Can Microsoft Windows Phone & Nokia Replace BlackBerry in Enterprise?

Introduction
Most of the tech industry is aware that RIM/BlackBerry is losing ground in the sales of smart phones and this includes corporate purchased ones, a sector that they have traditionally dominated.  With the mobile industry ever changing has initiated a lot of IT shop discussion on what the future holds for mobile phones within the corporate enterprise.

Could this be the future?
Recently, the VP of IS Infrastructure at a Midwest Healthcare System posed the scenario discussion below to several colleagues in order to solicit feedback on a project he did for his MBA class.

What would you do if you were in charge of all corporate cellular telephony decisions, and Microsoft came to us within the next year offering:

  • Fully encrypted devices
  • Device management using the same tools that manage your servers and desktops.
  • Devices with more consumer appeal than RIM. (And a broader range of devices, now manufactured by HTC, ZTE and Nokia.)
  • Per device license costs significantly lower than RIM.
  • Excellent Exchange / Outlook integration.
  • Better native cloud storage (whether public or private) integration than even Apple or Android.



The Opportunity is There

Strengths
  • Nokia has wide adoption worldwide.
  • Microsoft dominates Office productivity, corporate email.
  • Microsoft has a strong position in console and PC gaming
  • Microsoft has a portfolio of Internet applications that compete with Google (live, hotmail, bing, messenger)
Opportunities
  • Apple and Google not yet dominant in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
  • RIM’s declining position in corporate environments.


However History is Against Them
Weaknesses
  • Microsoft does not have a strong track record of mobile device hardware development (e.g. Zune, xbox ring of death)
  • Nokia software development has lagged peers.
Threats:

  • North American market dominance and lead of established players Apple and Google.
  • Asian device makers (i.e. ZTE, HTC) challenging Nokia with low-cost Android devices.


So What Strategy Should be Implemented for Microsoft & Nokia to be Successful?

  • Challenge RIM in corporate environments via Exchange email and Office apps.
  • Leverage Xbox Live gaming
  • Embed Microsoft search, email, and messenger.
  • Microsoft and Nokia partnership allows each firm to focus on areas of traditional strength, leverage an established partner for non-core competencies.
  • Differentiate to avoid segmented competition within Android device maker space.
  • Leverage Microsoft’s relationships with developers and development tools to jumpstart app market.
  • Partnership provides with Microsoft with credible devices.

The Future will Require Businesses to Pick the least of all evils

The next 24 months will be an interesting time in the mobile phone industry to see if there becomes a clear leader, especially in the enterprise. It is difficult on a daily basis to determine who is more evil… Microsoft, Apple or Google.  It depends upon which poison tastes sweetest to you and what you value most (choice, markets, features, security, privacy, etc).  Most enterprise companies despise Microsoft’s monopolistic practices, but at least they treat companies as a traditional customer. In the case of Google, it seems that the consumer is their product. Yuck!!!  It is difficult to know what to think about Apple in the enterprise and most companies are trying hard to understand this as more of their products make there way into the environment.

Finally…
Maybe the commonality between Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8 will allow Microsoft to become the clear cut leader

2 comments

  1. We recently tried to offer our Windows based product on a current generation Windows tablet computer to a large global enterprise and they absolutely refused to use Windows. They wanted iPads, so we had to write a native iPad application. I went into a phone store last week and asked if there is much interest in the Windows phone. They said no, everyone wants iPhone, BlackBerry or Android phones.This Christmas I will be buying an Android phone and a Macbook Pro to replace my current PC and smartphone.

    Like

  2. This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you. You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!HTC In Pakistan

    Like

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