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ESPOO, Finland – Our last article on the Nokia Eseries left us and you with a lot of questions about the unique strengths of the range. In order to get more information, Nokia Conversations caught up with communications team members Maria Kellokumpu and Dinesh Subramaniam, who both work closely on the Eseries. Read on to find out what they had to say about Nokia’s business class devices.

NC: What are the top criteria when it comes to mobiles for Eseries buyers?

M&D: There are three things in particular that we find they are looking for:

i) Design – Nokia Eseries devices have become a benchmark for design. Since the days of the Communicator, Nokia’s first portfolio of QWERTY devices, Nokia Eseries devices have retained their look and quality. The use of high-quality stainless steel, attractive designs, and a slim shape that feels good in both the pocket as well as in the hand, are now the cornerstones of the Nokia Eseries design mantra.

ii) Ease of use – our users, whether they are business professionals, students, housewives or entrepreneurs, all have busy lives, and want a device that works, and helps them get about their days and nights without further frustration. The QWERTY keypad on Nokia Eseries devices is small yet extremely easy to type with, making messaging (email, SMS, IM) extremely quick and simple. Nokia Eseries devices also feature customisable one-touch keys for calendar, contacts and email, so that people can get to these popular applications quickly.

A feature that many people, especially E73 mode users in the United States, have come to appreciate is the ‘switch mode’, which allows a person to switch from the ‘business’ homescreen to the ‘personal’ homescreen. So, for example, while the business email account continues to sync with the server, the user can choose not to view this mailbox on the homescreen.

iii) Connectivity – Nokia Eseries devices ‘just work’. They are workhorses that multi-task, and most importantly, give people access to their business and consumer email boxes and IM accounts right from the homescreen. Business professionals who use their Nokia Eseries devices get secure, real-time access to their business email accounts, thanks to the enterprise-grade security features that come with the devices. Other multimedia features such as Maps with full voice-guided navigation, Music and web browsing are also now staples of Nokia Eseries devices.

NC: Some commentators on Conversations have suggested that the Eseries devices seem to be technologically behind the curve. Why is that?

M&D: The Nokia Eseries device portfolio is definitely a priority on Nokia’s technology roadmap. Nokia Eseries devices with Symbian^3 and touch screens will be announced in due time.

It’s also worth noting that we do introduce new features for first time with Eseries — one recent example is the Microsoft Communicator Mobile, a unified communications client providing real-time presence information and rich instant messaging functionality. The Eseries devices are targeted for professional use, and naturally we introduce relevant applications for this group of customers.

Eseries also offers the most advanced security features on any Nokia phones, including device lock, remote lock, data encryption for both phone memory and microSD content and Mobile VPN.

That said, reliability is key to professional users, and we always make sure that we use technology that is absolutely reliable.

NC: For larger organisations, manageability is very important. Can you describe the features of the Eseries that support this?

M&D: Nokia business devices implement something called Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) standards-based device management protocols. That means that third-party developers – people like HP, mFormation and Fromdistance – can create business solutions that they know will work with existing and future devices in this range: because they comply with agreed standards as to how they work and communicate with other machines.

One further example of Nokia’s management options is that business customers get a Configurator tool that allows the policies and settings for your devices to be set on a PC and then transferred easily into new devices. It’s a bit similar to using a disk imaging product to set up new computers with a standard roll-out.

NC: Let’s say I’m the CTO at a FTSE 500 company – what’s your killer selling points to get me to switch to Nokia?

M&D: If you’re the CTO of a FTSE 500 company, you’ll benefit greatly from cost savings due to Nokia’s direct access business email solutions. With the Mail for Exchange and Lotus Notes Traveler mobile email applications that connect securely and directly to the Microsoft Exchange email server and IBM Lotus Domino email server respectively – covering more than 90% of business email accounts globally – you’ll not need to invest in unnecessary and costly middleware or network operating centres, which are often required for other devices.

The Mail for Exchange and Lotus Notes Traveler deliver real-time email to Nokia devices – more than 60 smartphone models – quickly and securely. Calendar and contacts are also synced in real-time, and the global address list enables any employee to search for a colleague’s contact details directly from the device. Setting up an email account is extremely simple. The employee can also set his Out of Office message and adjust his profile settings – such as frequency of syncing – directly from the device.

Another great thing about Nokia is that we have phones with email and IM in variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and keyboard styles and touch screens to choose from. We have devices with email at all price points, beginning at very affordable prices and going up in the highest-end smart phones, such as the Nokia E72 and N8. Thanks to the scalability and choice of phone models for business use, for different tastes and budgets, it’s ideal for large companies when they want to mobilise all of their workforce.