Nokia looking to ramp up pressure on BlackBerry in the enterprise market

Nokia has been taking enterprise that much more seriously since moving across and supporting Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, aggressively drawing up plans with businesses in multiple markets. The company doesn't appear to be showing signs of holding back in the near future with Adrian Williams, director of business sales UK, going into some detail about what plans Nokia has drafted and how BlackBerry will also be targeted.

According to Williams, Nokia will be launching a major marketing campaign in Q3 this year, homing in on B2B indirect channels and attempting to not only cater for everyday consumers, but also large businesses. This is partly due to Microsoft releasing several tools and services for Windows Phone that enable OEM partners to bring the big guns to enterprise deals.

"These are much more significant contracts in terms of size. We are really gaining momentum in the b2b market now. It takes time for these deals to work through the product cycle but we are now seeing the fruits of that work and we are increasingly being recognised as a viable alternative in the market. There isn’t a business that doesn’t use Microsoft one way or another. We offer a very compelling solution - and without a monthly charge."

Lumia 625

Williams uses the deal secured with UK soft drink maker Britvic as an example of Nokia's increased credibility. The Finnish manufacturer managed to barge past both BlackBerry and Android partners to snap up the partnership. Microsoft's mobile operating system, coupled with Nokia Lumia hardware makes for a great experience that companies require. Releasing multiple handsets to cater for different needs, Nokia has ensured there's a size that fits all.

UK mobile operator O2 is also highlighted in the report, with Williams noting how Nokia is starting to work closely will operators to further drum up business with enterprise. Building on the recent run of signed deals, Nokia will be looking to bag some more big brands, which will only be positive for Microsoft and the platform as a whole. We took a look at the Z10 and how it compared against the Lumia 920, if you're interested in further reading.

Source: Mobile Today; thanks, Nishy, for the heads up!

