Nokia exits enterprise software

Mobile UC involves high complexity and vendors should concentrate on their strengths instead of trying to provide end-to-end solutions

Nokia has announced it will no longer develop software solutions for business.

With an ambitious plan to provide end-to-end unified communications (UC) on mobile devices, it had taken the acquisition path to create a comprehensive set of mobile applications. It has built a portfolio of applications such as email, voice, device management and mobile access to business back-end systems.

However, in contrast to its main enterprise rivals, Nokia never had a PBX installed base or a software collaboration footprint. As a result, its direct relationship with enterprises was weak.

The company has recognized that it is unable to advance into the enterprise market as a standalone mobility solutions provider. Nokia will now concentrate its efforts on developing powerful user interfaces for its devices, which will be supported by its UC partners on their platforms - they include companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Cisco and Alcatel-Lucent.

Mobility is emerging into the mainstream of the enterprise communication and collaboration platforms. Increasingly, enterprises will treat mobility as an extension of their office solutions rather than as an independent solution.

UC solutions require a lot of integration, and this is particularly true when mobility is added. Enterprises expect solutions to embrace open standards and they expect their vendors to partner, allowing them to choose best-of-breed applications without having to worry about interoperability. Nokia has recognized that it is not well placed to play the application integration role and has decided to leave this to its better-qualified partners.

Nokia will focus its enterprise activities on its E-Series devices. It aims to build on the success of its E66 and E71 devices and to leverage developments from its consumer devices into its business products.

This will include utilizing its consumer market partnerships, as well as building on its Ovi consumer services to support business professionals. Nokia's enterprise device software assets and expertise are being moved from its services and software group into its devices group to support its objective to develop competitive devices.

Nokia will halt further development of its Intellisync products and will cease developing or marketing its own behind-the-firewall business mobility solutions, but it says it is not abandoning Intellisync altogether since it will be able to utilize significant parts of the technology for carrier-based messaging products for the consumer market.

Further security product development will be focused on the device, and Nokia has announced that it is in the advanced stages of the sale of its security appliance business to a financial investor.

Claudio Castelli, Senior Analyst

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