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Nokia's Enterprise Effort

LAS VEGAS -- CTIA Wireless 2006 -- Marking the first notable offshoot of its Intellisync acquisition late last year, Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) today released a new device management system that will enable carriers to provide their enterprise customers with an array of tools for managing mobile devices across various networks and platforms.

Called, appropriately enough, Intellisync Device Management for Carriers, the new product is billed as a vehicle for carriers to expand their offerings in the rapidly expanding market for enterprise mobile applications. It was presented today at the CTIA Wireless convention in Las Vegas.

Though enterprise mobility offerings afford higher margins and average revenue per user (ARPU) than the consumer market, carriers have been relatively slow to roll out compelling solutions -- largely as a result of security and management concerns.

"The question has been, how do you develop that model when 80 percent of the device choices are made by individuals?" notes Dave Grannan, general manager of Nokia's enterprise mobility solutions arm.

The Nokia product, he adds, will be "the first to allow service providers to offer device management as a service to their customers."

For Nokia, the new system is part of an effort to "refit" Intellisync's mobile applications products to sell through the carrier channel. Nokia purchased Intellisync last November for $430 million. Nokia's enterprise solutions division lost $162 million in the fourth quarter of 2005. The company has also released a series of devices, including the E61 and E70 models, to compete with the dominant BlackBerry in mobile email and messaging. (See David Heit, Sr. Product Manager, RIM.)

The device management solution will help carriers move beyond BlackBerry-style mobile email and offer a wide range of mobile applications to their mobile business customers. In the event of loss or theft, for instance, enterprise IT managers will be able to shut down and wipe clean devices from a variety of manufacturers, running a wide range of operating systems.

"BlackBerry has done a very good job at providing device management and security," says Grannan, "and we believe that what's magic is not the [push email] application, but the integrated management."

Management concerns, says Grannan, have limited adoption of new mobile applications such as CRM, salesforce systems, and mobile workflow management. And carriers, in turn, vary widely in the maturity of their enterprise offerings.

"Some of the carriers have business groups that are very sophisticated, and know the market," he explains, "and some are just learning to spell 'enterprise.'"

— Richard Martin, Senior Editor, Unstrung

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