Siemens is a formidable global powerhouse in IT and electronics. With 434,000 employees around the world, the company provides products and services in automation and control, information and communication, medical, transportation, and power and infrastructure.
Within Siemens, two groups provide the entire spectrum of information and communications solutions: Siemens Communications and Siemens Business Services (SBS).
Siemens Communications, the largest group within Siemens, provides technologies and services including devices for end users to network infrastructures for enterprises and carriers.
In June 2005, Taiwanese mobile phone maker BenQ acquired Siemens's ailing mobile devices group, which led to the formation of a new mobile phone company in October. However, the Siemens mobile phone brand will continue to exist for another 18 months, and the company will be able to cobrand products under the BenQ-Siemens name for a five-year period. Products using the new, combined brand name will be introduced in early 2006.
SBS provides a range of services to enterprises across different sectors. For example, in November 2004, it clinched a deal with Schenker Asia Pacific to provide round-the-clock managed hosting and operational services for the logistics service provider's business critical applications across 14 countries in the region.
In March this year, SBS acquired BBC Technology, the commercial IT unit of the BBC, as part of a 10-year outsourcing agreement worth 2 billion pounds (US$3.8 billion). By outsourcing to SBS, the BBC aimed to reduce its IT costs by almost US$40 million a year.
Siemens is also focusing heavily on RFID (radio identification) technologies, the next big thing in inventory and supply chain management. In an effort to provide end-to-end RFID services to various sectors, it announced a plan in July to pool expertise from different units: SBS for consulting and integration, Siemens Automation and Drives for RFID systems and hardware, and Siemens Logistics and Assembly Systems for middleware and application.