Nokia launces new programme

Mobile communications giant Nokia has unveiled details of its new Nokia for business channel programme. Nokia hopes that the flexible programme will accelerate the widespread adoption of business mobility solutions

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By  Published  October 31, 2006

The new programme features two partner levels — authorised and expert — and allows channel partners to specialise on three technology tracks: mobility, security and voice.

Nokia hopes that the launch of the new programme will create the industry’s most complete channel ecosystem for the design, deployment, sale and support of security and open mobility solutions worldwide.

“A complete channel ecosystem has been the missing link in the business mobility value chain,” explained Mary McDowell, executive VP and general manager, enterprise solutions at Nokia.

“By bringing together a universe of leading channel and operator partners, we can unlock the true potential of business mobility — for Nokia, for our partners and, above all, for business.”

The new business channel programme will offer a wide range of benefits to accredited partners based on their skill sets, solutions expertise and commitment to value selling.

Financial benefits are linked to partner level and technology track, reflecting the fact that some markets and technologies remain at an early stage of development and require ‘market making’ investments.

“Nokia recognises the importance of developing a business channel — a network of partners with the ear of today’s corporations, intimately acquainted with their security, mobility and collaboration needs,” said David Petts, senior VP enterprise solutions sales, marketing and services at Nokia.

“We’re serious about our commitment to our partners today and for the long term, and our programme has been designed to reflect that.

Incentives will reward partners for investments in training and for value creation, not just for revenue generation,” he added.

Nokia’s own enterprise solutions sales force will focus on ‘high touch’ lead generations, with the consequent fulfilment needs driven entirely through the channel and operators, ensuring that there is no conflict between Nokia and its partners.

Nokia has already started to flesh out its go-to-market structure in the Middle East, naming Redington as a regional distribution partner for its enterprise mobility solutions.

The vendor has also signed up a number of customer-facing partners including Emirates Computers, Al Futtaim Technologies and Solutions Middle East in the UAE.

In Saudi Arabia, Nokia is already working closely with IT group NTG to develop demand for enterprise mobility solutions.

The scale of the channel opportunity that Nokia predicts is staggering to behold and a recent EMEA partner conference to launch the new programme attracted some 250 attendees from across the region, including more than a dozen from the Middle East and Africa theatre.

After presentations from Nokia executives and a guest appearance by Italian football refereeing legend Pierluigi Collina more than 90% of delegates said they planned to sign up for the new programme.

Francois Bornibus, VP of Nokia enterprise solutions EMEA, explained: “Globally some 900 million mobile phones will be sold and there is a growing opportunity in the business market for mobility solutions.

The market for business mobility solutions will be worth US$38 billion by 2009.

There are additional channel opportunities in this space including readiness assessment, solutions design and site surveys.”

Nokia executives are currently making numerous reference to Geoffrey A. Moore’s seminal marketing book ‘Crossing the Chasm’ when it comes to describing the uptake potential for business mobility solutions - and rightly so according to the statistics at their disposal.

“Today there are some 650 million corporate mailboxes,” continued Bornibus.

“Less than 10 million of these have been mobilised. Mobile e-mail is just part of the enterprise mobility solution.

It is about devices, software, security, support and professional services and also the channel partners.

We now have a comprehensive channel strategy in place to allow us to reach out to this growing sector.

This is why we are launching the industry’s first global channel programme targeted at this market.”

Nokia has put a great deal of time and effort into developing the structure of its new channel programme.

In addition to the two membership levels, three specialisation tracks are also open to resellers: security, mobility and business voice.

John Mason, Nokia’s vice president of global channel operations, explained: “The programme includes a wide range of partner benefits.

For those at expert level these include MDF, leads, higher accreditation rebate and priority partner conference invites.

This is in addition to the authorised benefits, which include rebates, an assigned Nokia account manager and eligibility to participate in demand generation activities.”

Nokia plans to utilise its new business channel programme to accelerate cross-selling opportunities in the channel and is establishing a network of distributors focused on the enterprise mobility space to help achieve this goal.

The crossselling opportunity highlights one specific point that Nokia is keen to communicate: business mobility is about much more than mobilising e-mail.

Petts explained: “There are three market disruptions happening: application mobilisation, fixed-mobile convergence and data-voice convergence.

E-mail is the obvious business application to be mobilised but there are many more as well.

For customers, it is all about increasing ROI, productivity, competitiveness and also creativity.”

Looking further ahead, the integration of Nokia’s business mobility solutions with corporate wireless infrastructure is fast becoming a reality.

A mobile phone that switches seamlessly between networks — be they GSM or a wireless LAN — is now on the horizon and that is a solution that would require the skills of the IT channel to deploy.

“We are looking at the impact of converged VoIP solutions and working closely with vendors such as Cisco, Avaya and Nortel in this space.

The channels required to carry out the implementation and integration of enterprise solutions are different to today’s retail-led mobile device routes to market.”

Nokia envisages a change in buying behaviour, with the selection of a device moving away from the individual user and becoming a corporate decision.

While Nokia clearly wants to be on the corporate list of approved devices, it is also keenly aware that the secret of success in the enterprise mobility space lies in an agnostic approach every step of the way.

“It is a key part of our strategy to be agnostic,” confirmed Bornibus.

“Customers will make different choices in terms of applications, e-mail solutions and devices.

We will be totally agnostic and know that this is the correct way to move forward.”

Enterprise mobility is poised to cross the chasm and Nokia is nat the forefront of channel engagement.

Nokia’s background in the network security space has given it valuable knowledge of what is required to work with the IT channel and the vendor is now leveraging this expertise with the launch of its dedicated channel programme.

While other device vendors are keen to tout push email as a trendy accessory for prosumers and consumers, they are lagging behind both in the development of a solution stack capable of enticing enterprise IT managers, and also in the creation of a channel focused on wider mobility solutions.

3975 days ago
HTCBusiness.com

There is an updated report (2008) at http://www.ctia.org/ that cites many examples of increases in economic productivity, efficiency, and value due to the U.S. wireless industry. Many examples available from the U.S. Army's Fort Hood Military Police to San Diego Trash Colection and Recycling. It's a good read.

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