Nokia has fired a warning shot at BlackBerry’s b2b dominance after the manufacturer said it is set to sign several major enterprise deals ‘within weeks’ of its recent Britvic contract.
The Britvic deal saw Nokia beat incumbent BlackBerry, as well as Android rivals, to supply 800 Lumia 720 smartphones to the soft drink manufacturer. The Finnish manufacturer is also launching a renewed attack on the SME market with a major marketing campaign in Q3 this year, targeting the b2b indirect channels.
Speaking to Mobile, Adrian Williams, director of business sales UK at Nokia, said it has much larger contracts with ‘public utilities and major blue chip companies’ in the pipeline, which will be announced in the autumn.
He added: ‘These are much more significant contracts in terms of size. We are really gaining momentum in the b2b market now. It takes time for these deals to work through the product cycle but we are now seeing the fruits of that work and we are increasingly being recognised as a viable alternative in the market. There isn’t a business that doesn’t use Microsoft one way or another. We offer a very compelling solution - and without a monthly charge.’
He cited the Britvic deal as an example of its increased credibility. ‘We got the position because of the increasing dissatisfaction the business and its users had with the experience they were getting and because the Lumia proposition provides a lot more capability than they had on the existing platform. The simplicity of the integration was another factor, with no need for anything to sit between the devices.’
Nokia also saw off competition from Android manufacturers for the Britvic deal. Williams said: ‘Britvic tested Android and we fared better. Ours is more suitable for business versus any other platform. It’s not just about having Microsoft Office, it’s about having a good range of handsets too. One size does not fit all.’
Williams said Nokia’s b2b proposition is gaining traction with operators. ‘The b2b space is increasingly important for them and they are recognising what we have to offer. We are working very closely with all the operators, particularly O2, and engaging with their sales team.’
Nokia’s UK business sales director said the recent flurry of deals was starting to build momentum within the channel and the forthcoming SME marketing campaign was a means to capitalise upon that. He said: ‘We are gaining significant credibility with our enterprise deals and that is creating a halo effect. We are using that to promote our services to the SME sector. We are also launching a campaign with our partners to drive demand into those channels.’
Author: Carol Millett