It also freed IT departments from dealing with restarting the phone, repushing servicebooks restarting the BES server and all the other hassle that went with BES. I know companies that moved to iPhone/Android and either fired or repurposed an full time employee that had been previously dedicated to BES.
This, times 1,000. I'm amazed more people aren't talking about this.
All the cool BES security and management stuff is amazing, in theory. But in reality, BES is cumbersome, overly complicated, and downright unreliable, with crappy support. As just one particularly infuriating example: I used to run a BES server for about 100 users, and I couldn't migrate any Exchange mailboxes between mailbox databases because BES would corrupt the users' blackberry contacts. I had a ticket open with RIM support for well over a year, and now I've moved to new job, but AFAIK they never fixed that bug. When I complained through their sales channel at contract renewal time, their sales person said it was a feature request, and they couldn't be bothered. What IT department wants to support that? We like happy users, not angry users with broken phones and no help from the vendor. Forget not keeping up with new market trends -- RIM has driven away those who used to be its core supporters in what is supposedly its core market. And we're not coming back.