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How Should Startups and Small Businesses Prepare For a BlackBerry Shutdown?
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The best thing to do is wait and see if RIM forces the situation to an injunction, which we think is unlikely as it does not make business sense. If the injunction does happen, we expect to see a rush of migratory offerings from other vendors. There will probably be a grace period to allow users to move away from RIM. In the meantime, not purchasing from RIM sends a clear message that they need to resolve the situation by following the direction of the courts.
--Martin Reynolds, VP & Gartner Fellow Gartner

There's a pretty good chance that businesses won't have to do anything - either RIM and NTP will settle this thing once and for all, or RIM will switch to different software that does not infringe on the patents in question (which will drag the case out longer, but may prevent a shutdown in the short term).

But to be prepared, the first thing startups and small businesses need to do is a quick technology assessment: is email running off of a BlackBerry Enterprise Server ("BES"), which is common in large organizations? Or is the BlackBerry simply using RIM's web based redirector for POP3 or other standard email types, which is more common among entrepreneurs and small businesses? If the BlackBerry is simply redirecting POP3 email, then any number of devices and email systems can be quickly substituted - everything from Palm Treos to Danger Sidekicks. For a larger organization, ripping out a BES and substituting other server-based email from Good or Microsoft or Nokia can be done, but would be much more painful.
--Avi Greengart, Principal Analyst, Mobile Devices, Current Analysis.

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