Nokia Makes Push Into Enterprise Market

At this week's 3GSM World Congress in Cannes, France, Nokia introduced the latest edition of its Series 60 Platform, an OS for smart phones, which the company says is especially aimed at enterprise users and companies that develop wireless apps for enterprise customers.

The third edition of Series 60 is based on the Symbian OS, like its previous iterations, features enhanced enterprise and multimedia functionality, business application support, customization capabilities, and stronger security.

The new OS also has significantly improved business-critical platform features such as calendar, e-mail and contact synchronization and device management, according to Antti Vasara, vice president, mobile software sales and marketing, Nokia. "These are features that enterprises are hungry for," Vasara says.

A new security framework offers better protection for business-critical data and provides more secure and trusted application development environments. "It's also the first time that it's possible for enterprises to guarantee their applications are secure," Vasara says.

For example, only licensed software from registered Symbian developers will have access to advanced platform capabilities in which sensitive user data, such as e-mail contacts, calendars and the IP telephony stack, might be at risk.

Nokia is encouraging its developers to take a "preemptive approach," to the ever-growing problem of viruses, worms and other rogue programs on wireless devices, says Lee Epting, vice president Forum Nokia. With data caging--limiting what apps can access sensitive data--the company's developers are able to "stay one step ahead of malware writers," she says.

Nokia has been aggressively pushing to make inroads in the enterprise, with enhancements to the Symbian OS and to woo companies that develop mobile enterprise apps. Through the Forum Nokia PRO program, Nokia provides toolsets, SDKs and other support to about 350 enterprise app developers.

At 3GSM, Nokia also announced agreements with Macromedia and Microsoft, which is now both a competitor and collaborator with Nokia.

Nokia's enterprise solutions business group said it has licensed Microsoft's Exchange Server Activesync protocol to enable wireless and direct synchronization between Microsoft Exchange Server. The companies did not disclose the terms of the agreement.

Nokia and Macromedia announced a licensing agreement that will integrate Macromedia Flash into the Series 60 platform. Series 60 becomes a reference platform for Macromedia's mobile Flash technology, and Macromedia will implement new versions of its mobile Flash technology on Series 60.

Nokia says the first smart phones based on the Series 60 3rd Edition will debut later this year. "The first phone we'll introduce will be an enterprise targeted device," Vasara says.

About the Author

Michael Alexander is editor-in-chief of Application Development Trends.