Nilsson, who yesterday unveiled Ericsson's roadmap at the Business Design Centre, said convergence of the telecoms and datacoms industries was one of the key driving forces for the company's strategy and, to this end, he pledged strong commitment to IP technology. Although IP technology does not feature in many of the company's current products, it will be incorporated into the "next generation wireless systems" according to Nilsson.
Nilsson anticipated that the company would draw on its strength in mobile networks to maintain its position in the market. He predicted growth of 'well over 20 percent a year' for the company. Despite the company's plans to grow 'aggressively', its acquisition policy will steer Ericsson towards small to medium-sized businesses rather than giants -- A policy described by Nilsson as the string of pearls approach. "There will be no mega-mergers," said Nilsson.
Ericsson vice president Haijo Pietersma acknowledged that the changing face of businesses required new strategies for the company. With the growth of the 'virtual office' and increasing demand for better customer relations, Pietersma believes that communications will take on new significance. "Communications will both drive and support these changes," he said. To address this challenge, Ericsson will be expanding and migrating from its PBX base to an IP infrastructure and will work closely with businesses to help improve customer relationships.
Small and Medium-sized Busnesses (SME) will play an increasingly important role in Ericsson's new strategy. Marketing director, Richard McHugh, announced a raft of new products aimed specifically at this market including a voice activated 'Cyber Genie' call management.