Software and mobile manufacturer Nokia has teamed up with Avanade, a joint venture of Accenture and Microsoft, to sell Nokia Lumia devices, applications and services to large enterprise customers.
Under the agreement, Avanade and Nokia plan to deliver packaged offerings combining Avanade’s application development and system integration services, Microsoft technology and Nokia’s Lumia products and related services. The partners will provide enterprise customers with Windows Phone and Microsoft infrastructure expertise to support the pilot adoption and testing of Nokia Windows Phone 8 devices through to production deployments.
Although in its press release the company claims it would meet bring-your-own-device trend needs, the partnership might also help increase Lumia sales, at least among enterprises. One positive point could be security, as several experts noted that Windows Phone devices could be more secure than Android or iOS.
Nokia’s Lumia line is in desperate need of attention as it continues to struggle for market share in the smartphone arena. Gartner released a report late last year noting the smartphone market was dominated by Apple and Samsung, with both vendors together controlling 46.5% of the smartphone market.
As for Nokia, Gartner said the manufacturer slipped from No. 3 in the second quarter of 2012, to No. 7 in smartphone sales in the third quarter. However, Gartner said that the arrival of the new Lumia devices running Microsoft’s Windows 8 should help to halt the decline in share in the fourth quarter of 2012, although it won’t be until 2013 to see a significant improvement in Nokia’s position.
Among operating systems in the smartphone market, Android continued to increase its market share, up 19.9 percentage points in the third quarter of 2012. Windows phone share weakened year-on-year as the Windows Phone 8 launch dampened demand of Windows Phone 7 devices.
In announcing the partnership, Avanade claimed it would meet growing demand for business-ready mobile solutions, with a focus on BYOD. The company reported in one of its surveys that over half (54%) of c-level executives and IT decision-makers reported the majority of their employees use smartphones for work functions such as e-mail, Web content and calendar invitations.
Additionally, many employees (42%) now want to use their own devices for more complex, mission-critical tasks, such as content creation and customer relationship management, which drive productivity.
In a statement, Ian Jordan, EVP of sales, marketing, innovation and alliances at Avanade, cited the existing gap in the market for a new class of business-focused mobile services and solutions. Jordan suggested that Avanade and Nokia can work together to fill this gap; integrating Nokia Lumia smartphones running Windows Phone 8, with business applications such as Microsoft Office, CRM and access to company information to improve collaboration, productivity and sales.
As for Nokia, its global head of business-to-business sales, Niko Mykkänen, noted the growth in the use of consumer devices at work has created opportunities for businesses, but also vulnerabilities that need to be addressed. Mykkänen said that Nokia and Avanade will work together to create business solutions to meet the needs of the enterprise.
However, a recent survey from iPass, noted that the profile of the most popular enterprise smartphones has changed as employees have increasingly taken ownership of their own devices for work.
The study found that the iPhone remains the hottest device, with 53% of the mobile workforce using the Apple phones, up from 45% in 2011. Android-powered devices was used by 34% of mobile workers, up from 21% in 2011, and has taken the No. 2 spot from Research In Motion’s BlackBerry platform, which is now the device of choice for just 26% of mobile workers, down from 32% in 2011.
From an IT organization perspective, security remains top concern for enterprise mobility adoption.
According to Ovum, nearly 70% of all smartphone-owning professionals are now using their personal devices to access corporate data, but almost 80% of today’s BYOD activity remains inadequately managed by IT departments.