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  1. mszatny's Avatar
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       #1  
    I will soon be evaluating the Sprint PCS Business Connect Enterprise for my company which currently uses Blackberry for mobile email.


    We recently switched to Sprint PCS for our corporate carrier and would like to replace the blackberries with Treo 300/600.

    Any comments on this comparison?

    Regards
    MS
    <img src="http://users.netropolis.net/mszatny/pics/bevo.gif" border=0>
    The Woodlands, TX

    Palm Pro > PalmIII > Visor Prism w/Omnisky>SPCS Treo300 > SPCS Treo600 >
    SPCS Treo650 > CNG Treo650 > Copper Treo680 > ATT Treo750 WM6 > iPhone 3G
  2. #2  
    You can't compare the two. Blackberries are faster, easier and more oriented to business. Business connect (on Treos) crashes often, fails to connect often, is clunky, slow and unprofessional. There are some nice features to it (like being able to access files) but on the whole it is a very unpolished product, though I think most of the problem lays with the network and the palm implementation of it (for instance, having to sit there and do nothing else while it downloads email).

    This has been my experience owning a Blackberry and a Treo with Sprint Business Connect for a few months ending a month or so ago.
  3. #3  
    No, it's not perfect, but I've been using Business Connection since its release. I use it a lot and like it quite a bit. I have the option of using the Palm client or one of my browsers.

    Geoffrey
  4. #4  
    Originally posted by gmaugham
    No, it's not perfect, but I've been using Business Connection since its release. I use it a lot and like it quite a bit. I have the option of using the Palm client or one of my browsers.

    Geoffrey
    That's actually a great point. I'd forgotten about the web access. That is actually very very cool. If you are away from your office and need to write a long email (not easy on a handheld) you can use any computer.
  5. crp
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    #5  
    mszatny:

    This won't quite be an apples to apples comparison, but I now leave my Blackberry 857 (the large screen format, monochrome) at home; it's been replaced with my Treo 300.

    I've used both Biz Connect, and Treo Mail on my corporate laptop to keep office connectivity while on the road (from the Woodlands, btw).

    As an end user, not from the perspective of a corporate install, I would say:

    Pros for the Treo:
    1. Good connectivity for the Treo vs stellar connectivity for the Blackberry.
    2. Cost for the Treo-based solution is lower vs the server+ monthly subscriptions needed for the Blackberry.
    3. Email+phone (including speakerphone) in 1 device.
    4. Sprint's coverage in the Panhandle. Blackberry coverage (at least using our service) is non-existent there. Sprint has excellent coverage (important to me as it's part of my sales territory).

    Cons:
    1. You won't get instantaneous send/receive from the Treo. On my Blackberry, I can almost hold instant-messenger type conversations with other employees. That won't happen with either Treo-based solution.
    2. It is a more "fragile" solution, not nearly as robust or "always on" as I've found Blackberries to be.

    Still, on balance, I leave the Blackberry at home now when I travel. Given my profession, I don't have to have daily connectivity when I'm on the road; I can be offline for a day or 2 & then log on from my laptop in my office. In exchange, I have 1 fewer electronic device to keep charged, and 1 fewer that can fall out of my bag.

    With that said, I saw the new Blackberry color model (that includes traditional cell phone functionality -- not only earbud mike, but traditional handset-- on a Southwest flight last week (the TX. RIM rep sat next to me).
  6. #6  
    I have been using Biz Connect for quite a while, and have found it very reliable. The only times it's not is when I also can't make a phone call. It's also inexpensive; my company turned off BlackBerry because of the cost ($40+ per month per user), so now my BB device just sits under my desk, and I don't miss it at all. The other thing I like is being able to use the Web interface to access my messages; I use that a lot from home or if I'm overseas.
  7. #7  
    In your evaluation process, don't forget that there are other options in ths space besides BizConn.

    One is Visto - www.visto.com - they have a server (as well as individual) solution that's very similar to how RIM's server product works (of course, for that matter, SPCS also has a server version of BizConn). Visto's product is the basis for TreoMail, while BizConn is based on Seven - www.seven.com.

    Visto has a new server version out and it looks pretty useful - lots of goodness that gets very close to Blackberry - ability to accept meeting invites and such. Might be worth checking out, and according to their website, it's supposed to be cheaper than RIM.

    And there are a TON of client-based mail redirector programs - Basejet, Aileron, Inbox To Go - a bunch that I've tried over time, and have rejected. And Handspring's TreoMail is very nice on the client side - I used Bizconn for about 5 months, tried TreoMail and immediately left BizConn.

    So - lotsa choices out there, and choice is good.
  8. #8  
    Another thing to consider if you are running Exchange as your enterprise email server is a hybrid of Outlook Web Access and OWA-PDA by Lee Derbyshire. A little bit of a compromise, but works fine. Once we got the software running on our Exchange server, we threw our BizConnect in a hurry. Cut the Treo crashes down dramatically.
  9. KKenna's Avatar
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    #9  
    I'm an integrator, and, hands-down, for my clients I recommend they stick with their Blackberries. No way I'm leaving people with a standard understanding of the technology on their belt (or in their purse) with a solution like the SprintBC. Plus, the newest version of the enterprise server supports printing and attachment processing. Since the release of color blackberries (Cingular already has release the 7230) is imminent, I can't yet favor the Palm/Sprint solution. Plus, have any of you done a side-by-side comparison of the two systems ? The overhead associated with the "Triggered Pull" when using the SprintBC takes your voice capabilities out of service for almost 20 seconds to get the SMS, initiate the connection and sync your mail. A message delivered to a Blackberry takes a fraction of a second. Plus, the newest version of the BES enables wireless calendar sync and wireless e-mail reconciliation; all in the background.

    No way the SprintBC comapres in the business environment. Yes, I love my Treo and would never go back, but I'm a tech so the bumps and scrapes are fun. I've got clients that charge $650/hr for their services. The solution they want needs to be bullet-proof and the SprintBC just isn't yet.
  10. #10  
    I'm curious, what instability has anyone seen with BizConnect? Many months ago I used to have some timeouts & errrors, but I believe Sprint improved their network here in San Francisco, and now all I know is that BizConnect runs flawlessly for me, day and night -- for the past several months. Are we just hearing from people who switched many months ago while Sprint was still working out issues with its Vision network?

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