Nokia cuts 4,000 jobs; Symbian developers to land at Accenture

Nokia cuts 4,000 jobs; Symbian developers to land at Accenture

Summary: Nokia will cut about 4,000 workers by the end of 2012. About 3,000 of those workers focused on Symbian software development will land at Accenture.


Nokia said Wednesday that it will cut about 4,000 workers by the end of 2012. About 3,000 of those workers focused on Symbian software development will land at Accenture.

In a statement, Nokia said the layoffs, which were expected, are part of a move to realign its strategy behind Windows Phone 7. Nokia is looking to cut expenses by 1 billion euros in 2013 compared to 2010.

The job cuts will affect workers in Denmark, Finland and the UK. Nokia will also consolidate its research and product development sites. Workers will stay on Nokia's payroll through 2011 and job cuts will start in phases through 2012. Another part of Nokia's realignment is a pact with Accenture. Under that deal, Accenture gets 3,000 Nokia employees who will focus on Symbian. That phase is a straight-up outsourcing deal. Typically, companies outsource operations to a vendor and offloads workers. Nokia will transfer Symbian focused workers in China, Finland, India and the UK to Accenture by the end of 2011.

Add it up and Nokia is outsourcing its Symbian development to Accenture. What's in it for Accenture? Accenture gets to be the preferred mobility software services provider to Nokia in future smartphones.

Here's a look at the moving parts of the Accenture deal:

  • Accenture starts out with Symbian, but will provide software, business and operational services around the Windows Phone platform to Nokia.
  • The consulting firm becomes the lead smartphone developer for Nokia.
  • Accenture and Nokia can better focus on the enterprise, which will be a sweet spot for both parties---not to mention Microsoft.
  • Nokia and Accenture will aim to "retrain and redeploy" employees transitioned from their Symbian roles.


Topics: Enterprise Software, CXO, Nokia, Software Development, IT Employment

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  • Win win?

    I don't see how this would be cheaper for Nokia than simply retraining them themselves. They would just be adding a profit for Accenture into the costs if it as presented.

    A few possible alternative scenarios present themselves:

    1. It's to skirt around their employment contracts. Sacking people is expensive, hits the bottom line in the short term. Not good if a quick management bonus is the aim.
    2. It's to defer costs, Nokia takes a drop in costs immediately for a hit on costs later.
    3. Accenture thinks it can cross sell these to other mobile suppliers. Not so likely, the best and brightest will already have their CVs out.
    • It's quite simple. They are only going to pay Accenture a small fraction

      of what these employees cost them now. They dont need their output now. Microsoft is suppying most of the software engineering. And these are not the best and the brightest. Those they have internally transitioned to Windows Phone already and they are keeping them on. Accenture will sell these peoples services else where except for a handful of non critical projects nokia threw accenture to complete the deal.
      Johnny Vegas
      • Elsewhere

        That word elsewhere is what I wonder. Effectively Nokia is elminating the demand for Symbian experts, and so it's difficult to see where Accenture will supply those services by basic supply-demand economics.

        Or maybe Accenture are the smart ones here, keep the talent, Elop departs, Nokia wants to grow its own phones again, Accenture there ready to rumble.
      • RE: Nokia cuts 4,000 jobs; Symbian developers to land at Accenture

        @guihombre Elop's never departing. When he dies his remains will be interred in the cornerstone of Nokia HQ and even before then a gold statue of him will be erected in the lobby. He's singlehandedly saved Nokia.

        "Nokia wants to grow its own phones again" - that'd be like someone wanting to fly so getting ready to jump off a clip and flap their arms. Nokia has lost the ability to make its own OS. It was spending much more than any other company - including Apple - but had no Smartphone OS to show for it after years spent trying, political battles, constant switching of software components for political reasons, etc. Nokia can't write an OS anymore and any attempts to resume trying would produce the same thing - nothing. That's Elop's Great Contribution - saving the company from itself. He as an outsider had the courage to come in and tell the Emperor it had no clothes anymore.
    • Businesswise, this is an excellent decision...

      One that should've been taken by Microsoft a long time ago.

      Nokia's making a precedent all wise companies should follow. Although they have established that Symbian is a dead end solution, nevertheless, it still has a 30% smartphone market share, specially S60.

      With that said, Accenture gets a huge market opportunity to outsource the development, not only of Nokia's regular updates to the platform, but also, to a huge installed base of companies that will still use Symbian.

      It's even reasonable, that in the near future, Accenture might find an ODM to continue the use of Symbian, in corporate labeled phones.

      Also, if you read the fine print workers "affected" will be on <i>Denmark, Finland and the UK</i> but work would be transitioned to Accenture operations in <i>China, Finland, India and the UK</i>, which would mean cheap labor developers in China and India, being lead by PMs and Architects in Finland and the UK.

      Microsoft should take a page (or they even might be behind it, considering Elop's trajectory behind Microsoft, and using Nokia as a Guinea Pig)from that book and subcontract all Windows XP work now that they are poised to drop all Win32 native support on Windows 8 (albeit they will rehash what they did with XP Mode on Windows 7).
  • Bringing two threads together

    Perhaps someone from Nokia can confirm the time their Russian sales executive was drugged on an overnight train to St Petersberg. Had everything stolen and he ended up in hospital with kidney problems due to the drugs they gave him?
  • RE: Nokia cuts 4,000 jobs; Symbian developers to land at Accenture

    Bye Nokia! My first phone is from Nokia, but after that feature phone, I never had to look back to you. We have a lot of better alternatives these days. It was good knowing you and thanks for all the work you have done to keep the mobile space stagnant! Enjoy your retirement
    • You on the pot again?


      The business is changing again, they trim the workforce and make a strategic partnership, they will deliver new smartphones and phones and will rise again.

      I'm more concerned that they've expected folk to convert ringtones or buy them for so long, rather than use mp3. That was always a dumb move, and hopefully they'll learn to be more open.

      Not everyone wants a smartphone OR needs a smartphone.. some just want a compromise. Nokia can do both, and as the market is huge I se no reason why you should presume their demise. And why act so smug about it? Why so narrow minded that you need to assume some glow of self satisfaction? Tell us who you work for and we'll all hope it goes belly-up, you get sacked, and go through years of hell trying to find other work.
  • RE: Nokia cuts 4,000 jobs; Symbian developers to land at Accenture

    Nokia peaked with 'Snake'.

    Has been downhill ever since....

    If Accenture are to be Nokia's lead developer and Microsoft supply the O/S and WP App Store, there is nothing else really for Nokia to do....

    They might as well just pull the shutters down and slap the Nokia name on some OEM shite made in China, as punters won't pay double for a Nokia WP7 handset over a perfectly satisfactory Samsung or HTC that is functionally identical, unless Microsoft and Nokia aim to fragment the WP7 environment in the same way they publically deride the Android ecosystem.
  • RE: Nokia cuts 4,000 jobs; Symbian developers to land at Accenture

    Screw Nokia and its corporate board of pimps and whores, may they all rot in hell for what they are doing to their highly trained and effective workforce. The owners do this only to increase their personal gain and give a shit about their loyal workers.
    As a customer holding three nokia products, I am appalled and will be going to another product.
    World workers unite, bring down the ivory towers of the corporate whore mongers that sell out their middle class workers.
    • RE: Nokia cuts 4,000 jobs; Symbian developers to land at Accenture

      I havea Nokia X3 and it really does the job, the software just simply works. Great download from nokia, syncs well. I don't know why they want to bet the house on a windows phone. Pretty dam odd. There's plenty of folk like me that just wants to txt, ring and see facebook updates. Its a sad time.