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RIM - Managing Explosive Growth - MANA 5340

Summer 2013

Pramod Bohra

on 10 May 2016

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Transcript of RIM - Managing Explosive Growth - MANA 5340

Research in Motion
Internal value chain analysis

RIM Growth

Case Background

Driven by engineering innovations and evaluated by technological advances
Competing platforms included Google Android, iOS and Palm
App stores and multimedia features becoming important
Apple iPhone launched in 2007
Number of wireless subscribers in 2007 - 3 billion
China - 524m
US - 254m
India - 237m

Industry Overview

Founded in 1984 at Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Founded by Mike Lazaridis
Company named after the term “Poetry in Motion”
R&D believed to be heart and soul for the company’s success

Company Overview

Company overview
Industry overview
Case background
External analysis
Internal and Resource analysis
Challenges faced by RIM
Organization development of R&D at RIM
Managing explosive growth approaches

How to deal with rapidly changing industry?

How to cope significant growth through strategic and diversified sourcing?

What should RIM do to maintain its market share and
superiority in this industry and is their current strategy good enough?

What other options does RIM have?


External analysis

Timeline - January 2008
David Yach – CTO for Software at RIM
Meeting with Mike Lazaridis to discuss R&D plans
Current model of organic growth was not keeping pace and engineers were strained
Double edged sword

RIM Growth

Presented by:
Kassie Sheets
Pramod Bohra
Volha Hopkins

Research in Motion – Managing explosive growth

Company Overview
Industry Overview
Case background
External Analysis
Internal Analysis
Challenges faced by RIM


Company Overview

Area with existing pool of talent and a mature set of skills
Regions with the existing base of software and hardware companies
Cities or regions with universities with strong technical programs
How to transfer RIM’s young and dynamic corporate culture to these locations?

Criteria for selecting new locations

Do what we do now, only more of it
Grow and expand existing geographies
Increase Acquisitions
Go global

Managing explosive growth approaches

Centered in Waterloo
employed most of the best developers in the area
The University of Waterloo
recognized by Bill Gates
Google: “Waterloo is an incredible pool of talent”
300 students were involved in co-op programs at RIM
hiring the best students from the University of Waterloo

What helped RIM to maintain its unique culture?

Low employee turnover
One of “Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures”
Working collaboratively and collegially
No bureaucracy
Nice and dynamic environment
Place where engineers like to work
Engineers’ participation in decision making process

What makes RIM different from others?

Investment analysis for 2008
70% growth in sales
Historic growth strategy at RIM
sourcing from the local talent pool
employee referrals
new graduate recruitment
selective acquisitions of small technology companies
What needed to be done to maintain status quo in R&D?
find upwards of 1400 of new software developers
decide on locations for new developers
integrate new developers into RIM’s culture

Organizational development for R&D at RIM

Established operations in Ottawa, Mississauga, Dallas, Chicago
Expanding products and technology development facilities in Fort Lauderdale
Recruiting through general job fairs
Goal to make geographic expansion strategically executed
Consider cost of talent in various locations
For example, software engineers in Palo Alto asked for higher wages than in Waterloo
Some internal resistance for expending R&D outside of Waterloo
Fear to lose control over products produced elsewhere
Google and Microsoft were less dispersed and still very successful
However, they realized they could not grow locally!!!!

Grow and expand existing geographies strategy

No formal way to manage qualified candidates
No extensive collaboration with foreign universities
No opportunity for candidates to build an open application similar to Monster

RIM Competitors
Attracting outside talent to Waterloo
Competitive nature of the global software development industry
Sony Ericsson with 230 engineering jobs in Sweden, China, USA
Nokia looking for 375 R&D employees in Finland, USA, India, and Germany
Presence of more attractive places for developers like Silicon Valley
Shortage of physical space at RIM’s Waterloo campus
Scarcity of exceptional software developers

What difficulties did RIM encounter?

Expand co-op programs to other universities
Increase the frequency and intensity of new graduate recruitment efforts
Form a global scouting group to find the best talent worldwide
Favorable conditions for this strategy:
Canada’s rank as one of the best countries in the world to live
Stronger Canadian dollar
Posting online job openings

“Do what we do now, only more of it” strategy


Bring people on board
Tactical Expansion
Economic downturn increased opportunity for acquisitions

Increase Acquisitions

Go Global
- Despite desire to keep R&D close to home
- Estimated that half of new hires would be outside of Canada
-Potential Problems
-Source code loss & software piracy
- Other challenges
- Organizational design
- Communication
- Integration

Where Are They Now?
- What could they have done differently in 2008?

- Key points of case
Full transcript