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Yeah, but Nokia can only do so much. MS needs to step it up too.
  • Microsoft should give MS Partners incentive if they get clients to switch like MegaPath does for its partners. I know most of us are but getting paid makes some people work a little harder.
  • Megapath?
  • They are a ISP. Sell T1's dedicated Ethernet so on.
  • I like this incentives things you're talking about. What if MS told OEMs, "If you sell X amount of windows phones to a business, well charge you X% less for each WP license you buy from us." at this point, MS should not be worrying how much they make off of each phone. They should flood the market with WP and make a profit later. Android sales are making them millions anyways. :-P
  • The problem with microsoft is that each team has too much to do. Windows Phone has to deal with selling to OEMs, and do gdr3. AND I would bet they have already started dealing with 8.1. The Windows team has to deal with SELLING, windows 8.1. And the xbox team, well, they have to deal with the xbox one. And for the moment they are in deep shit for x1. So I think that Microsoft has other things to do than. :P
  • I'm pretty sure apple and google have lots of crap to do as well but they keep releasing updates at a faster rate than MS.
  • I agree. It is pathetic that there is no vpn capabilities built onto the OS yet.
  • Its coming, there is a huge enterprise service pack scheduled to be released.
  • That's why he said yet :P
  • Unfortunately a little late. The first half of 2014. Little late for eap-tls support :((
  • 100% agree.  These last few months, I see Nokia hitting at the market hard with great devices like 520, 925, and 1020.  Even on the software side, Nokia is releasing an amazing Amber update.  Wouldn't it be great if MS helped out by making WP announcments to coincide with this Nokia releases?  Instead I hear crickets.  I'm not trying to be unreasonable and say MS has to release a major update every week.  But the WP8 reveal was around this time last year.  So a whole year has passed and not much new has been shown, let alone released.
  • I would guess that Microsoft is taking a page from their competitor's (and partner's) playbook, and saving announcements for when they actually have product to ship.  Nokia announcing and shipping their last few device releases within weeks of each other is working out great for them - it does not give the press time to lose interest, before the product is in the hands of consumers.  
    As the platform maker, what exactly do you expect Microsoft to be able to announce on so frequent a basis.   With that in mind, let's see what major products they have in the pipeline:  Windows 8.1, Windows Phone 8.1, 2nd gen Surface RT and Surface Pro and a rumored Xbox Surface tablet, potentially a line of Surface Windows Phones, and Xbox One.   Of those, Xbox One is already announced, however many of it's best features and a release date have yet to be announced )GC, maybe). All 2nd Gen Surface tablets are likely not going to be announced literally until a couple of weeks before Windows 8.1 ships; and Windows 8.1 is still months away.  Same goes for a Surface line of phones; not likely to be announced until just before Windows Phone 8.1 ships; and Windows Phone 8.1 is not due until early next year.   So I guess in the meantime Microsoft and spend their time announcing . . . nothing.  "What about GDR2 and GDR3," you say?  What about them?  Those products are aimed at OEMs and offer very little interest for Joe Consumer.  Better to let the OEMs actually building the devices surrounding those updates make their own announcements - you remember devices, those are the things Joe Consumer actually care about. 
    Instead of more frequent, useless announcements about products that are months away from retail, I'd much rather Microsoft spend as much of their time as possible working behind the scenes ensuring that when announcements (from themselves and their partners) are made, that they are announcements worth hearing about.  Which last check, appears to be exactly what Microsoft has been doing.  Nokia makes an announcement and looks good doing it, and Microsoft ensures their OEM partners look good, by working quietly in the background on updates like GDR2 and GDR3.  It may not be flashy, and it may be a lot less sensational than as some of their competitors, but it is going to insure that the existing Windows OEMs are happy OEMs.  And that is what is going to grow market share and the brand.
    Now if you really want to see a sensational announcement, how about HTC finally calling it quits on Android, and going all-in (Nokia style) on Windows Phone starting this fall?  I know, I know.  Not likely to ever happen, but it sure would be the kind of sensational headlining news story, to make people stand up and take Windows Phone that much more serious.
  • No, I think it would not. Most people have never heard of HTC... so "some Android maker committing fully to WP" headline would hardly gain much attention. Something like Lenovo would be another thing.
  • I agree. Major multinational corporations are choosing... iPhone over WP or Blackberry! The corporate market should be Microfsoft's territory.
  • I agree also. See it all the time. The iPhone is so ubiquitous that the corps go out of their way to support and make it fit. My wife's employer (over 8,000 employees) which is using XP still does not support WP. Tried to get her a 928, but had to take it back and put her back on iPhone so she could get the work connectivity she needed. I was stunned that a company using a Windows platform could not easily integrate a Windows Phone. Until that happens, the WP enterprise effort is going nowhere.
  • When I was corporate IT we told the CEO what he was getting and let him pick the model he wanted. Now the executives are telling IT what to do because they got an iPhone and magically now know everything tech. Now I'm a consultant and have even less say :)
  • That's what I heard, too. The executives are using the iPhone, and so they push it, and it's a very popular choice with the employees, too.
  • True in the US, where people love iPhone and hate Microsoft. Elsewhere, enterprises are driving WP adoption. My international colleagues are now being offered WPs by their employers.
  • The company I'm referring to is #158 on Forbes Global 2000, and a European company. I don't have any statistics, though, this is anecdotal.
  • Feel sorry for BlackBerry. Actually, no, I don't.
  • +1
  • They'll need to release a phone with a physical keyboard then. Microsoft will really need to step it up too.
  • I agree. There were some nice one on WP7 but so far unfortunately none on WP8.
