Microsoft to boost corporate portfolio

June 1, 2014 3:59 pm

Microsoft is present through different software in offices around the world use daily. The brand can add more to its software solutions by introducing its own devices to the corporate world.

AMEinfo’s sister publication, Aficionado, speaks with Tarek Zaki, manager of portfolio and product management smart devices at Microsoft Middle East, who reveals that the American tech giant is preparing its next move in the region by targeting more businesses with its new line of Lumia smartphones and phablets.

The goal is to increase its corporate clients portfolio in the coming years. “Our devices are doing well in the region on the consumer side; there is growth on the enterprise front as well,” says Zaki. The brand’s new approach consists of promoting devices that offer the best of both worlds, on one hand interactive and attractive for everyday use and on the other hand secure and efficient for professionals as well. The new Nokia Lumia range reflects this.

“Every phone in the Lumia range is a personal and professional device and that is what differentiates us from our competitors. The Windows operating system is one of the most secure and personal OS, the tile-based design gives users a quick access to their content whether it is personal or professional,” explains Zaki.

The smartphone market in the Middle East is healthy, even from a corporate perspective. A 2013 Deloitte report reveals the region’s smartphone penetration rate exceeds 100 per cent, mainly because of the constant offers local operators provide. When it comes to businesses, regardless of their size, the competition is fierce and all smartphone brands have an enterprise solution to provide.

One of Microsoft’s solutions that enhance capabilities on a corporate level is One Drive, a cloud solution that allows users to host and access files on smartphones. The cloud partition is dividable allowing users to organise their content and choose with whom to share it. Then there is also the fact that the Office suite is available on all Lumia models, allowing employees to create, amend and share Excel sheets or PowerPoint presentations instantly with their co-workers.

Businesses rely heavily on the Office Suite and Sharepoint, therefore its integration to the company’s new mobile OS along with devices starting from AED699 gives the brand an edge when it comes to reaching out to businesses. The brand’s aim is to centralise and manage all corporate-related content on one device, making it available on the go, while also keeping it secure.

To increase its exposure, the brand is teaming up with local established companies, and Zaki reveals that MBC is the first company putting its trust into the Nokia devices by working closely toward the creation of exclusive content and applications for the region. As of January 2014, BlackBerry was the number two smartphone brand in the Middle East, according to a recent report by research firm Canalys.

Despite facing difficulties globally the Canadian brand is prospering in the region when it comes to enterprise solutions making it difficult for brands to enter that segment of the market. Other brands such as Apple and Samsung are also launching standalone business solutions, along with devices targeting professionals in the region, but Microsoft is “always working on improving its products and services. Locally, we share the market’s feedback with the research and development department, allowing the next generation of devices to be better.” adds Zaki.

Thinking locally rather than applying a global strategy to the Middle East is a smart way to increase the brand’s presence; however the brand faces several challenges in the region.

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