In 2001 telecommunications leader Ericsson and the Sony Corporation joined forces to establish Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications. Because of this joint venture, Sony Ericsson recognized sales of over seven billion dollars in the first year. This was mainly because the combined mobile phone business company now offered a range of mobile communication products that went far beyond the simple mobile phone technology of its time.
Marketing, more than any other business function, deals with customers. Creating customer value and satisfaction is at the very heart of modern marketing. Marketing is the delivery of customer satisfaction at a profit. Sound marketing is critical to the success of every organization–large or small, for profit or non-profit, domestic or global. Large for-profit firms such as Sony use marketing. This is where globalization, technology, and ethics come into play.
The world is shrinking rapidly with the advent of faster communication, transportation, and financial flows. Products developed in one country are finding enthusiastic acceptance in other countries. In fact, international trade is booming. Since 1969, the number of multinational corporations in the world’s fourteen richest countries has more than tripled. According to Business Week, written by Gail Edmondson, “many U.S. companies have long been successful at international marketing: Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, IBM, Xerox, Corning, Gillette, Colgate, General Electric, Caterpillar, Ford, Kodak, 3M, Boeing, and dozens of other American firms have made the world their market. And in the United States, names such as Sony, Toyota, Norelco, and Mercedes have become household words” (Edmondson, G., 2000).
Globalization has become the increasing tendency of the world to act as one market. Technological advances in travel and communications are the driving force behind market globalization. For instance, new communication technologies, such as the ones offered by Sony Ericsson, allow people and/or teams from all over the world to work on projects and share information without leaving their desks. At the same time, advanced technologies allow manufacturers to produce their goods in foreign locations that offer an abundant supply of low-cost labor (Mescon, M, Courtland, B., & Thill, J., 1999)
Companies today need to take advantage of their innovative capabilities to develop new businesses. Without exploiting the potential idea of innovation, companies will not be prepared for the effects of new technology, demanding customers and globalization. To keep up with the fast-paced world of mobile communications technology, Sony Ericsson will need to combine telecommunication solutions with proven entertainment technology to be considered the forefront of telecommunication innovation. However, there are difficult challenges that Sony Ericsson must go through to bring to the market a stream of improved products and services that enable the business to achieve higher profits. Incorporating innovative ideas and new technologies is the key for a successful business to compete effectively in the global environment.
In the past year, Sony Ericsson has launched groundbreaking products for their mobile technology. The success of the company comes from the distinction of other companies in terms of design, imaging, and applications. With a unique combination of Sony’s digital imaging and Ericsson’s mobile platform, Sony Ericsson seems to have the upper hand in coming out with the latest technology to meet consumer demand. With any advancements of innovation, design is a key step to initiate any innovative ideas. Sony Ericsson takes pride in their industrial designers because of the importance to impress consumers with never-before-seen looks and groundbreaking technology.
From the birth of an idea to the launch of the product, Sony Ericsson’s designers monitor the progress of the product systematically, making sure the innovative idea keeps its shape and stays new. Designers will also need to keep a close eye on any changing trends in the mobile communication market as they can inspire as well as influence the elements of innovative design.
Sony Ericsson continues to innovate in design and newly launched products to strengthen its reputation as a design leader. In addition, the company strives to be a cutting edge provider of applications, creating partnerships with software developers and content providers to meet everyday consumer demand.
Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications offers services globally to a communication market with high end, state-of-the-art mobile phone equipment, accessories, PC-cards, and M2M (Machine-to-Machine) technology.
Our computer era is about making people more productive in the working environment. It is a technology that is geared to help people interact with other people through the aid of always on computers, communication, and powerful high bandwidth. The M2M communications technology is going to be different in the sense that it will allow electronic devices to interact with people and other devices.
This will not require as big a bandwidth as computers use now days. This technology features higher reliability and efficiency, and it also enables users to remotely access and manage other array of equipment without having to move around or keeping a technical staff. This type of technology is presently being used by Sony Ericsson and is evolving rapidly particularly in the area of wireless equipment. M2M is also used for business applications such as:
Security and emergency response
Mobility and collaboration
Personalization and customization
Another of the latest popular technologies is called Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA).