  • Dell venue pro style phone made by Nokia running WP 8.1 that's what I would buy.
  • Yes. Anecdotal evidence alert - but I know at least two BB users who are waiting for a QWERTY Windows Phone before they switch. Otherwise they covet my Lumia :)
  • I agree they definitly need a physical keyboared. My wife will not give up her's. 
  • Physical keyboards on a phone just aren't a necessity anymore. The only phones with keyboards that ever get released are BlackBerry devices and very low specced devices. There simply is no real demand for it.
  • Maybe not a big demand for it, but there's still a demand for it non-the-less, and if Nokia doesn't make a Windows phone with a physical keyboard, or if any other OEM doesn't for that matter, then there's a part of the phone market that isn't being reached, like pvcleave's wife.
  • I thought you were making a joke that parts of pvcleave's wife aren't being reached
  • Haha yeah I read it that way too :P
  • Yes, and VPN access. Oh, and the corporate market would tend to prefer physical keyboards.
  • If Nokia and Microsoft really want to be successful in business, they better totally rework this pile of sh*t they they call a calendar! Only on Windows phone is it impossible to find an empty spot in your schedule at a glance when you have to plan that extra meeting...
  • Yes yes yes!!; come on Citi, take up Nokia as well instead of blackberry crap.
  • Little strong, but I agree the calendar is the one of the weakest things in wp8.
  • Hmm, app keeps making me reply to you instead of the comment above. Sorry. Have deleted twice.
  • +800. Couldn't agree with you more.
  • If citrix/xenapp gets added, my god, it would be a good day.
  • I keep waiting for Citrix Receiver to drop for WP8. I send Citrix a note about once a week asking when it will release.....the canned response is always 'We are working on it. It will release soon'.....tired of that canned answer.
  • Brilliant, keep at it! +920
    Missing Citrix is one of the big reasons why Windows Phone can't really replace iPhone, BB etc. in Business environment yet.
    The other is remote management, that would be the thing for Microsoft to fix.
  • This! Plus they need to implement full exchange synch for email, calendar and task items. For example WP is still lacking categories synch for these items. This feature used to be implemented in windows mobile...
    Also, has no categories for tasks...
    This makes it impossible to use WP as a GTD device, sigh...
  • Same here, I wanted to answer to the comment above, the calendar one.
  • Um, not sure what you are doing wrong, but my 810 has sync options for email, contacts, calendar, and tasks.  You need to set it up as an active-sync type account (type = "outlook").  I've got two separate accounts set up like personal Zimbra account with open-source active-sync connector and the exchange server at work.  If doesn't have the capability..that's not the phone's fault (though still under MS's umbrella to implement, of course).
    And as for the above comment regarding not being able to see easily the gaps in the schedule..again...user error from what I can tell.  Swipe sideways to the "day" tab and it looks like a standard outlook-style calendar entry broken into 30-minute sections.  I believe the default view is "agenda" and I can see where it might get a little difficult to see where the gaps are if there are a lot of entries for a given day.
  • Yes, yes, and yes. Luckily, after seeing the leaked screenshots of Windows Phone Blue and its updated calendar, I think Q1 2014 is when we'll finally have a decent calendar on WP.
  • How can they fumble so badly? They went after the consumers and forgot their eco-system's genetic home!
  • Hmmm... My HD7 has a day view which shows the breakdown by time and I see my empty slots. What do you mean? Edit: Ugh, same here. Stupid app
  • Go Nokia
  • Besides a better calendar they should really get their act together on enterprise WiFi. They sure love announcing thing that take forever to actually happen...
  • Imagine what the uptake would be like when WP adds things like VPN and closer integration with Windows 8. The two OS's could really start to play off each other as the perfect business solution for Microsoft centric enterprises and plant WP firmly as the business phone of choice. Guess we'll see in 2014 how it plays out..
  • Elop keeps on repeating this eco-system mantra, when WP8 doesn't have VPN integration. I do hope it's coming with Blue.
  • Just look how much better the Nokia looks compared to a flat iPhone look alike
  • Microsoft should put more people and energy into the Windows Phone team, it's truly beginning to seem that the only people working there are Belfiore and 2 interns.
  • Clearly there are some OS issues that will slow adoption among some companies, and we needn't list them all here. Seriously, don't list them all unless you want to see this thread degenerate into a non-stop bitch-fest. Ignoring the OS for a moment I think Nokia would make a great partner. As a business I love the idea of having everything from entry level to flagship, all in one line. It keeps everyone on the same page but allows for a lot of deployment options.
  • Well the Microsoft Enterprise Feature pack is going to help with this on ALL Windows Phones!!!!
  • Yesterday I got a new Lumia 520 in exchange for the old Blackberry on the enterprise i work. The problem of the Blackberrys is, that you have to pay an annual fee for the CAL's (License for every BB on BES). On WP, if you have Microsoft Exchange, you don't have to pay another license for the mobile account.
  • That's kinda true.   If you're using Exchange you have to buy Standard CALs for the users which covers ActiveSync, but if you want to do some advance ActiveSync policies like encryption, which gets you closer to Blackberry policies you need to own Standard + Enterprise CALs.
    I have no idea how the costs compare.
  • Have you written your letter of resignation already? Gee, they give you the shittiest WP around in exchange for a BB? What kind of company is that?
  • That is still better than any BB, even the Z10 lags.
  • In which situations does a Z10 lag? A coworker showed me his and let me play with it and I was just awed. It's so cool.
  • Z10 does not lag and can do proper multitasking and has VPN. WP8 may be smooth in flipping tiles but it is not a business OS. It can't even play back wav file for playing voice mail from email. 
  • This is finally working in GDR2 as I can confirm on my 1020.
  • You can use BB10 with ActiveSync only, don't need to pay  for CAL. If you need advanced management then BES10...
