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Q and A: BlackBerry Passport Is Media Sales Director’s 24/7 Platform


Modern media–whether social, digital, or traditional—never sleeps. No one knows that better than Kyle Cowan, director of West Coast sales for Pixel Power. Pixel Power creates sophisticated, award-winning graphics production systems capable of playing interactive live or prerecorded media around the clock at sports complexes, post-production houses and other venues.

When Cowan’s not making sales, he’s golfing, skiing, bicycling, or at his daughters’ swim meets taking pictures and capturing HD videos with the BlackBerry Passport, also his mobile tool of choice for work.

(Read about other happy Passport users, including this young entrepreneur, this upscale homebuilder’s CEO, this tech headhunter, this geologist and pilot, celebrity chef Tyler Florence, senior hospital executive, manufacturing executive, non-profit founder, software engineer, legal administrator, pharmaceutical CEO, software manager, insurance salesman, and these workers from multiple industries.)

Watts: Why the BlackBerry Passport?

Cowan: I needed a larger screen than what the BlackBerry Q10 provided and I was intrigued by the keyboard. I played around with a Passport and realized that I could type so much faster with it. I was hooked.

Passport_White_Close-UpWatts: How do you use it on the job?

Cowan: At Pixel, my role is to engage customers in all stages of the purchasing process for the Western U.S., Canada, and Mexico. This includes forecasting all business in my territory, using CRM and leads management software, and developing end-to-end solutions for broadcast workflow, in addition to writing and organizing RFP and RFI documentation.

My BlackBerry Passport helps me do all these tasks seamlessly, regardless if I’m in the office or mobile. I can send my clients quotes and documentation, organize meetings with customers or staff, and use our CRM system all from the BlackBerry Hub. I barely need to use my PC anymore because composing documents and reading on the Passport is very natural.

And doing social media on the BlackBerry Passport has been a breeze, which is important to me because Pixel relies on social media in several different ways. We create systems that aggregate social media feeds, turn the feed into a HD graphic, then airs it on broadcast TV. I use the BlackBerry Passport to check the work that we’re doing and make suggestions to my team on how to improve our digital products. Having access to multiple social media feeds within the BlackBerry Hub lets me quickly make notes on what we need to improve or what’s going well with our product.

Aside from that, I use the BlackBerry Passport to check on our corporate social media platforms, engage with our customers, and let them know what we are doing.

BBRY2709_Instagram_Image_Passport_PrivateJetWatts: What makes the BlackBerry Passport useful to your industry?

Cowan: Working in sales and media requires managing hundreds of accounts, managing thousands of contacts, staying on top of social media, and being able to organize meetings, emails, and tons of customer history.

The BlackBerry Hub and the BlackBerry Passport make these tasks extremely simple. Having the ability to read and edit an Excel spreadsheet or work on a PowerPoint presentation on the Passport’s large screen makes it the ultimate mobile computing device.

Watts: What projects have you completed using the BlackBerry Passport?

Cowan: There isn’t a project, presentation, or communication need that doesn’t involve my BlackBerry Passport. Microsoft One Drive, Dropbox, the BlackBerry Hub and the BlackBerry File Manager integration are tools I use every day.

I have thousands of customers across the globe and staying organized and in contact with them is key. My office line is forwarded to my Passport so that when I’m traveling I can connect with my customer in a pinch because I have their phone number, email address, SMS, BBM, social information, and history of what we last spoke about, all in one location.

In one instance, I used the Passport to send screenshots, illustrations, and text of technical specs to a customer who needed the information immediately in order to get approval for critical changes to their equipment.

Just recently, I attended a large trade show where I was able to schedule client appointments, present demo presentations to customers, generate quotes, scan prospective customer badges, organize customer dinners with restaurants, and post trade show updates to social media all from the Passport–without needing a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer.

Watts: Do you use BlackBerry Blend?

Cowan: Yes, it’s a powerful tool that I love using daily.

Anything on my phone easily can be opened on my desktop, which makes things like editing documents on the road and then picking them up on the desktop simple. It saves time and allows me to stay focused on getting my work done, even when I switch devices or locations.

Blend and BlackBerry PassportWatts: How else has BlackBerry Blend affected your work?

Cowan: I no longer have to check my phone every five minutes to see if an important message has come in. That small time saver alone makes a world of a difference when communicating with thousands of people on a consistent basis. If I tore my eyes away from my work on a desktop just to check notifications on my phone I’d never get anything done.

The time I save with Blend gives me more time to talk to prospective customers, which boosts my pipeline and helps my company grow. I also use the time saved to provide extensive customer service to my existing clients with follow-up calls from my BlackBerry Passport, which they greatly appreciate.

Watts: How would you rate the BlackBerry Passport?

Cowan: I’m a tough guy to please but it’s a step away from being perfect.

Pricing and Availability

Get a factory-unlocked BlackBerry Passport from

It’s also at Amazon, and at AT&T for $669.99 unsubsidized or $199.99 with a 2-year contract. Rogers and Telus carry the BlackBerry Passport in Canada.

If you live outside of North America, get your BlackBerry Passport directly from us at our global shopping portal. (Check with your local carrier for device compatibility).


About Brea

Brea Watts is a lifestyle blogger with a hint of content and social media marketing expertise. She's also an occasional contributor to the BlackBerry Business Blog, and a Bay Area native who loves cooking and creativity.