Nokia HERE Acquires Desti : Unlocks The ‘Contextual Search Engine’ Badge

We recently discussed about how companies need to become more horizontal and deepen its understanding about their customers and consumers to excel in the upcoming Big Information era building on the Big Data intelligence. We also identified in the same post, the new Nokia as one of the potential company to thrive in this Big Information era as it has transformed from a vertical hardware company to more of a platform company after selling its Devices division to Microsoft.

Out of the the cash rich new Nokia, its HERE business unit (formerly Location & Commerce) is growing fast as a pure horizontal business. HERE is a global leader in mapping and location intelligence space and today has strengthened its “location cloud” platform further with acquisition of Desti. While at first instant, Desti would look like a smart travel planning app but the underlying technology is much more useful which could be scaled when integrated into HERE platform. Desti is a spin-put of SRI International which uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language engine to create a powerful database based on deeper understanding of locations, user’s natural language, related questions thus adding context to deliver highly relevant location based search results.

So what does Desti acquisition mean for HERE?

  • It beefs up HERE platform as a much more smarter contextual search engine
  • Integrating Desti engine also help integrating AI capabilities into HERE LiveSight for richer search experiences
  • Desti also brings a powerful Natural Language engine which when integration would be a significant boost for HERE platform’s in-vehicle search & navigation experiences
  • Desti will add a more personalized recommendations to the searches to provide more accurate and highly relevant location based results
  • When integrated well it will allow HERE platform to build a whole new class of intelligent location based services not just limited to travel but different verticals
  • This will eventually build a huge database (Big Data) for HERE platform to learn further about user-location-context which can be in future transformed into Big Information & actionable insights to build newer products, services and features to further enhance user experiences

I remember asking HERE’s executive team at the November 2012 “HERE” launch in San Francisco, “if Nokia HERE will become a “Search Engine” in next five years? and then the answer was ‘maybe’..” but now I could see a very big potential here for HERE owning the “contextual search engine” space due to its location expertise and added contextual intelligent search engine capabilities with smart acquisitions such as Desti

In summary, a good acquisition by Nokia HERE to bolster its position further as a “location cloud” leader and another positive step towards the Big Information era.


Nokia Desti Acquisition - Contextual Search EngineSource: Nokia HERE 360 & Desti

Neil Shah
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Neil Shah

Neil is a sought-after frequently-quoted Industry Analyst with a wide spectrum of rich multifunctional experience. He is a knowledgeable, adept, and accomplished strategist.

For over more than a decade, he has been offering expert strategic advice that has been highly regarded across different industries especially in telecom.

Prior to Counterpoint, Neil worked at Strategy Analytics as a Senior Analyst (Telecom). Neil also had an opportunity to work with Philips Electronics in multiple roles.

He is also an IEEE Certified Wireless Professional with a Master of Science (Telecommunications & Business) from the University of Maryland, College Park, USA.

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