  • Sad to see blackberry go... Maybe Nokia will buy it?
  • Nokia will need a couple years of profitability before considering a move like that.
  • Blackberry isnt going away. I wish Nokia and Blackberry would help each others on the phones to overtake Apple and Android.
  • Me too, unfortunately, the 2 best smartphone operating systems are 3rd and 4th place
  • Whilst in the US I never trust anyone using a blackberry.... Ppl workn for the man, that's why I chose windows phone.....
  • I thought Microsoft is the man in many people's eyes
  • Still cant connect Outlook or Lync to my work account due to security policies....MS needs to help on this
  • Yes, NOW, NOW, NOW. Complacency is not a good thing, Microsoft.
  • I'm also sad to see Blackberry go, being Canadian and all, but I'm still rooting for winphone over blackberry.  Maybe now is the time for Blackberry to start using windows OS on their hardware, as they had reportedly been enticed to do earlier.  That could be a win-win.
  • I do believe that if BB faces the situation where their own OS does not sell enough phones to save them, they will choose the same path as Nokia: go with Windows Phone as their main smartphone OS. That will strengthen both BB and Windows Phone. As for now Nokia is making a comeback and WP has grown to be the global number 3 OS, so it can't hurt BB to join this ecosystem.
  • BB will try and license out there OS first before ditching there own and going over to a new OS ecosystem. Would be cool to see BB hardware running WP OS but it would be a long while before that would come.
  • Maybe one of these days Windows Phone will finally work with the full option sheet for Exchange...  Myself and employees of many other healthcare organizations still can't use WP with Exchange because of encryption requirements.  And before anyone tries to call me a troll, it STILL doesn't work.  The SD-Card encryption requirement from Exchange results in failure on WP8 phones whether they have SD Cards or not.
  • Hopefully 8.1 will fix that?  Eitherway... nice to see WP8 making progress beyond the consumer market. 
  • Agreed - I would LOVE to see WP as the defacto choice for Enterprise!
  • Agree
  • I wish I knew how Nokia manages to sell Windows Phone to businesses because I'd love to convince the CEO of our company to switch. Not that it would benefit me in the slightest as I'm bot high up enough in the company but I'm sure it'd certainly benefit them along with Nokia :D
  • I wish they could both work together (Nokia and BlackBerry) I bought the Lumia for Nokia's fantastic Hardware, but I do envy the BlackBerry software, it's super smooth, If Nokia and BlackBerry could work together to bring down the sleazy Apple and copycats Android, that would be the best, it's sad that the two superior operating systems are at the bottom of the heap.
  • If they work together, they can overtake Android and IOS. teamwork pays off in the long run.
  • Tesco also ditched BB, for WP8 and L620's
  • I use exchange to connect to my work email on my L920. I set it up myself. Our servers are mirrored statewide and I get my email faster on my phone the it arrives on my desktop..
  • We defiantly need some vpn capabilities for the work areas when we need WiFi!
  • Go for the jugular and suck the life out of Blackberry before coring the Apple.
  • Hopefully this means we'll see some WP8 devices with a keyboard soon.  Upgraded to a L920 from a Dell Venue Pro, and I miss my keyboard.  A lot.
  • Since Blackberry is on top i guess Nokia is versatile ;)
  • MS should add ipsec VPN to their mobile and tablet OS's if they seriously want to get into enterprise successfully.
  • Microsoft has every network protocol from Desktop Windows on their tablets...
  • Sorry but no chances! I have been using WIndows Phone for several months. The Email app is the best in the industry but it attaches only PHOTOS !!!   So, I ditched it for a BlackBerry 10 device, which is now excelling Windows Phone in the sphere of Email Management. I can attach photos, documents (all extensions), appointments and contacts. 
    Besides with BlackBerry I still enjoy cheaper international data roaming tarriffs in the UAE. 
    As for Office Apps , they are OK much better than the Documents to Go on the BlackBerry. 
    So, summing up there are the following main points important for an Enterprise user, which 
    -  Built-in messaging app (Skype is the best candidate);  - BlackBerry has BBM with Video and Screen Sharing; 
    - Integration of the SkyDrive to the Email app and ability to attach several documents in one email message; - BlackBerry has integration with DropBox and Email app is able to attach several files besides photos; 
    -  Data Roaming Solutions (obtain the mobile operators (carriers) support. BlackBerry has it since the day one. 
    Unless, Microsoft resolves these they wont be able to enter enterprises but they have a great potential!
  • Perhaps I'm too hard on Microsoft because WP8 is new, but their pace seems too slow. Going with "services and devices" could make it even slower as they are likely to want to push various devices, instead of a one really great device, as in get a tablet for email attachments. Unless of course they are planning to merge WP and RT...
  • Which system is newer? WP8 or BB10 ?
  • Technically BB10 is newer than WP8, but there were a ton of BB10 development devices released before we saw what WP8 even looked like
  • All the companies majorly use windows 7 or 8 for enterprise needs. If wp8 can support vpn and sync capabilities or at least release certificates to achieve this, then wp8 devices will be greatest threats to all iPhone and blackberry devices.
  • It's great that Nokia is doing this, but they some help from MS too. Not financially, but in terms of services they can provide to companies. VPN comes to mind. I don't get why, or how one of the biggest software companies is behind, or doesn't offer solutions other companies do for years. Why isn't MS working on a dedicated messenger app. I know, they want to unify their messaging via Skype. But then DO something with it! As it is right now, Skype doesn't come close to competing with BBM. Again. One of the biggest software companies in the world. Just make a decent massaging solution already.
    MS initially started directly competing with Google in search. They found some success there. Why did they stop? Was it too much work? Not enough resources? I can't imagine any of that. Make a video portal, invest in social media. Compete against Google once more! Don't let them dish out service after service and then frown because they won't make it accessible to you. Just make your own things. Make it better. Your Microsoft. You can do this.