news Australian iron ore group Fortescue metals has declined to comment on an unverified rumour that the company has recently deployed over 600 new staff smartphones, allegedly swapping out its existing BlackBerry fleet in the latest corporate switch to Microsoft’s rival Windows Phone 7 ecosystem.
Delimiter recently received an unverified tip to the effect that the company had deployed “well over 600” of Nokia’s new Lumia 800 smartphones, “swapping away” from Research in Motion’s troubled BlackBerry platform for most of its corporate users. However, a spokesperson for Fortescue said this week that the company wouldn’t comment on the issue.
The news comes as Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform appears to be enjoying somewhat of a resurgence in the nation’s corporate market, after struggling in the consumer sector against the well-entrenched iPhone and Android platforms. In late May, the Australian division of tyre manufacturer Bridgestone has also picked Nokia’s Windows Phone 7-based Lumia 800 smartphone as its platform of choice for its corporate smartphone fleet, and CommBank is similarly considering a move to the Nokia Lumia platform.
And just last week, Nokia revealed that construction firm Buildcorp has deployed some 150 new staff mobile phones in the Finnish smartphone vendor’s Lumia line.
If Fortescue has deployed Nokia smartphones, the move would dovetail well with other moves within the company’s IT operations. Twelve months ago the company’s chief information officer Vito Forte revealed that the company was then working on a plan to migrate to Microsoft’s cloud-based Office 365 platform. In addition, Forte has recently publicly emphasised the need for organisational IT departments to “get out of the way” and stop saying “no” to their company executives, in the context of a wider debate about the days of traditional systems administrators being over inside IT departments as cloud computing had the potential to take their place.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Fortescue had conducted a migration to Windows Phone 7 running on Nokia’s Lumia 800 smartphones. Such a move would be very much in keeping with the organisation’s current IT strategy. Of course, right now we don’t have enough conclusive evidence to say either way whether this migration has taken place.
Image credit: Nokia