Evolve or die, Nokia warns channel


The dealer and distributor channel, he said, had a clear role to play, but needs to grasp the nettle right away.

Nokia is in the process of reviewing all its UK distribution arrangements. Vanjoki, Nokia executive vice president and general manager of multimedia, said of the changing industry:

“Dealers and distributors that are just box shifting are going to lose out. If you see the mobile phone as a platform, can make it pay and give good service and advice, then you have a role to play. Our drive is very much about working with people with a necessary level of confidence, competence and know-how.”

But the message to shape up is a general one. Handset vendors need to do more than simple kit manufacturing and network operators more than straight telephony provision, he said.

“It is not about mobile phones anymore, in the way it has traditionally been, in the way the whole business has been defined by mobile phones in the past,” said Vanjoki.

“If tier one manufacturers do not move forward they will find themselves stuck – just look at our competitor [Motorola].

“The whole business model for mobile has moved forward from the traditional telephony market, and manufacturers, networks, distributors and retailers have to move with it.”

Vanjoki explained: “Nokia’s agenda is bigger than just services. It is about the next generation of the internet. Today, the internet is an everyday item, but people are starting to use mobile devices for internet services too. The internet is becoming context sensitive – it’s about time, location, relationships, ambient conditions.

“This is the future of the internet and the whole industry has to get involved. If you’re on the front line, if you’re a dealer or high street retailer, you have got to understand that. Failure to do so will threaten your longevity in this business. There are huge changes taking place, and if you’re passive, you will lose. If you are active in the face of that change, you have a chance.”