Nokia to transfer Symbian software to Accenture

As part of its joint mobile efforts with Microsoft, Nokia has now announced plans for a strategic collaboration with Accenture, in which Nokia would outsource its Symbian software activities and transition about 3,000 employees to Accenture.

At the same time, Accenture would provide mobility software services to Nokia for future smartphones.

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 3,000 Nokia employees to Accenture.

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.

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, the UK and US, will initially work on Symbian software activities for Nokia. Over time, Accenture and Nokia will seek opportunities to retrain and redeploy transitioned employees.

Accenture 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.