One of the fastest growing industries in recent years has been the communications industry, particularly the cellular and personal communications industry. This global explosion of technology has spread, rapidly linking both highly industrial areas as well as that of the third world and emerging countries. The deployment of wireless communication has been readily accepted in remote and previously somewhat isolated areas.
The emergence of specialized companies in this field has produced numerous competitors for this market. The communication companies such as Harris, Nortel and Ericsson are all competing in this market for renewed company growth and prosperity. The effect of competition in this global marketplace is such that in order to remain recognized in these markets firms are required more than ever to establish a presence in these new markets and rethink as well as redefine the way in which they do business.
The buzz word “Hyper” has been used in conjunction with these companies, and has been associated with three main functions which have changed and evolved with the new business logic. These are;
The trend in company policy in the past was to win every possible sale at any cost. All prioritization of the firm was a function of the current deal. Large established firms such as Nortel were seen as being the best simply because of their size. When a firm’s primary focus is on sales and revenue alone, it leads to a fragmentation of reserves within the organization. This effect was seen and experienced first hand by Nortel directly when with Globalization, little regard was given to direct support of their product in countries where it was used.
The new focus of Nortel, Harris and Ericcson has been on the importance of not winning at any cost, but in order to maintain and grow within these new markets, a focused strategy was required. Along
with this came a discrimination between strategic and opportunistic customers. The effort to simply sell had now evolved to a point where customer focus was of high importance.
The evolution of competition within the industry brought a new business thinking. Rather than trying to simply outdo the competitors accomplishments by adding product features, regardless of whether the target customers requirements were met or not, thinking changed. The way in which Harris overcame this was to engage the R & D functions in order to establish more of a cross functional consensus to establish products and features on priorities where they should be. This valued customer approach through development was one way in which these firms sought to maintain sustainability and hence a form of loyalty within their customer base.
A valuable learned lesson by Harris was the development of the Globestar radio platform which was the first common platform on the market. The radio system was unique and had many software features. This however was one of the problems in that many of the features it offered were not really critical or seen as essential in the eyes of most of their customers.
The “me first” mentality and often the “me only” mentality was one which was common prior to this evolution. The mentality of playing hardball via contractual and on non-contractual basis helped build a feeling within the customers that these firms were not to be trusted since they worked in a very one sided nature. Globalization of the communications market brought with it the need to establish in country partnerships and alliances. The cross functional approach of using local suppliers for both support as well as service was essential.