Nokia moved today to shore up its location-based services, announcing it would combine its Navteq mapping division with its social location services business.
The combined unit, dubbed Location & Commerce, will use data from Nokia’s smartphone users in new location-based services oriented toward social media. The new business will also offer mobile commerce services to third-party device manufacturers, app developers, Internet service providers, businesses and advertisers.
Michael Halbherr from Nokia’s Berlin-based services business has been appointed to spearhead the new division. Tero Ojanpera, who had served as the acting head of the services business, will continue to head Nokia’s program for employees affected by the company’s recent layoffs.
“Focusing on location and commerce is a natural next step in Nokia’s Services journey,” Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said in a statement. “We will provide next generation social-location applications and commerce to differentiate Nokia. We also aim to extend our content and services offerings to all consumers by making them available to partners and customers on a wide variety of devices and operating systems.”
Nokia announced separately that it had finalized its Symbian outsourcing deal with Accenture, which was first announced in April.
Accenture will provide Symbian software development and support services to Nokia through 2016 under the terms of the final contract. About 2,800 Nokia employees in China, Finland, India, United Kingdom and the United States will transfer to Accenture at the closing of the deal, expected to occur in early October.
The number of employees transferred under the final agreement is slightly less than the 3,000 jobs Nokia first estimated would move to Accenture.
Under the terms of the agreement, Accenture will handle ongoing development of Symbian and serve as Nokia’s preferred supplier as the handset maker moves to Windows Phone 7 as its primary smartphone platform. The management consulting and outsourcing firm also will help shift employees to work on Windows Phone 7, as well as retrain and transfer some of the staff members it receives from Nokia.
Accenture will work with its subsidiary company Avanade to provide additional services to Nokia for the shift to Windows Phone 7. Avanade develops business software using Microsoft technology.
Nokia said its agreement with Accenture also contains customary closing conditions, but it did not provide additional details on the companies’ contract.