to me were, 'We have to play our foul balls.'

    “But watching over the next 17 holes, how Jack interacted with his son was unbelievable. It was just, they talked about everything, except golf. And, that was the one thing that I took away. I looked at being a young father at the time. That's what I want. When I play golf with my kids, I want to be able to do that.”

    Griffey said the Golf 2.0 initiatives to build a new generation of players, is part of his motivation when he enjoys time with his family.griffeys shoes

    “I play a little bit with my Dad here and there, and we talk about everything. I think it's the best time of my life,” said Griffey. “I also have this thing called Griffey Force Family Fun. We play Sunday, we play golf; it's usually five of us. We go out, and my youngest is nine, and we have my dad there. And we will tear up a golf course, is what my dad would say. But how many times do we honestly listen to our kids? As kids, you would want your parents to listen to you. Well, here is an opportunity to really do that.”

    The PGA also announced the launch of a grant program with the ASGCA, its members and the ASGCA Foundation, to fund complimentary facility audits that would study and recommend land use to welcome new players to the game. Among the recommendations within the program are adapting available land for golf's version of “bunny slopes” to heighten the golf experience.

    “We are going to take a page out of golf history,” said Steranka. “Seventy-five years ago or so, The PGA of America hired A.W. Tillinghast to be a free consultant to America's golf courses to guide them on how to make their courses friendlier after the Great Depression. They had to introduce new players. They had to make the courses friendlier for women. Tillinghast wrote to them, the-then PGA president, that he had deconsecrated 7,000 bunkers in his tour across America.”

    Nicklaus cited golf's entry into the 2016 Olympic Games as a decisive moment for the game. “It's a pretty big deal in 2016 to be right,” said Nicklaus, of golf's appearance in the Summer Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro, for the first time in more than 100 years. “There will be a decision in 2017 on whether to continue with golf in the 2020 Olympics.griffeys

    “And if 2016 ends right and it is voted back in, think of the effect that's going to have on, not so much the United States, because we are a pretty mature golf market. But take Brazil that doesn't even have a public golf facility; take China, which is just barely starting into the game; take India, which is barely starting into the game; take Russia, which is barely starting into the game.

    All of these places that have really supported Olympic sports. The gold medal has always been the prize. It's not the Masters and U.S. Open, PGA Championship or the British Open. It's been about the gold medal.”griffeys for women

    Steranka said the grant to the ASGCA Foundation is “going to provide the travel expenses for architects who are going to volunteer to give free reviews of American golf courses and how to use the existing land plan. Maybe it's rerouting a hole to expand a range and add in three to six short holes that can be 'bunny slopes' and bring that family out even more to the course.”

    McElroy pointed to the first meeting between The PGA and the BGCA late last year, and Steranka's ties to the organization from his childhood.

    “This is a match made in heaven, and we are thrilled and delighted to enter into this partnership,” said McElroy. “When Joe came to us as a former Club kid, he got it. He already understood what Boys & Girls Clubs were all about and he didn't have to do a selling job. He said, I know this can work in terms of fitting into our strategy to grow the game.”

    Nicklaus said time management works at home as well as the course.griffeys for kids

    “The parents are being dragged to the parks and the park systems, and they are playing soccer, lacrosse, football, baseball, basketball, you name it,” said Nicklaus. “They don't have the time to play golf, and the kids are not being introduced to it…We need to introduce our kids to the game of golf. We need to introduce it to them in a way that is friendly and a way that they can have some early success and stay with the game.

    “The same with women. And we can't do it on a five- or six-hour basis. You've got to do it on the basis of when they can find time.” Nicklaus said the successful time strategy that could work is: 'I'm going to go play golf tomorrow, and I'll meet you at noon for lunch with the kids, and we'll go spend the afternoon.' They will be able to do that.”

    About The PGA of America king griffeys 2012

    Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf.<hr> 

                                       Ken Griffey Jr. explains: 'I felt it was right for me to leave' 

    “There was no fanfare, no ceremony. Really, there was no warning. 

    Much like the way he left abruptly last season, Ken Griffey Jr. arrived at the Seattle Mariners' spring training complex unannounced Wednesday afternoon. 

    Suddenly he was just there, clad in a black sweat suit and visor and ready to assume his role as “special consultant” to the Seattle Mariners organization today.griffey shoes

    Even with his sudden appearance, Griffey knew that he wouldn't be able to avoid discussing what transpired last season when he called Mariners president Chuck Armstrong from a gas station in Montana to say he was retiring.

