Microsoft has purchased Nokia’s devices and services unit, bringing the Lumia lineup under the Redmond roof. The move unites Windows Phone 8 with its biggest hardware supporter, giving the company the integrated mobile offering it’s been looking for with Surface and other devices. When the deal closes in the first quarter of 2014, Microsoft will pay €3.79 billion for Nokia’s business, plus another €1.65 billion to license its portfolio of patents. 32,000 people are expected to transfer from Nokia to Microsoft, including 18,300 that are “directly involved in manufacturing.”
The purchase comes on the heels of what appeared to be a failed acquisition in June, at which point it seemed conversations had broken off entirely. Now the two come together, in what outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer called “a bold step into the future.”
A driving force behind the sale seems to be Nokia’s low-end Asha brand, which Microsoft has acquired outright. Asha gives Microsoft a far larger footprint for Windows Phone, and access to millions of customers in developing countries that it plans to use as an “on-ramp to Windows Phone.” The emphasis also lends some credibility to the notion that Nokia’s high-end strategy isn’t working — analysts predicted a horrific Q3 for the company, and its struggles to find a foothold are well-documented. In fact, Microsoft’s licensing deal for the Nokia brand doesn’t include future Lumias — Nokia as a smartphone brand is effectively dead, as Microsoft takes the lineup in-house.
Though Nokia was by leaps and bounds Microsoft’s best hardware partner for Windows Phone 8, EVP of operating systems Terry Myerson was careful to note that Microsoft’s purchase doesn’t come with nepotism. As Google has with Motorola, Myerson promised every partner would be treated the same, even quoting a song by The Killers to make his point. And from Huawei to HTC, there are still other partners — Nokia’s coming in-house, but Windows Phone 8 isn’t being walled off.
- Microsoft: Nokia kept some of its Lumia hardware features secret from us (neowin.net)
- Nokia kept secrets from Microsoft over its Windows Phone plans (theverge.com)
- Microsoft Purchases Nokia’s Device and Services Division to Unite Windows Phone Hardware and Software (macrumors.com)
- Even with its purchase of Nokia, Microsoft won’t forget its Windows Phone partners (phonearena.com)
- Microsoft’s Nokia Deal by the Numbers (allthingsd.com)
- Microsoft: This is why we bought Nokia (wpcentral.com)
- Microsoft purchases Nokia for $7.2 billion (digitaltrends.com)
Scaling innovation certainly does pose challenges – particularly when it comes to mobile, unless mobile is at the heart of your innovation strategy.
Today, the top 5 devices activated are iPhones and iPads and enterprise adoption of smartphones is reaching 80%. App development has also accelerated. Companies who were experimenting with a handful of business apps are now deploying dozens or even hundreds of apps. And organizations that were once considered early adopters are now joining the majority. Given the proliferation and impact of mobile, it’s easy to see why scaling mobile innovation is now critical.
But how do you accomplish this? And what role should your Mobile Center of Excellence (MCoE) play? There are four obstacles that may be standing in your way:
1. Putting All Your Apps In One Basket
Mobility is a channel, not only a technology. With expansive proliferation of mobile apps, mobile stores, point solutions and platforms, there is a significant risk of investing in the wrong place – or putting all your eggs in one basket — a point made amply clear by the high rates of mobile app abandonment after first use.
2. Organization Without Representation
How do you organize and operate to drive mobile innovation within your enterprise? What kinds of operating models can capture the strategy and innovation cycles of your mobile effort while also accommodating the sometimes-stormy implementation and survival phase? Identifying influential mobile stakeholders will help you uncover ottom-up alignment opportunities amongst those who drive and support use case decisions.
3. A Use Case is a Terrible Thing to Waste
Today with mobile, the transformation focus is shifting to business user behavior and engagement. Finding the right way to engage users or customers can direct process change and subsequently transform entire businesses and industries. Use cases that leverage mobile technology and provide the right level of business orientation ultimately become the strategic use cases that truly matter.
4. Not Innovating Innovation
To realize the true power of mobility, especially Enterprise Mobility, the innovation process must be ongoing. It needs to focus on finding, building, managing and operating the right mobile portfolio at a predictable cost while also evolving with the needs of your users.
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