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Q and A: How BlackBerry Passport Makes Life Sweet For Sugar Manager


Frank O'Kelly horizontal
Being surrounded by sugar every day is a kid’s dream. For commercial manager Frank O’Kelly, the sweet stuff is just his job. O’Kelly works for Ragus Sugars Manufacturing, a London company that sources raw sugars from African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, and then manufactures and distributes sugars and syrups across the globe.

When he’s not coordinating the sales, marketing and customer service operations for Ragus, O’Kelly builds computer systems and vets operating systems, mobile devices and other work tools for possible adoption. That’s how O’Kelly, who also writes for the Inside BlackBerry blog and posts on our very-active LinkedIn group, became a fan of the Blackberry Passport.

(Read about other satisfied Passport users,  this young entrepreneur, this upscale homebuilder’s CEO, this tech headhunter, this geologist and pilot, celebrity chef Tyler Florence, tech startup foundersales director, senior hospital executivemanufacturing executivenon-profit founder, software engineerlegal administratorpharmaceutical CEOsoftware managerinsurance salesman, and these workers from multiple industries.)

Watts: What attracted you to the BlackBerry Passport?

Passport_InUse-MaleO’Kelly: My company regularly reviews various operating systems and devices to ensure that our team has the most effective work tools. We tested several mobile devices for security, battery life, device durability, call quality, integration with our existing systems, productivity, response time and fewest number of clicks to get work done. All the other devices scored reasonably in various areas, but the BlackBerry Passport scored highest across the board.

We went with the Passport because it integrates into our work processes more easily than other devices. Devices from other vendors are built to engage primarily with their own work environments and don’t easily adapt to other ecosystems’ email, CRM apps and technical data handling. This doesn’t mean that the other devices were bad, but the BlackBerry Passport was able to meet all of our needs rather than forcing the company to change its work environment to adapt to the phone vendor’s ecosystem.

Watts: How do you use the BlackBerry Passport at work?

O’Kelly: The Passport is my company’s primary mobile work device. Our teams spend a lot of time traveling but still must maintain a certain level of productivity. The wider form factor of the BlackBerry Passport makes it easy to read reports and write emails and other documents.

In fact, we have a zero-typo policy at my company because our clients deserve more than a “sorry I typed this on my inaccurate smartphone” excuse. With the BlackBerry Passport we type error-free messages when working mobile.

Another advantage of using a BlackBerry device is BlackBerry Blend, the remote file access capability built into the BlackBerry 10 OS. This feature lets me access folders back on my office PC even if I am in a different country. Blend recently came in handy at an out-of-town meeting when I was asked to make a presentation for an unexpected attendee. In the past, if I was put on the spot like this, I would just stand up and hope that I didn’t forget a key point. This time around with the BlackBerry Passport, I downloaded my presentation from a PC that was hundreds of miles away, connected the phone via HDMI to the big screen in the conference room, and got down to business. This remote file access function is built into the BlackBerry operating system. No other device we tested had this capability.


Watts: What else do you like about BlackBerry Blend?

O’Kelly: BlackBerry Blend is one of those “killer apps” we all hear about but rarely experience. But it was the first time I ever had a mobile screen successfully projected onto a desktop monitor.

No matter what workstation I’m at, I open up BlackBerry Blend, sign in my device and have access to the phone communications hub, files on the device, files on the 128GB SD card and files on both my laptop and work office PC. I don’t even need my phone nearby to see all of my communications, or send and receive messages. I also love that when I use Blend I can put the phone face down and it goes into power-save mode and my battery lasts an entire week.

Watts: How has the BlackBerry Passport and BlackBerry Blend changed your productivity?

O’Kelly: My productivity has increased because I’m no longer tied to my laptop. I can work mobile and save time while using one device. Using my Passport I can write and edit full- featured documents or spreadsheets, read and leave comments in technical PDFs, and share anything with anybody in a couple of clicks without third-party apps.

The battery life also adds to my productivity because the BlackBerry Passport easily lasts from 4:30 in the morning until after midnight with constant use. I don’t have to stop work to look for an outlet or a charger.

Watts: How is the BlackBerry Passport useful to your industry?

O’Kelly: In every industry I’ve worked in–military, IT, telecoms, or manufacturing–we’ve needed tools that enable work rather than distract us from it, and the BlackBerry Passport fits that bill perfectly.

I enjoy all gadgets, iOS, Android, and Windows, but BlackBerry trumps them all in productivity. The other devices do consumer things well but BlackBerry is specifically made to enable you to work better.

Watts: How would you rate it?

O’Kelly: I’ve never given it a number; I just call it the “boss phone” because it’s an exceptional tool that has no competition.

Pricing and Availability

Ready to access your files seamlessly with a BlackBerry Passport? BlackBerry Blend comes preinstalled on BlackBerry smartphones running BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.3 or later. You can download Blend for each desktop, tablet or other device that you want to communicate with your smartphone.

Get a factory-unlocked BlackBerry Passport from

Black: $499

White: $499

Limited Edition Red: $499

and the all-new Silver Edition: $549

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).

Also check out the savings on other phones at our End of Summer/Back to School sale at ShopBlackBerry going on now.

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.