Accenture is taking on 3,000 Nokia staff who support and develop the Symbian operating system and support services.
The employees to be transferred to Accenture will come from Nokia units in China, Finland, India, the UK. and the US. After initially providing Nokia with services related to Symbian software, they will be retrained and redeployed on other activities, the companies said.
The news comes as Nokia said it will cut a further 4,000 staff by the end of 2012. The majority of reductions will take place in the UK where 700 jobs will go, Denmark and Finland. The move was called “another dark day for the British economy” by the Unite union, which promised “a concerted campaign to halt the job losses”.
Nokia will also cut down its research and product development sites in an attempt to give each location a clearer "role and mission”, the company said
In a collaboration agreement announced today Accenture will work with Nokia to provide mobility software, business and operational services for the Windows Phone platform which will be the focus of Nokia’s future development efforts.
“Mobility is a key area for Accenture,” said Marty Cole, group chief executive, Accenture Communications and High Tech group, who welcomed the addition of the team behind Nokia’s original mobile operating system. “One of our areas of focus is mobility software, where we provide engineering consulting and product development services to mobile phone manufacturers, chip manufacturers, and mobile operators worldwide.
The move follows Nokia's decision to bring control of the Symbian code back in house after the creation of the short lived Symbian Foundation which opened up the source code, allowing other device vendors to modify it as they developed their own products.
An official 31 March blog entry about Nokia releasing the source code to platform partners caused some confusion because it was entitled, "We are Open!" Critics said under its new licensing scheme, the OS was no longer "open" in the sense of being open source. In another blog, Nokia clarified that its announcement had meant only that Symbian was "open for business".
It is not yet clear how the transfer of development to Accenture will affect the development partners Nokia had working with it on the Symbian platform.