Nokia And Microsoft Join Forces To Conquer the Enterprise

Nokia and Microsoft made an announcement today whereby the two giants will work together to bring Microsoft Office compatibility to Nokia handsets. Basically, the world’s largest software company and the world’s biggest player in the mobile handset market are getting together to further conquer the enterprise mobile marketplace.

For years now, Microsoft has been trying to gain market share in business and enterprise organizations in the mobile world by pitching Windows Mobile. However, they’ve been losing market share to the likes of Research In Motion’s BlackBerry and the Apple iPhone.

Likewise, Nokia has also been trying to get an “in” within enterprises as well. The Nokia E Series is a strong platform for business-centric phones. They feature full QWERTY keyboards, amble battery life and other great hardware features. However, integration with existing enterprise systems such as your company’s email and web infrastructure has always been an issue for the Finland-based mobile giant. We have Mail for Exchange on the E Series, which uses ActiveSync to sync with Exchange email systems but lacks features such as Exchange folders. Also, we have QuickOffice on the Symbian platform that allows for basic interaction with Office documents.

However, we’re missing a piece – something groundbreaking to allow Nokia to really make an inroads into enterprise organization running Microsoft on their backoffice systems. Today’s announcement gives us just this – full compatibility with Office documents and intranet/extranet access including Microsoft’s SharePoint.

It’s obvious that today’s announcement and working agreement from Nokia and Microsoft is squarely aimed at Research In Motion. The alliance also speaks to enterprises who were looking at making wholesale moves to platforms such as Android or iPhone.

MobileCrunch has called this an ‘unholy alliance’, which sounds about right coming from the perspective of a publication who isn’t grounded in the enterprise market. Android and the iPhone might be the ‘cool’ things in the mobile market at the moment, but in the enterprise, business needs to get done. Add this to the fact that many organizations have millions (if not billions) if dollars invested in their Microsoft network infrastructure, having Nokia phones as a mobile online extension as an offering that many companies will jump on board with.

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