Nokia has been making some changes lately. Among many, the two big things were that they were going to partner up with Microsoft and WinPho 7 and that they were going to stray away from Qt, which is the framework for Symbian and MeeGo. Well, this week we saw a large push towards doing away with the latter as the company announced it's transferring its Symbian development over to consulting and outsourcing company Accenture, who will now be taking over responsibility for the project.
Along with that, Nokia said that Symbian's team of 3,000 developers will keep their jobs, working under the new Accenture name. Sadly, CEO Stephen Elop's statement that there will be job cuts is holding true.
For more on that, click the break.
Elop mentioned weeks back that there would be "substantial reductions in employment" for Nokia. We have learned that Nokia, along with the transfer of the 3,000 Symbian employees, will be cutting 4,000 jobs from their Finland, UK and Denmark outposts. This has been said to happen in rounds from the beginning to the end of next year.
Accenture's deal with Nokia does bring some light to the news, though. Accenture's Marty Cole noted that mobile devices are what they're all about.
Mobility is a key area for Accenture. One of our areas of focus is mobility software, where we provide engineering consulting and product development services to mobile phone manufacturers, chip manufacturers, and mobile operators worldwide. With the influx of highly qualified talent from Nokia, Accenture can help our clients rapidly leverage mobility to advance their business strategy.
The good news is that this isn't Nokia's first time working with Accenture as they've been doing business with each other since 1994. Nokia mentioned that this transfer of Symbian will actually help its Symbian customers, as well as in a way help WinPho 7 users.
This collaboration demonstrates our ongoing investment to serve our Symbian customers. As we move our primary smartphone platform to the Windows Phone platform, the transition of skilled talent to Accenture also shows our commitment to provide our Symbian employees with potential new career opportunities.
We have both press releases for you from Nokia about the transfer.
ESPOO, Finland – There's no faster moving industry in the world today than mobile technology. Take a sip of water and you're behind in the pack. Blink your eye and watch the pack move in a different direction. Nokia sipped, blinked, then set on creating a new winning strategy in this redefined landscape. This was Nokia's first step to transformation.
The second step was creating a clear long-term strategy for profitable growth. In Smart Devices, Nokia will build a winning ecosystem together with Microsoft using their global reach, iconic products and location services. In Mobile Phones, Nokia will realign and increase its investments to connect the next billion people to the Internet, bringing great devices and rich services to the global marketplace much quicker. And beyond great mobile products, Nokia will continue to innovate and invest in future disruptions that will define the industry in years to come.
Today Nokia announced its third and fourth steps in transformation.
Nokia laid out plans to align its global workforce and consolidate its site operations to deliver upon the new strategy, as well as the projected cost savings announced last week. Nokia expects the total reduction of personnel, across all sites and countries, to total 4,000 employees (out of approximately 65,000 worldwide, not including NSN) by the end of 2012. This includes an estimated 1,400 employees in Finland. You can read more about the impacts in Finland in our Finnish blog, Nokia Aani. Nokian suomenkielinen blogi, Nokia Ääni, kertoo tarkemmin vaikutuksista Suomessa.
Reductions are expected to take place in phases until the end of 2012, linked to the rollout of Nokia's planned product and services portfolio. The planned reductions will have the greatest impact on the Symbian and MeeGo R&D. In addition, approximately 3,000 employees are planned to transfer to Accenture to support the continued delivery of Symbian software development and support services. In accordance with local country legal requirements, discussions with employee representatives started today.
Nokia plans to consolidate its R&D sites so that each site has a clear strategic role and mission. Consolidating sites and activities will increase speed and accountability as Nokia ramps up capabilities and competence development on each site.
"At Nokia, we have new clarity around our path forward, which is focused on our leadership across smart devices, mobile phones and future disruptions," said Stephen Elop, Nokia president and CEO. "However, with this new focus, we also will face reductions in our workforce. This is a difficult reality, and we are working closely with our employees and partners to identify long-term re-employment programs for the talented people of Nokia."
Transformation at Nokia is also about ramping up. Nokia is increasing its capacity for the development of Nokia smartphones based on the Windows Phone platform, as well as increasing its overall investment in Mobile Phones and building a team to focus on future disruptions.
The fourth step is launching a comprehensive social responsibility program for employees and the communities that are likely to be affected by reductions. Nokia will invest time, money and expertise in a program to support re-employment in all the countries where the impact will be felt.
GLOBAL – The shift towards a new strategy means an unprecedented transformation of Nokia. While there is no denying that the transformation will be difficult, there are positive aspects.
"The new situation is of course challenging for the individuals, but also full of possibilities," said Esko Aho, former prime minster of Finland and current EVP of Corporate Relations and Responsibility at Nokia. "The employees who are at risk of losing their jobs have a good education and excellent skills, which have a high demand in the job market. Nokia's role is to use its expertise, financial support and brand to support people's quick re-employment. For this purpose we are starting a new program that helps people to find new job opportunities or even start their own businesses."
There are four support paths for those employees affected by the transformation:
1) A new job within the company – Nokia will seek to retain talent to the extent possible, by providing career counseling and helping employees identify job opportunities in Nokia.
2) A new job outside the company – Nokia will offer career counseling, help identify job opportunities and work with our extensive network to create a dedicated job portal, linking employees directly with local companies and their resourcing needs. All employees can remain with the company throughout 2011, while employees affected in 2012 will be given a two-month grace period. In addition, employees will receive a financial package in accordance with local practices should they leave Nokia.
3) Entrepreneurship – Nokia will offer training, funding, and help identify business opportunities and partnerships for those interested in starting a new business or a company on their own, which can fuel new growth for impacted communities.
4) Career renewal – Nokia will work with local partners to create new opportunities through co-funded research programs, scholarships, supported employment in local not-for-profit organizations and other growth companies.