Nokia Integrates NAVTEQ With New 'Location & Commerce' Business, Closes Accenture Outsourcing Deal

Nokia this morning announced that it is establishing a new ‘Location & Commerce’ business unit, which will be formed by integrating the NAVTEQ business with its social/location services operations. Effective July 1, 2011, Michael Halbherr will become executive vice president of the new unit and spearhead Nokia’s self-described “revised mission in mobile and location-based services”.

Halbherr will be reporting directly to Stephen Elop, chief executive officer of the beleaguered mobile phone giant.

In other news, Nokia and Accenture have finalized an agreement for the former to outsource Symbian software development and support activities to the latter, plans which were first announced at the end of April 2011 (alongside significant job cuts).

First, about that ‘Location & Commerce’ business. Nokia says the business unit, which will now comprise its entire NAVTEQ digital mapping business, will lead the development of a “new class of integrated social location products and services for consumers, as well as platform services and local commerce services for device manufacturers, application developers, internet services providers, merchants, and advertisers”.

This includes Nokia products with Windows Phones, the company said in a statement.

Halbherr, who will be at the helm of the new business unit, has been with Nokia since 2006, most recently leading the product unit in Nokia’s Services business. He joined Nokia when his company gate5 was acquired by the Finnish mobile juggernaut.

NAVTEQ was purchased by Nokia in 2007 for $8.1 billion – the company had been operating independently from Nokia since then.

Nokia said that Larry Kaplan, who has served as CEO for NAVTEQ, will continue to support the transition work for the new Location & Commerce business through year-end (the wording suggests he will be heading elsewhere afterwards).

Under the agreement with Accenture, the company will provide Symbian-based software development and support services to Nokia through 2016.

Approximately 2,800 Nokia employees located in China, Finland, India, United Kingdom and the United States, are expected to transfer to Accenture at closing, which is expected to take place in the early part of October, 2011.

The original plan was to transfer 3,000 employees, we should note.

Accenture will also work with Avanade, a technology service company that is majority-owned by Accenture and focuses on Microsoft technologies, to provide further services to Nokia.

Accenture says it will “seek to retrain and redeploy transferred employees”.