At today’s users’ conference in San Francisco, Oracle Corp. (NASDAQ: ORCL) and Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) will announce a deal under which Oracle will use Nokia mapping, navigation and location technology. Oracle will use the software to add mapping capabilities to its software offerings.
Nokia paid $8.1 billion in 2007 for a mapping company called Navteq and then did virtually nothing with the technology it had acquired. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Nokia’s total revenue in 2011 from its services business was a meager $1.2 billion. The deal with Oracle is not expected to add much in the way of revenue, but it is intended to polish up Nokia’s image as a provider not only of mapping and location services, but other software services in general.
The mapping leader, of course, is Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG), and challenging an entrenched behemoth is probably not going to boost Nokia’s revenue or stature. Other mapping deals the company has struck with Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN), Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) have been virtually invisible. Nokia also provides mapping apps for a range of products from Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT). And while Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) attempt to add its own map app to iOS 6 was a disaster, it would be unwise to bet that the company will be unable to fix the problems.
And it is not the maps that are most important, it is the location services. Adding that function to enterprisewide applications like Oracle’s could be a big winner — for Oracle.
Nokia’s shares closed at $2.58 on Friday and are trading up about 1.7% in the premarket this morning. The stock’s 52-week range is $1.63 to $7.38.