Nokia acquires Intellisync for US$430 million

Nokia said on Wednesday that it is acquiring Intellisync in a deal valued at US$430 million. Intellisync makes wireless e-mail, synchronization and device management software.

During a conference call to announce the acquisition, Nokia strove to make assurances that the purchase won't conflict with the goals of Nokia's handset business or with Nokia's ability to support its operator customer preferences.

Intellisync is known for supporting a wide variety of user devices, including laptops, BlackBerry devices, Windows devices and handheld products from Symbol Technologies. "We will manage this in a way that protects the interest of partners that do have competing devices," said Mary McDowell, executive vice president and general manager of Nokia's Enterprise Solutions group.

She said Nokia will also continue to support software that might compete with Intellisync's. "Our intent is to respond to carriers. So Vodafone has an arrangement with Visto. It's important that we support Visto for those customers so we'd continue to do that," she said. Visto Inc. offers a push e-mail product.

The deal is designed to help Nokia extend its position in the enterprise mobility market, the company said. Nokia recently introduced the Nokia Business Center, software that initially offers push e-mail and later is expected to allow remote access to other corporate databases. Nokia also recently unveiled new handsets specifically geared toward the wider enterprise user, beyond the executive corridor. But Nokia's offerings were largely limited to use with Linux servers and primarily Nokia devices. With the Intellisync acquisition, Nokia said it plans to offer customers the ability to connect a wide range of devices to essentially any data source.

The acquisition may also provide an opening for Nokia to sell to CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) operators. Nokia's strongest customer base comes from the GSM (Global System for Mobility) community but Intellisync has customers, including Verizon Wireless, in the CDMA market. "It expands our stronghold from GSM to also address the CDMA customers that Intellisync has," McDowell said.

Intellisync serves some large accounts that contain 10,000 seats or more, including General Electric, Pfizer and Unisys.

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