Telstra: Enterprise customers leading Windows Phone growth in Australia

According to Kantar Windows Phone doubled its share of the Australian smartphone market in Q3 2013, climbing from 4.6% last year to 9.3% in 2013.

Australian publication CRN looked more closely into the reasons for this shift, and discovered a significant enterprise bias in Windows Phone adoption.

Tim Webber, Telstra’s director of business mobility, confirmed Kantar’s figures represented a real phenomena, but noted that enterprise was driving the numbers.

"We haven’t seen the same level of growth in all parts of the market and it’s probably higher [than the Kantar figures] in the enterprise space," he said, noting that Telstra’s sales of Windows Phones to enterprise topped 10% in recent months.

"The big thing was the introduction of some lower-end Windows 8 phones. Specifically the Lumia 520 was launched a few months ago, which introduced a very low cost smartphone in the Window Phone line-up that has driven a lot of that growth," Webber said.

He also noted that by running the same version of the  OS on all their handsets, whether cheap or expensive, or whether from HTC or Nokia, Windows Phone was making it easier for IT Managers, saying  "Some of the other operating systems are a bit fragmented."

He also confirmed that the Nokia brand has helped also.

"Nokia has had a long history in the enterprise and a strong resonance. I would say the enterprise were buying a lot more Nokias than consumers even since Nokia has declined as one of the leading vendors, so a lot of this is playing to that brand loyalty."

Peter Linton, head of Microsoft Integration at Melbourne-based LogicalTech Group, also said Windows Phone was a better choice than the iPhone for enterprise integrations.

"For example, take something simple like Mail – it’s simple and basic and it works much better when you are using a Microsoft back-end and front-end system."

Unlike Webber he also saw growth driving by Nokia’s higher-end handsets.

"The Lumia 925 is a beautiful phone. We are only looking at Windows Phone now because of the handsets available,” he noted, adding "I am seriously proposing a Windows Phone as an option to enterprise clients now. I wouldn’t have done that earlier because they weren’t ready," added Linton.

Biagio LaRosa, managing director of Melbourne-based Generation-e, also saw the same enterprise trend, saying that the arrival of Lync 2013 was driving uptake of Windows Phone, as well as "advantages around email management and the contact centre".

"We are seeing strong moves to incorporate Windows Phone into organisational standard operating environments for mobiles as a real option to iPhones.”

"In general, larger accounts seem to not trust Android and favour iPhone and Windows Phone."

Do our readers think Windows Phone can successfully carve out a viable niche in enterprise? Let us know below.

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