Tag Archives: outreach

The Un-local Nokia

I’ve been pretty easy on my favorite former employer lately, even to the point of gushing over Nokia World 2011 and pouring out pure fanboy praise over a fantastic phone that will only see limited release.  But I don’t think I’d be performing my duty as a recently-renewed Developer Champion if I didn’t provide some much-needed critical feedback.  Lovingly, of course.

Nokia’s physical withdrawal from certain locales is not a new subject for me, but it’s reached a point where I’m more concerned than ever.  Of course most of my focus is on the United States, and more specifically, my home near Dallas, Texas.  In just a few years Nokia as a brand has become a complete non-factor here and just about the entire country.  I’m keenly observant of devices used by others and, outside of a small circle of open source enthusiasts, I’m seeing everything but Nokia phones in the hands of the general public.

None of that is news to most people.  And Nokia has made it very clear that it expects its fairly new Windows Phone strategy, coupled with impeccable and compelling industrial design, to get its high-end products back into regions (like the US) where product sales margins matter.

The continued problem as I see it, though, is that Nokia seems to expect that they can concentrate all efforts on a few key cities.  Its shrinking supply chain system has led to greater consolidation of localization activities at sites far removed from the end customers.  Now, for core needs this consolidation need not be an issue; a phone engine is a phone engine is a phone engine.  But as many companies are becoming increasingly aware, last-mile localization is an absolute must for finished goods.

This translates to customer Care activities as well.  Contract employees at remote call centers just cannot identify with many of the diverse clientele they are called upon to support.  It’s not just language barriers; cultural differences can be a real hindrance (not to mention cybersecurity risks).  But more than that, trade customers (i.e., AT&T, Telcel, Orange, et al) will not tolerate delays in problem resolution.  They will require local presence in key markets.  Continue reading

Marketing MeeGo: Introduction

One of the biggest challenges facing the MeeGo venture will be creating tangible interest around its (eventual) offerings.  iOS and
Android enjoy the buzz right now, the latter now benefiting more than the former.  At some point MeeGo as a product (or family of products) needs to establish the same sort of excitement if it is to seize significant market share.

It’s only natural to assume that any corporate entity utilizing MeeGo in some manner would craft unique marketing campaigns for their implementations.  But grassroots or community-led marketing is something else entirely.   Continue reading

What MeeGo can learn from Microsoft

I realize I’m courting controversy with the title, but for good reason.  I’m going to set aside any unsavory or otherwise questionable aspects of Microsoft business practices to focus on one that has worked very well for them and I believe can for MeeGo as well:

Developer outreach.

I’ve made it clear with this blog that the bulk of my information management and software development experience evolved in Microsoft business environments.  That naturally led to heavy involvement in Microsoft’s developer community, which included local and regional product launch and outreach events.

It’s no secret that Microsoft loves developersMSDN, Technet and the Microsoft Partner Network are successful examples of the company’s long romance with coders.

And one thing Microsoft does know how to do is throw a party.  I remember vividly the roaring 90s, when thousands of people packed the streets of downtown Dallas, Texas for the Windows NT Workstation 4.0 launch, each clutching free disks loaded not just with that cool new operating system but with fullblown Office as well.  And even when things slowed down after the 2000 tech bubble bust the parties continued, just a little smaller.  Great food, cool prize drawings, handouts of expensive software.  Oh, and key presentations too. Continue reading