Accenture has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the professional services unit of Nokia responsible for Symbian customer engineering and customer support.
Gary Morgenstern, a spokesman for Accenture, said, "The strategic intent of this acquisition is to accelerate Accenture's penetration into the embedded software development services market by acquiring expertise."
However, terms of the transaction were not disclosed, Morgenstern said in an interview with eWEEK. But Accenture will be gaining about 165 Nokia professional services engineers and consultants in the United Kingdom, Finland, Japan, Korea and Australia, he said.
The Symbian operating system remains the most widely used platform for smartphones, despite increasing competition from other platforms, including Windows Mobile, the iPhone and others.
The Nokia unit provides engineering consulting and product development services to mobile phone manufacturers, chip manufacturers and mobile operators globally, Accenture said. Its services include advanced technical support; innovative device-tuning techniques for enhancing the performance, memory and power of mobile devices; advanced error diagnosis and repair; and turnkey software development services that can be used in a range of technical environments.
"When we close this deal, we're going to be able to offer support for the Symbian OS and, longer term, we're going to be able to leverage the services of these developers against other mobile environments such as Android, iPhone, Windows Mobile and some of the Linux variants."
"The acquisition of the Symbian professional services unit will enhance Accenture's existing embedded software, product-development and testing skills to help players in the mobile solutions ecosystem address ever-more-demanding time-to-market and quality requirements," said Jean Laurent Poitou, managing director of Accenture's Electronics & High Tech industry group, in a statement. "The capabilities we are acquiring from Nokia will help support the tremendous growth our clients can expect from the explosive adoption of converged mobile multimedia services and will expand Accenture's role as a key supplier of new tools, products and solutions to clients in this industry."
Peter Ropke, senior vice president of devices at Nokia, said, "This agreement allows the Symbian professional services team to realize its full potential in the supply of independent services to the open-source ecosystem. In combination with Accenture's strong brand, global sales organization and broad technology skills, the unit's software engineering capabilities will be a significant benefit to customers throughout the industry. The transaction underscores Nokia's commitment to the open-source community and the Symbian ecosystem."
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close within 60 to 90 days, Accenture said.
Morgenstern said Accenture's developers have done and, with this acquisition, will do more embedded software engineering work for communications companies, including development for enterprises, original equipment manufacturers and others.