Nokia in alliances to deliver m-business ecosystem

31 Mar 2004

Mobile giant Nokia has revealed that it has been signing up alliances with IBM, Oracle, RIM, Tivoli and Computer Associates to make full e-business applications like ERP and CRM over its 9500 Communicator a reality. The company has also revealed that it has forged alliances in the digital photography world with Kodak and Hewlett-Packard to eventually take on the might of established photography giants like Nikon.

At a briefing in Dublin yesterday, Nokia told journalists that the company wanted to cement its commitment to the concept of full enterprise mobility with the introduction of its forthcoming Nokia 9500 Communicator (pictured), which it claims is designed to meet the demands of corporate IT departments in terms of full e-business applications as well as security.

To do this the company has forged strategic alliances with RIM (Research in Motion) the creators of the Blackberry email device popular with businesspeople the world over, as well as industry enterprise IT stalwarts IBM, Oracle and Computer Associates. Product manager for Nokia Ireland, Martin Elliot said that the success of the RIM email machine has led to businesspeople demanding that new phones come equipped with RIM applications to enable the same throughput of realtime email to handheld devices.

Elliot said: “Traditional customers are asking for RIM to be put on mobile phones. In Europe, O2 have so far been the only companies to deploy RIM Blackberry email devices. However, Vodafone are looking to launch RIM in the second quarter of this year on their business phones and 3G data cards.”

The new 9500 communicator brings enterprise applications like email, internet browsing, databases, spreadsheet and presentation creation as well as making vertical enterprise applications such as ERP and CRM truly mobile. The tri-band camera phones, due out in the fourth quarter of this year, will retail for around €800 and will feature 2.5G and 3G technologies like GPRS and EDGE respectively, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

Nokia also highlighted its ambitions in the realm of digital photography, revealing how the new 7610 phone will be capable of storing larger capacity of higher quality digital images as well as storing video. Multimedia product manager Gavin Barrett said that the video capacity on the device is capable of storing up to 14 minutes of video compared with the standard 10 seconds available on most phones with video recording ability.

The tri-band 7610 is planned to be available during the second quarter of 2004 and will retail for around €500. Barrett said that the company was working closely with imaging giants Kodak and Hewlett-Packard to create services and applications that create a true ecosystem for digital photography. The company unveiled a Kodak/Nokia kiosk that would be deployed in chemists and camera shops that would allow the consumer to print images for around 50 cents through various connectivity options, whether Bluetooth, DVD, CD-Rom or memory cards. “We aim to move into the imaging market and take on people like Nikon eventually”, Barrett explained.

The Nokia 7610 phone offers 65,000 colour screen for viewing still images and video captured by the integrated camera and the ability to watch real-time video streaming using the built in RealOne mobile player.

By John Kennedy