This is a technology for wideband digital radio communications of Internet, multimedia, video and other capacity-demanding applications.
WCDMA is the dominating 3G (3rd. Generation) technology, providing higher capacity for voice and data and higher data rates. WCDMA uses a new spectrum with a 5 MHz carrier, providing 50 times higher data rate than in present GSM networks (and 10 times higher data rate than in GPRS networks) WCDMA handles up to 2 Mbps for local area access or 384 Kbps for wide area access. A coming release will include enhancements up to more than 10 Mbps. WCDMA is also known as UMTS and has been adopted as a standard by the ITU under the name IMT-2000 direct spread (Ericsson, 2004).
Multimedia Messaging Service technology is another feature found in many Sony Ericsson’s communication devices of today. This feature enables users to send/receive multimedia messaging. MMS technology applies to communication applications, information, and entertainment. Because of the nature of the applications, MMS is especially helpful because it is designed for time critical situations, such as sport and other breaking news, alerts, stock market developments, etc. MMS also optimizes video images, video and audio signals in real time.
In order to understand how Sony Ericsson Industries became a company gripped in ethical and social responsibility, one must first look at its history and mission. In an article on the World Wide Web, “A Study of Smart phones” it talks about some of the history of Ericsson. Back in June of 1998, Ericsson made Symbian a privately independent company. Ericsson had one mission and that was, “To provide solutions to communication needs” (Ericsson, 2004).
Ericsson made an ethical decision and commitment to the diversified customer base to always provide the end user with user friendly, expedient, business savvy computer compatible phones that severed and performed a wide variety of uses. That mission statement and ethical commitment grew, as did the Symbian coalition, which eventually included companies such as Matsushita, Motorola, Nokia, and Psion’s. With this new collaboration of world leading communication players came the new mission, which was, “To set the standard for mobile wireless operating systems and to enable a mass market for wireless information devices” (Grey Matter India, 2004).
In 1998, Sony Ericsson had implemented the objective mission into the organization. In 2001, another mission was reborn. This mission statement focus was on the needs and wants of the consumer that included and embraced the ethics and the social responsibilities in present day. In 2001, the headlines stated “Welcome to Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications.” Then in October of 2001, Sony published on its website its new mission, which was “Our mission is to establish Sony Ericsson as the most attractive and innovative global brand in the mobile handset industry” (Ericsson, 2004). They went on to publish there social responsibility statement, which stated, “It is Sony Ericsson’s policy to behave in a socially and ethically exemplary way and to operate business in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Sony Ericsson believes in respect for human rights and in the ethical treatment of all employees” (Ericsson, 2004).
The Joint Venture
Whether a company is small or large, there comes a time when a company needs to shift the way the company is managed. Large companies, such as Sony Ericsson, have been using self-directed work teams for years to improve quality, increase productivity, raise morale, lower costs, and boost motivation. A self-directed work team is a group of workers from different functional areas of a company who work together as a unit largely without supervision, making decisions, and performing task that once belonged only to managers.
However, it is important to note, that managers in companies using teams, such as Sony Ericsson, do not just sit around drinking coffee. In fact, they work just as hard as before, but the nature of their work changes dramatically. “Managers at Sony Ericsson take on roles of coaches who empower those around them to make decisions affecting their work and share information with workers. As facilitators, their job is to support and to serve the teams functioning in the organization and to make sure they produce results” (Ericsson, 2004).
Edmondson, G. (2000, August 28). See the world, erase its borders. Business Week, pp. 113-114.
Ericsson. (2004). About Ericsson. Retrieved February 20, 2005 from the World Wide Web: http://www.ericsson.com/about/
Ericsson. (2004). Technologies. WCDMA. Retrieved February 20, 2005 from the World Wide Web: http://www.ericsson.com/technology/
Gray Matter India. (2004). Smartphones. White Paper, pg. 8. Retrieved February 21, 2005 from the World Wide Web: www.greymatterindia.com/downloads/Whitepaper_Rise%20_of_Smartphones.pdf.
Mescon, M., Courtland, B., Thill, J. (1999). Business Today, 203. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall