Lessons From Nokia: Choose Your Cloud Partners Wisely

February 17, 2011

3 Min Read
Lessons From Nokia: Choose Your Cloud Partners Wisely

By Eric Webster


Electronics blog engadget recently leaked a memo from Nokia CEO Stephen Elop to his employees. In the memo, Elop writes that Nokia is “standing on a burning platform.” He goes on to say that Nokia has failed by falling behind the competition. If you haven’t read the memo, I highly recommend reading it, and never sending a memo like this to your team. If Elop intended the memo be motivational for his employees, it’s resulted in exactly the opposite: loss of internal confidence in Nokia’s future and a public relations nightmare, not to mention disgust toward Elop that likely extends to other executive team members.

Aside from how to not motivate your employees, there are other lessons to be learned from the memo and from Nokia’s position in the market today.

As the memo stated, “Apple owns the high-end range” of the mobile market, and “they are now winning the mid-range, and quickly they are going downstream to phones” for Android. Elop’s burning platform analogy is probably accurate, but the question remains: how do companies maintain their competitive advantage and avoid becoming the Nokia of their industry?

Place Your Cloud Partner Bets Carefully

For IT service providers, staying competitive and relevant in the market is critical to your success and longevity. Much of your differentiation from the competition will depend on the vendors you decide to partner with. Imagine if you were a Nokia reseller, and you were competing with Apple resellers, how do you think your business would be doing considering Nokia’s brand preference has declined internationally?

Perhaps the most important lesson for channel companies is this: Don’t become another Nokia.

Instead, select your partnerships wisely and make sure the companies and people you choose to align yourself with will continue to provide you with innovative solutions that you can in turn provide to your customers. There are the IT service providers who continue to go the Nokia route—minimal innovation, head in the sand, refusing to change. Then there are IT service providers who not only seek out innovation in partnerships, but they demand it. These are the same companies you see in the news acquiring their competition and growing their marketshare.


When looking at cloud providers, keep the same lesson in mind: Are they a Nokia, or are they an Apple? I would place my bet on Apple every time. Make sure you place your bets wisely and don’t be bashful in partnering with a company that is innovating in the cloud when others aren’t. Remember, Nokia’s lens to the phone market was fundamentally different than Apple’s. Now history has been made, and Nokia has lost the battle.

Eric Webster is VP of Sales and Marketing at Doyenz, a leading provider of cloud-based disaster recovery to the channel. Monthly guest blogs such as this one are part of TalkinCloud’s annual platinum sponsorship.

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