Careers at Ericsson
Ericsson’s mission is to lead transformation through mobility.
Ericsson is a provider of telecommunications technology and services. The company operates three reportable business segments:
- Networks – Provides products and solutions for mobile and fixed communication, radio networks, core networks, IP and transmission networks, and cloud. Accounted for 50% of net sales in 2015.
- Global Services – Provides network rollout services and professional services – specifically, managed services, customer support, consulting and systems integration (CSI), and network design and optimization services. Accounted for 44% of net sales in 2015.
- Support Solutions – Provides software-based solutions for BSS and OSS, TV and media solutions, and services/solutions for the mobile commerce ecosystem. Accounted for 6% of net sales in 2015.
Lars Magnus Ericsson worked as an engineer for a telegraph equipment provider. In 1876 he decided to strike out on his own, and founded telegraph repair business LM Ericsson with his friend Carl Andersson in Stockholm. In 1878 the firm began to manufacture and sell its version of the telephone. However, sales were low as AT&T had a monopoly on phone service and used its own equipment.
Things stayed the same until 1883, which saw the launch of Stockholms Allmä-a Telefonaktiebolag (SAT) -- Sweden's first telecommunications operating company. Lars formed an agreement with the new venture to be its exclusive provider of telephones, switchboards, and other equipment. This helped boost Ericsson’s sales. Another positive development was growth in the export market.
Over the next several years, demand for phones in the domestic market contracted as that in foreign markets exploded. Ericsson took advantage of the opportunity, and began selling to Western Europe, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and China. Ericsson also expanded its offerings to become a comprehensive provider of networking and telecommunications equipment and services.
Benefits at Ericsson
Business model of Ericsson
Ericsson has a niche market business model, with a specialized customer segment. The company targets its offerings at telecommunications operators. Out of its customer base of over 500 firms, its 10 largest clients accounted for 46% of net sales in 2015.
Ericsson offers two primary value propositions: innovation and brand/status.
The company places a strong emphasis on innovation, as demonstrated through the following:
- It has pioneered many of the technologies used daily on phones – from touchscreen scrolling and location-based apps to Bluetooth and seamless handover between networks.
- It operates the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) team, which consists of approximately 800 employees worldwide who aim to identify new technologies.
- It maintains Ericsson Garage, which serves as an incubator of innovations in areas adjacent to the firm’s current business. Its ultimate goal is to develop minimal viable products that can act as a foundation for future commercial products and services. Garage works much like a startup, using the “lean startup” methodology. Program members are allowed to break from their regular work responsibilities and move into the dedicated facility so they can focus on Garage projects.
- It conducts idea crowdsourcing internally, maintaining a pipeline called Ideaboxes, which is an Internet-based idea-sharing platform that is used to foster innovative concepts.
- It is dedicated to patent licensing, with a goal of sharing standardized technology in order to advance it and promote industry innovation.
The company has established a powerful brand as a result of its success. It has over 115,300 employees operating from offices in over 180 countries. Approximately 40% of mobile traffic worldwide runs through networks it has supplied, and over 2 billion subscribers depend on networks that it manages. Lastly, it has won many honors, most notably being recognized on “Great Place to Work“ lists in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
Ericsson’s main channel is its direct sales team. The company promotes its offering through its website, social media pages, online forums, expert blogs, sponsorships, and conferences.
Ericsson’s customer relationship is primarily of a dedicated personal assistance nature. The company assists customers by providing a wide variety of professional services, namely the following:
- Application Development and Maintenance
- Consulting and Transformation
- Learning Services
- Managed Services
- Network Design and Optimization
- Network Roll-Out
- Systems Integration
Despite this orientation, there is a self-service component. The company’s website features a “Publications” section that includes self-help resources such as articles, infographics, research reports, case studies, white papers, journal/conference papers.
Ericsson’s business model entails designing and developing its products and services for its customers. It outsources production of its products to third-party manufacturers, who operate from 10 locations in Brazil, India, China, Mexico, Estonia, and Sweden.
Ericsson maintains the Ericsson Channel Partner Program, whose members are firms that engage in the selling, implementation, and servicing of its products and services. Those members fall into the following categories:
- Telecommunication Equipment – Firms responsible for the following products/solutions: Microwave Network, Optical Network, IP Network, Network Management Systems, and Wi-Fi. Specific partners include MLL Telecom, KGP Logistics, Anixter, Tessco, Westcon, and Relink AB.
- TV Compression Technology – Consulting and systems integrator partners in the area of TV compression. Specific partners include Ultra Electronics, WTS Group, and Dascom Systems.
- Communications and Media Software - Consulting and systems integrator partners in the area of OSS/BSS and media software. Specific partners include Accenture, Capgemini, IBM, TCS, and Cognity.
The program is on a limited enrollment basis, so membership is selective. Ericsson provides partners with training, sales/marketing support, and access to a partner portal that includes several resources.
Ericsson’s main resources are its human resources and its intellectual property. Its human resources include the technology employees who design and develop its products and services, including 23,689 R&D employees as of 2015.
It has one of the industry’s strongest IP rights portfolios, with more than 39,000 patents in 70 countries that cover 2G, 3G, and 4G technologies. The company is the largest holder of standard-essential patents for mobile communication globally.
Ericsson has a value-driven structure, aiming to provide a premium proposition through significant personal service and frequent product/service improvements. Its biggest cost driver is likely cost of goods sold, a variable expense.
Other major drivers are in the areas of research and development and sales/marketing, both fixed costs.
Ericsson has three revenue streams: sales of products, services (including network rollout and professional services), and licenses. Products and services are typically sold under delivery-type or multi-year recurring services contracts. Licensing revenue is generated by offering access to its IP.
info: Jan earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and Economics at the University of Uppsala. He previously held several leadership roles at Ericsson, including Executive VP and Head of Group Function Finance.
info: Arun earned a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics at the University of Jiwaji and a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing from Indira Gandhi National Open University. He previously served as Head of Business Unit Radio.
info: Per earned a Master of Science in Business Administration at Jönköping International Business School. He previously served as Head of Business Unit Support Solutions.
info: Ulf earned a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering & Management from Linköping University. He previously served as Head of Product Area Radio within Business Unit Networks.
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