Corporate shot in the arm for Windows Phone - TechCentral

Corporate shot in the arm for Windows Phone

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If Microsoft’s nascent Windows Phone platform is going to succeed, it’s in the corporate market, where the company is already strong with its desktop and server tools, where it arguably has the greatest chance of success against rival platforms such as Google’s Android and Apple, with the iPhone.

Now, its ambitions in the enterprise market — and those of partner Nokia — have been given a shot in the arm. Avanade, the Microsoft platform-focused subsidiary of global consulting giant Accenture, has signed an agreement with Nokia to sell the handset manufacturer’s Windows Phone-based Lumia devices into large corporate enterprises.

The move could help Nokia and Microsoft get a strong leg-up in the enterprise space as corporate IT departments consider alternatives to Research in Motion’s BlackBerry platform, which once controlled the corporate market but which has lost ground in recent years to Apple’s iPhone and smartphones powered by Google’s Android operating system.

Avanade, which has 17 000 employees, says it will work with Nokia to deliver “packaged offerings” that include its application development and system integration services and Microsoft technology. The idea is to provide big corporate customers with Windows Phone and Microsoft IT infrastructure expertise to allow them to begin adopting the ecosystem.

Avanade South Africa chief technology officer and innovation leader Rudi Greyling says there is a “significant gap” in the market for a “new class of business-focused mobile services and solutions” and that his company will integrate Windows Phone 8-powered Nokia Lumia smartphones with business applications such as Microsoft Office, customer relationship management (CRM) tools and access other corporate information.

According to a survey commissioned by Avanade, 54% of C-level executives and IT decision makers say their employees use smartphones for work functions, including e-mail, Web browsing and calendaring. More than 40% want to use their own devices for more complex, mission-critical tasks such as content creation and CRM, it says.  — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media

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