Nokia smart-phones help SAP lower TCO

SAP is using the replacement of its legacy EMM solution for its managed Android™ smartphones as an opportunity to lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) for the mobile workplace.

The company now offers its employees Nokia Android One smartphones from the Android Enterprise Recommended Program.

In addition to the attractive purchase price, HMD Global‘s promise to ensure the rapid distribution of security updates for at least three years was a decisive factor in HMD Global being chosen as a smartphone supplier by SAP.

In future, usage of zero-touch deployment will be another milestone in the current migration project and will further enhance the user experience for both users and admins.


A new EMM solution should allow a multi-vendor approach for Android smartphones and exploit the benefits of Android Enterprise. With the introduction of a new EMM, the company aims to reduce the TCO for mobile workplaces without compromising security.

SAP migrates to VMware Workspace ONE as the new EMM solution for Android devices. It is fully compliant with Android Enterprise. Nokia smartphones from the Android Enterprise Recommended program have been added to SAP’s global shopping catalogue.

The HMD Global Business Smartphone Purchase Survey 2018 revealed that a third of companies fail to use an enterprise management solution (EMM). However, SAP finds an EMM essential to manage its 100,000 corporate-owned mobile devices all over the world. The Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution that currently manages SAP’s approximately 8,000 Android devices will be discontinued in 2019. Therefore, SAP’s global IT team has been searching for new management software for the Android fleet and evaluated three different EMMs over the course of 2018.

Following market research and a thorough analysis of the proof of concepts, SAP’s IT team chose VMware Workspace ONE as their new EMM for Android devices. Jarmo Akkanen, Global Service Owner - Mobile Operations, explained:

“We selected VMware Workspace ONE especially due to support of Work Profile, which enables separation of personal and company data. We considered Work Profile to be the best solution to improve Android experience for our users.

For us, user satisfaction always has the highest priority. Having said that, VMware Workspace ONE is easy to use for admins too, which is a secondary consideration but very convenient.”


business man talking on the phone

Support of Android Enterprise work profile and BYOD

VMware Workspace ONE is compliant with GDPR plus Google’s new approach of Android Enterprise featuring a managed work profile that separates business and private data securely on Android smartphones. Jarmo Akkanen said:

“With our legacy EMM solution for Android devices we were stuck with a single Android smartphone vendor. We urgently wanted to change this to offer our colleagues more choice for their mobile workplace.

We found that Google’s Android Enterprise Recommended program is a good opportunity to broaden our portfolio of managed company-owned smartphones.”


The Android Enterprise Recommended (AER) program makes it easier for organizations to select, deploy and manage enterprise-grade devices and services. It includes a selection of smartphones that have been validated by Google and meet a defined set of hardware and software requirements such as support of zero-touch enrolment, managed devices, and work profile.

Next to the full integration of Android Enterprise features, automatic BYOD support was another important decision criterion. SAP not only manages several thousand business-owned Android devices but also has to deal with thousands of privately-owned smartphones, which employees use for work. Having commissioned VMware Workspace ONE as the new EMM for Android devices and kicked-off the migration from the legacy system, SAP has already broadened its Android device offering. The company added Nokia AER smartphones to its global shopping catalogue for SAP employees.

Fast update policy to improve security

“Security was one of the key reasons we chose HMD Global as a supplier for Android smartphones,” Jarmo Akkanen said.

Andrej Sonkin, General Manager Enterprise Business at HMD Global, explained,

“Our security promise to deliver monthly security updates for three years as of the launch date of our Nokia Android One smartphones plus two major system upgrades in the same time frame actually exceeds Google’s AER requirements.”


On top of that, HMD Global makes the availability of updates transparent. The publicly accessible Nokia Smartphone Security Maintenance Release Summary shows details about the patches for each Nokia smartphone.

Although VMware Workspace ONE not only enforces corporate policies on the managed devices but is also able to remove bloatware from managed devices, Jarmo Akkanen really appreciated the fact that Nokia smartphones are part of Google’s Android One program. Android One labelled phones do not come with bloatware as they run pure, unmodified Android OS with only a small, curated set of useful apps added. 


man with earbuds on and a phone in hand

Lowering TCO of SAP’s smartphone fleet

The cost was another important factor in choosing Nokia smartphones. The SAP IT team always looks for opportunities to reduce the total cost of ownership of mobile workplaces. For a company that owns roughly 100,000 managed devices, total purchasing costs can be sky high. Beside the cut in expenditure, Jarmo Akkanen added another argument for including cheaper, but still very powerful smartphones to the SAP shopping catalogue:

“Being a global company, we also have to consider socio-economic aspects such as the living expenses in the different countries in which we are operating. For example, in developing and emerging countries, it could be hard to explain why we only offer our employees smartphones that cost over $1,000.”

With Nokia Android smartphones, SAP can now offer a selection of lower-cost - yet still powerful - mobile devices in its global shopping catalogue.


Android Enterprise meets the needs of large corporates

“From a corporate perspective, we recognize that Android’s development is going in the right direction. The management capabilities of Android Enterprise significantly improve the system,”

Jarmo Akkanen summarised. In addition, the deployment features of Android One are promising. To date, SAP has enrolled approximately 6,500 Android devices into the Enterprise Mobile Management solution. During the first half of 2019, Jarmo Akkanen hopes to see the IT teams' workload eased further by introducing zero-touch enrolment. Again, he has an eye on the user experience and asked: “Can you make it any easier for end users than that?”

Zero-touch enrolment allows the IT team to deploy corporate-owned devices in bulk without having to manually set up each device. As soon as end users login to their new device for the first time, the device automatically starts installation of management, apps, and configurations. This ensures that the setup of each corporate owned device is compliant with company policy.

Self-provisioning service via managed app store

To further enhance user experience in the mobile workplace, SAP offers a self-provisioning app store that is powered by VMware Workspace ONE. Employees can easily download apps from the company-managed app catalogue to the work profile on the managed devices. If users don’t need assistance to configure and customize their mobile workplaces, then this will relieve pressure on SAP’s IT teams and helpdesks. SAP expects a strong growth in the installed base of Android smartphones over the coming months, but self-provisioning should prevent any delays in working with new Android mobile devices. 

About SAP

As the market leader in enterprise application software, SAP is at the center of today’s business and technology revolution. SAP helps you streamline your processes, giving you the ability to use real-time data to predict customer trends across your entire business. SAP is committed to helping every customer become a best run business. SAP innovations help 413,000 customers worldwide work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively. For further information, see

About HMD Global

Headquartered in Espoo, Finland, HMD Global Oy is the home of Nokia phones. HMD designs and markets a range of smartphones and feature phones targeted at a range of consumers and price points. With a commitment to innovation and quality, HMD is the proud exclusive licensee of the Nokia brand for phones and tablets. For further information, see Nokia is a registered trademark of Nokia Corporation. Android, Android One and other marks are trademarks of Google LLC.