Global Mobility

Global Mobility

Jon Smith of Ericsson

Jon Smith, VP Enterprise EMEA for Ericsson talks to Comms Business Magazine about the opportunity he sees in mobility and fixed to mobile solutions.

What does Enterprise mean in the context of your job title?

Ericsson is divided in to business units; Mobile, Fixed Wire, and Enterprise. Each is a standalone operation with P&L in its own right and global reach. It used to be that our customers were anyone that did not have an operator’s license but what we are seeing today is mobile network operators (MNOs) wanting to attract as much enterprise business as they possibly can so now we work closely with the other business units to sell our propositions in to their end customer working alongside that operator. The recent contract announcement with Global Crossing is a good example; they are an operator who had a need to offer an enterprise solution to the train operating companies. I worked closely with the fixed wire business unit and sold an enterprise proposition to Global Crossing. We then worked together with Global to sell the solution on to the train companies.

If you look at the trends, in particular fixed to mobile substitution or

convergence (FMC), the need for an enterprise solution to work hand in hand with the operators becomes more important. As you look at the drive to IMS and mobile centrex the end customer is the enterprise and the cherry on the top of the cake. To get that business you have to understand the enterprise and we at Ericsson have that understanding. With FMC, on the one hand mobile operators are trying get as much fixed business as they can and on the other the fixed line operators are doing the reverse. It is the most incredible, dynamic and aggressive time in the market I have seen in the last 20 years. With 21CN, BT is spending some £4 billion upgrading their whole network to IP for mobile convergence – it is the biggest driver in the market.

The mobile side of the enterprise, in this FMC world, is the area that Ericsson is going to work really hard at. If you look at the Gartner and Ovum reports you will see that Ericsson is moving away from wearing the ‘niche player’ hat and being taken seriously as an IP network agnostic mobile solution provider.

The fixed solution will always be there and how many times have we heard reports that the PBX is dead? I am so bored of hearing it. The PBX is not dead; it will continue to be there and continue to play quite a strong role in the support of mobile convergence. We have a product called Mobile Office where a cell phone acts as a fully integrated connection to the PBX. So when I dial someone from my cell phone my PA will see the light come on her digital phone.

A key development of this whole market will be the availability of flat rate from MNOs whereby users pay a fixed monthly charge for all the calls they make. Vodafone already has this in Germany and it is also available in Ireland where we launched the Ericsson application three months ago. Orange is very close in the UK to doing having flat rate.

The second the UK moves to flat rate it will allow resellers to become more involved in products and solutions such as Mobile Office as users will want more and more services on their cell phone supplied through their PBX.

MX-ONE, Ericsson’s Linux based IP server is a fixed line product with mobile interaction, is network agnostic and open standards. As we move further towards this FMC market I see the need to open up the market and get not only the traditional telephony distributors involved but also the data side of the channel as well because with the market moving towards a more IP centric position the proposition becomes more of a server based solution. MX-ONE has been well received in the market and the analysts have commented favourably on the product.

Ericsson is very committed to the enterprise market. We have a new President, Urban Gillstrom, who has come from Sony Ericsson, which gives an indication of how far we will be pushing the mobile side of our business.

We are totally committed to sustaining and supporting the channel with new products. However we will sell directly where we identify an opportunity, such as we did with Global Crossing, but the fulfilment of the solutions will be via channel partners. In the case of Global, the partners are Thales, Premier Network Management and Nimans. There will four similar sized deals to this being announced shortly. Likewise we are about to conclude a deal to supply hosted services to a large group of 1300 sites. IP is perfect for hosting applications and will be a huge opportunity in 2006.

 

Comment:

Ericsson won the iNode element of the BT 21CN supply contract and with MX-ONE Ericsson, launched in September, has a product that integrates data, voice and mobile communication in a compact, server-based system that fits into a 19-inch IT environment. Open, scalable and future-proof, it seems to have enough power to link everyone in the enterprise – whether they are working at HQ, branch offices, remote home offices or are out traveling. Compatible with current business-class telephony features and applications, and claimed to be 99.999% reliable, MX-ONE looks an exciting prospect.

 
www.ericsson.com
 

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