Nokia Corp. and Accenture on Wednesday announced plans for a strategic collaboration in which Nokia would outsource its Symbian software activities and transition about 3000 employees to Accenture. At the same time, Accenture would provide mobility software services to Nokia for future smartphones. Nokia will also lay off 4000 people as a result of the plan to transit to Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Phone operating system.
The collaboration, which is subject to final agreement, calls for Accenture to provide Symbian-based software development and support services, with the expected transition of about 3000 Nokia employees to Accenture. The companies expect completion of the final agreement during summer 2011, and expect the transition of employees by the end of the calendar year 2011. Transitioning employees, located in China, Finland, India, United Kingdom and the United States, will initially work on Symbian software activities for Nokia. Over time, Accenture and Nokia will seek opportunities to retrain and redeploy transitioned employees.
Headquarters of Nokia
This collaboration also includes plans for Accenture to provide mobility software, business and operational services around the Windows Phone platform to Nokia and other ecosystem participants. Under the proposed agreement, Accenture would become a preferred partner for Nokia's smartphone development activities, as well as a preferred provider of services.
To deliver on its new strategy, Nokia today announced plans to align its global workforce and consolidate site operations. These measures are part of Nokia's target to reduce its Devices & Services non-IFRS operating expenses by €1 billion for the full year 2013 in comparison to the full year 2010, as announced last week.
Nokia also announced plans to reduce its global workforce by about 4000 employees by the end of 2012, with the majority of reductions in Denmark, Finland and the UK. In accordance with country-by-country legal requirements, discussions with employee representatives started today. In total, Nokia will reduce its workforce by 7000.
"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," said Stephen Elop, Nokia president and chief executive officer.
Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 215 000 people serving clients worldwide, and Nokia have been working together since 1994. In October 2009, Accenture acquired Nokia's professional services unit that provides engineering and support of the Symbian operating system to mobile device manufacturers and service providers, and which then served as a key building block in Accenture's mobility services portfolio.