Based on a some past posts, Maciek Janowski reached out to show us the Calvis Blackberry (BB) App for InterAction. Greg and I enjoyed a brief and informative demo.
In terms of functionality, it is exactly what you would expect. Your lawyers can access the information and tools in InterAction directly from their BBs. As lawyers have become so mobile, it makes sense to bring the information and resource from InterAction straight to their mobile devices.
Technically, the app is also what you would expect. It has a small server footprint on your Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) and then a BB app that downloads to your device. Pretty simple. Maciek gave a recent example where the set-up took 2 hours for a firm and no additional hardware.
Money is always the next question. Law firms will pay an annual per seat price. Calvis has volume pricing – you can contact Maciek for more information on that.
Overall – InterAction on the BB makes sense. It opens up another layer of contact information for lawyers. Of course it will be a cost / benefit decision for each firm or lawyer.
One follow-up thought Greg and I had was generally on the relative lack of BB apps compared to iPhone apps. With BES – a lawyer has access inside the firewall which could mean access to a lot of enterprise information. Research actually turned up a number of BB apps like this (one as old as 2006). Our gut-level response is that BB is not leveraging its behind-the-firewall presence well. Perhaps its the functionality of the various BB apps or the cost to build them. Whatever it is – RIM better figure it out before the iPhone finds its way into the enterprise.