IBM and Nokia in enterprise m-business pact

17 Dec 2002

IT giant IBM and mobile maker Nokia have forged a pact that will see the two companies work together to develop end-to-end secured business applications on advanced handsets targeted at the enterprise market.

The pact between the two world tech leaders should see mobile working becoming a more intrinsic and acceptable aspect of enterprise management.

Under the terms of the deal IBM will act as a systems integrator for Nokia’s virtual private network (VPN) solution for Symbian-based mobile handsets worldwide. Symbian is a consortium of technology companies working together to develop a common operating system for next-generation handsets.

John Kirby, global vice-president of IBM’s wireless e-business services division, said that the collaboration between the two technology powerhouses will help to accelerate business usage of advanced mobile handsets and help increase productivity in mobile work environments. He envisages advances in such fields as intranet access, field service workforce management, salesforce automation, material management and shipment tracking.

Dan MacDonald, vice-president of product management and marketing at Nokia Internet Communications, said: “A key component of setting up and maintaining a mobile workforce is securing information transactions from employees’ mobile terminals to their corporate networks. This means that enterprises can be more productive and competitive while their employees can work smarter and more efficiently.”

Earlier in the year the two companies signed an agreement to join forces in the public wireless local area networks business and they have been working on mobile internet and content projects since 1999.

They continue to find each other useful for establishing footholds in other markets. For IBM, an alliance with the leading mobile phone manufacturer provides a valuable inroad into the communications sector, while IBM offers Nokia the opportunity to advance into e-business and the enterprise service industry.

By John Kennedy