    So Griffey walked into the small media room at the team's complex Wednesday, sat on a counter and spoke publicly for the first time since his unforeseen departure June 2.ken griffey shoes

    “I'm only going to do this one time, and this will be the last time I talk about it,” he said. 

    After a pause and a deep breath, he continued in a controlled, quiet voice.

    “Last year, I felt it was necessary for me to remove myself from the team,” he said. “I told Chuck and Howard (Lincoln), No. 1, if I become a distraction or feel I'm going to be a distraction, then I will retire. Because that's the one thing I didn't want to become is a distraction to the organization.”

    The trademark Griffey smile that fans came to know during both of his playing stints with the Mariners was nowhere to be seen.ken griffey jr shoes

    “Second, I gave myself a little bit of a head start,” he said. “A lot of people that are friends of mine would have tried to talk me out of it. I just felt it was best for me and the organization to retire. No fault of its own. Things happen. I'm not upset. I think people thought I was upset. That wasn't the case. I just felt it was more important for me to retire instead of being a distraction. It no longer became the Seattle Mariners. It became, 'When is Ken doing this?' 'When is Ken doing that?' That's something that I didn't want to have my teammates, who I truly care about, have to answer these kinds of questions, day-in and day-out.”

    But that explanation might not sit well with fans who felt like they never received a proper goodbye.”<hr>

                                      Mariners' Ken Griffey Jr. offers no apologies for sudden exit 

    “More than nine months after retiring in silence, Ken Griffey Jr. returned to the Mariners with something to say.

    With a hushed voice and subdued look, Griffey explained Wednesday why he drove off into retirement last June without telling his teammates, manager or general manager beforehand. Griffey is in Mariners camp in his new role as a special consultant to a team that hopes he'll make his voice heard to younger players.

    But before he could speak to them about the future, Griffey knew he had to address the past. His explanation to reporters at the Peoria Sports Complex was brief, and he insisted he wouldn't talk again about the topic that shocked Seattle during a disastrous 2010 season.griffeys 2012

    Griffey said he told team president Chuck Armstrong and CEO Howard Lincoln “that if I become a distraction or feel that I would be a distraction, then I would retire, because that's the one thing that I didn't want.

    “Second, I gave myself a little bit of a head start. There are a lot of people that are friends of mine that would have tried to talk me out of it. And I just felt that it was best for me and the organization to retire. Through no fault of its own. Things happen. I'm not upset. I think people thought I was upset about certain things, but that's not the case.”

    Still, Griffey has yet to speak to former manager Don Wakamatsu, despite the close relationship the two shared during the 2009 season. When asked why he still hasn't contacted Wakamatsu, his reply was blunt.

    “My phone rings,” he said. After pausing several seconds, he added: “That's just the way it is.”

    Several players, sources and Wakamatsu himself have said that the two stopped speaking in the weeks before griffeys retirement.”<hr>

                                      There's a place in Mariners' organization for Ken Griffey Jr. — after he apologizes 

    “His leave-taking last season was like something out of a country-western song.

    Ken Griffey Jr. walked out of the Mariners' clubhouse last season without saying goodbye, without even leaving an explanatory note.

    He got in his luxury vehicle and drove off into the night, leaving Seattle in his rearview mirror.

    It was straight out of Nashville, all broken hearts and disillusionment.

    Griffey felt he'd been disrespected by manager Don Wakamatsu, and instead of going into Wak's office and asking for an audience,nike air griffey max 1 Griffey just disappeared.

    That night in early June was the beginning of the end of the 2010 season. Partly because of Griffey, the clubhouse became a house divided. Partly because of Griffey, Wakamatsu lost control of his team.

    It was an ugly, unsatisfying way for Griffey to leave the franchise that birthed him. It left a hole in his legacy here.

    At that time, I wondered if time would heal this wound, if the bitterness that Griffey felt toward the franchise, and the disappointment many fans felt in the way he departed, could be fixed.

    I wondered if we'd ever see Griffey's stadium-lighting smile again inside Safeco air griffey max 2

    But Tuesday the Mariners announced that Griffey has been hired as a “special consultant.” According to the M's news release, he will be involved in major-league operations, player development, marketing, broadcasting and community relations.

    He should arrive at their Peoria training camp some time in March. And the first thing he has to do if he's serious about staying in the organization is call a news conference and explain himself.

    Before he becomes a Mariner again, he needs to tell the fans why he left the way he left and why, now, he has decided to return. He needs to fix his reputation.”

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