Nokia outsources Symbian software development to Accenture
Nokia (NYSE:NOK) will transfer its Symbian software activities as well as about 3,000 employees to global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing firm Accenture as part of the handset maker's ongoing global workforce and site operations consolidations alignment. Per terms of the agreement, Accenture will provide Symbian-based software development and support services for present and future Nokia smartphones, also supplying Windows Phone-based mobility software, business and operational services to Nokia and other ecosystem participants. Although transitioning employees across China, Finland, India, the U.K. and the U.S. will initially focus on Symbian efforts, over time Nokia and Accenture will seek opportunities to retrain and redeploy these staffers.
Earlier this year, Nokia announced it would embrace Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system as its primary smartphone platform, a move relegating Symbian to franchise platform status. Nokia has vowed to continue leveraging previous investments and said it will strive to retain and transition its installed base of 200 million Symbian device owners worldwide.
Nokia expects to sell roughly 150 million additional Symbian units in the years ahead. Nokia assumed control over Symbian late last year, with the nonprofit Symbian Foundation--previously in charge of the open-source operating system's evolution--transitioning to a legal entity responsible for licensing software and other intellectual property.
Nokia said Wednesday it plans to reduce its global workforce by about 4,000 employees by the end of 2012, with the majority of layoffs targeting workers in Denmark, Finland and the U.K. The company also plans to consolidate its research and product development sites, expanding some sites and closing others in the interests of defining each site's role and mission.
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