John Chambers IDs Potential Successors
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John Chambers IDs Potential Successors
Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) Chairman and CEO John Chambers has told Bloomberg in an interview that he may retire in two to four years and named some of the individuals who could take over Cisco's helm.There are at least 10 people on the succession list, which the company's board of directors reviews quarterly. According to Chambers, that list includes: Gary Moore, chief operating officer; Robert Lloyd, executive VP of worldwide operations; Chuck Robbins, senior VP of the Americas; and Edzard Overbeek, senior VP of global services.Chambers reportedly said that Cisco's next CEO will probably come from within the company and that he would stay on as chairman if the board wants him to.Bloomberg's article also reported that Chambers said some small acquisitions were planned to help the company grow in the areas of "video, collaboration, virtual data centers, mobility and security."Chambers has been CEO of Cisco since January 1995.
Why this matters The subject of Chambers' successor has been long discussed, but this appears to be the first time that the Cisco man has named some of the candidates who could replace him and specified the timeframe for when that change could happen.The revelation follows some senior executive departures, the most recent of which was Chief Strategy Officer Ned Hooper. (See Cisco's Chief Strategy Officer Quits and Hooper's Ascent Continues at Cisco.)
Euronews: Ericsson Adds to SPIT Armory
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), TeliaSonera AB (Nasdaq: TLSN) and Bouygues Telecom put in an appearance for today's EMEA headlines roundup.Ericsson has bolstered its Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) portfolio through the acquisition of Canada's ConceptWave Software Inc. for an undisclosed sum. The Swedish vendor will get its hands on order management and product catalog offerings, as well as around 170 extra employees. Earlier this year Ericsson completed its acquisition of Telcordia, another SPIT specialist. (See Ericsson Acquires ConceptWave, Ericsson Sets Q2 Benchmark and Say Goodbye to Telcordia.)Swedish operator TeliaSonera is on the verge of putting its Spanish mobile subsidiary Yoigo up for sale, reports Reuters. France Télécom - Orange (NYSE: FTE) and Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) are expected to throw their respective hats into the bidding ring. TeliaSonera, which has been under pressure over the way it does business in Uzbekistan, wants to concentrate on its domestic and Eurasian operations. (See Euronews: TeliaSonera Denies Bribery.)
French mobile operator Bouygues Telecom has turned to Sierra Wireless Inc. (Nasdaq: SWIR; Toronto: SW) for the development of a 3G USB key that powers the Peugeot Connect Apps system. The key, when plugged into the vehicle, provides Peugeot drivers with real-time information and navigation assistance. (See Unknown Document 225266.)U.K. regulator Ofcom has published its latest complaints data, and there are some familiar names at the top of the bar charts of shame. TalkTalk still rules the roost in terms of complaints about landlines and fixed broadband, 3 still tops the mobile badboy rankings, while BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)'s BT Vision brand has put clear water between itself and the likes of BSkyB Ltd. (NYSE, London: BSY) and Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) in the pay-TV category. On a more positive general note, the number of complaints is reducing -- though maybe some disgruntled customers have just given up. Or are still on hold. (See Ofcom Publishes Complaints Data, Ofcom Counts the Complaints (Again) and Ofcom Fines TalkTalk ?3M.)Calm down, you've all been eating too many exquisite chocolates! More than 10,000 Belgians have signed up for the new iPhone 5, reports Reuters, even though the price of the fetishized handset has yet to be revealed there.In what it claims is a planet-saving exercise, U.K. mobile operator Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2) has teamed up with High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) on a pilot program to sell new handsets without chargers. O2 argues that the industry is standardizing on USB chargers anyway, and that our drawers are already stuffed full of charger-cable spaghetti. (See O2 Teams With HTC on Charger-Free Trial.)
Ericsson Buys More OSS Smarts
Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has dipped into its M&A war-chest yet again to buy Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) specialist ConceptWave Software Inc. for an undisclosed cash sum. (See Ericsson Acquires ConceptWave.)The move comes nine months after the Swedish giant closed the US$1.15 billion acquisition of Telcordia, which made it one of the world's major suppliers of back office software systems and services to communications service providers (CSPs). (See Say Goodbye to Telcordia.)Toronto-based ConceptWave, which has 170 staff and a customer list that includes AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Belgacom SA (Euronext: BELG), Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Level 3 Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: LVLT), Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), specializes in order management (handling the multiple processes involved in executing complex customer orders) and product catalog management (defining all the components of a service/application to enable new product creation, campaign management and product lifecycle management). (See The Order Management Revolution and ConceptWave Gets Certified.)But hold on -- didn't Ericsson get order management capabilities as part of the Telcordia acquisition? Well, yes, but ConceptWave's systems are more developed and refined: Ericsson says ConceptWave will enable it to help its CSP customers develop more personalized services.And it's worth noting that Telcordia and ConceptWave have a historical relationship, as Telcordia has, in the past at least, rebadged and resold ConceptWave's order management systems, as this press release from 2003 shows.Why this matters Ericsson is looking to position itself as an indispensable supplier of back office software systems and tools to CSPs as all manner of SPIT capabilities become increasingly important to CSP transformation, service development and differentiation strategies, and the ConceptWave acquisition is the latest example of how the giant vendor is investing in that focus. (See Ericsson's SPIT Vision and The SPIT Manifesto 2.0.)And, according to one industry analyst, it's a deal that makes a lot of sense. "The acquisition of ConceptWave fills another large gap in Ericsson's OSS/BSS portfolio that wasn't entirely covered by Telcordia," notes Heavy Reading senior analyst Caroline Chappell in an email. "Telcordia was working on a service catalog capability when it was acquired by Ericsson," so this appears to be a case of buying rather than the longer process of building in-house, notes the analyst."Heavy Reading's 2011 study of the plans of 130 service provider respondents worldwide for cloud services highlighted the requirement for a service catalog that can help service providers manage and co-ordinate the dynamic provisioning of multiple types of (cloud-based) services. Such a capability is critical, not only to the ability to play in the fast-moving world of the cloud but also to operational improvement programs that affect customer experience, such as right first time fulfillment."Chappell adds: "This acquisition is yet another example of the large equipment players," such as NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701), "seeing the SPIT world as strategic, so they are assembling a complete suite of BSS/OSS assets, both for their own use as managed services providers -- managed OSS/BSS, managed M2M, managed cloud services -- and to offer to service provider customers." (See NEC to Buy Convergys Unit for $449M and NEC Shells Out $300M for NetCracker.)She continues: "Heavy Reading is seeing growing evidence of service provider intentions to transform their current SPIT estates to support customer experience initiatives and/or moves into new market areas such as cloud and M2M."This represents a major opportunity for the network equipment suppliers as such transformation programs typically accompany network technology changes -- so a trigger for Ericsson's customers would be the move to LTE and EPC [evolved packet core]. As a result of this acquisition, Ericsson can boast a more extensive OSS/BSS stack, although it does face another integration exercise and the market is still waiting for firm details of its integration with Telcordia," concludes Chappell.
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