Working from home, for some, is but a dream. Unless they’re properly equipped to succeed, people may actually find it to be more of a nightmare. Ken Wheeler, vice president of business development in EMEA for Arise Virtual Solutions, an award-winning provider of business process outsourcing (BPO) services, aims to smooth the way for clients benefitting from Arise’s work-from-home platform.
Ken’s guidance contributed to Arise’s winning the 2015 Outsourcing SME of the Year award from the National Outsourcing Association. As a senior manager working in a “virtual” business, Ken is perpetual motion personified. Despite the fact that the company has its corporate headquarters in Miami, Ken and his team typically work remotely. When he says typically, he means 99% of the time.
With decades of proven sales and marketing experience under his belt, for a good portion of that time he’s had a BlackBerry smartphone clipped to that belt. After spending two productive years with the Q10 as his daily driver, Ken upgraded to the PRIV by BlackBerry in January. Before that, he owned a “Curve, Bold and a couple of the original trackball and thumb-wheel models!”
Ken is in good company on Team BlackBerry. Other people sold on PRIV include this aerospace engineer, this TV chef, this best-selling author and pastor, these twin fashion moguls, this entrepreneurial lawyer, this teenaged tech CEO, this sports editor, this TV presenter, this consulting firm CEO, this Irish entrepreneur and tech blogger, and this insurance manager. He also shares his longstanding BlackBerry fandom with this Hollywood actor, this rising NBA star, this life-saving oncologist, these world-champion athletes, this Las Vegas music promoter and this young entrepreneur.
Ryan Blundell: What made you decide to upgrade to PRIV?
Ken Wheeler: In my view, PRIV is the pinnacle of BlackBerry design. I am a self-confessed BlackBerry addict, dating back 10-12 years, mainly due to the physical keyboard, practical approach to email management and general robust design. As a mobile business user, [I felt] the BlackBerry always seemed a more reliable option than other smartphones. I am constantly in cars, on trains and walking the city streets between appointments, so the BlackBerry’s hard-wearing design has been a godsend.
Blundell: What does your typical workday look like?
Wheeler: During the week, I’m up at 6:30 traveling to meetings or client events, managing my email inbox remotely, so access to Wi-Fi is pretty important. I’m done with meetings by five, but then I’m consistently working into the evening when the US guys are generally Skyping me. As a virtual business, we hold 99% of our meetings remotely either on Skype or Lync or similar.
Wheeler: The Hub feature is a great way to stay on top of messages, whether they are work email, text or other social media. The large screen on the PRIV is great for spreadsheets and reviewing PowerPoint documents and PDFs, which are generally what we use to communicate solutions to clients.
Blundell: Which apps do you frequently use on your PRIV and why?
Wheeler: Outlook is essential for me when it comes to email and diary management. I am also a fanatical networker on LinkedIn, so that is pretty much open all the time. I’m glad the PRIV’s battery can keep up with me!
Blundell: What is one feature that you simply cannot live without?
Wheeler: It has to be the physical keyboard. For me, it’s mainly for typing accuracy while I’m mobile. I also love the unrestricted screen view, though I’m also a fan of the scroll function. I’m still exploring the keyboard shortcuts!
Blundell: What do your colleagues say about your PRIV? Are they BlackBerry users as well?
Wheeler: They regard me as a traditional sales guy which works for me – fastidious attention to detail, always staying close to prospects, following up calls and networking whenever the opportunity arises. In many ways I am leading the great BlackBerry resurgence since the PRIV has received many admiring glances and appreciative comments.
Blundell: How do you rate your PRIV?
Wheeler: In my view it’s the perfect 10!
If you want to know more about PRIV, check out what our fans are saying, look at the official PRIV product page and watch our how-to demos. If you are wondering where you can get your hands on a PRIV, check out our availability blog. Many carriers such as AT&T in the U.S. and Rogers and Bell in Canada are also offering PRIV at new, lower prices (as low as $299.99 on two-year contract in Canada or $21.34/month with zero down at AT&T).