Ericsson Pushes the Boat out in Portsmouth.

You have to hand it to the Swedes. When they decide to do something, they go for it with all guns blazing. Maybe that is why the Ericsson Pavilion, a purpose-built 312 square meter prefabricated conference centre and demonstration facility was “moored” next to HMS Victory for the two weeks the Volvo Ocean Race was in Portsmouth at the end of May – they would be “sailing” in good company!

Ericsson has spent vast sums of money sponsoring a 70 foot yacht in this round the world race that started last November in Vigo, Spain – and won’t finish until the fleet anchors in Stockholm sometime in late June. Dave Curl, Ericsson’s Marketing Manager for North West Europe, felt the money was well worth it as the coverage Ericsson has received would cost far more if it was done through traditional media exposure. “The world is full of historical midgets”, he said, “but the teams that compete in ocean yacht races are not amongst them. We are bringing more than 600 of our customers in the UK and Ireland to Portsmouth to meet those teams and soak in the atmosphere. In terms of customer relations, this is priceless!”

Ericsson isn’t a historical midget either. The 130 year old company’s recent activities on the UK’s converged communications scene bear that out. Not satisfied with selection as the key softswitch vendor for BT’s 21st Century Network, the Swedish company took one of British industry’s crown jewels when they acquired the bulk of Marconi’s assets, together with the brand name. “The integration of the two companies’ product ranges is already well under way. Marconi has widely recognised strengths, particularly in optical transport and wireline, and we are proud to be able to carry this heritage forward in our strengthened product portfolio”, said a company spokesperson.

The UK’s convergence channel partners haven’t been forgotten in the rush. A recent deal with distributor Nimans has made the MD Evolution SME solution available to resellers around the country. Who knows, if they do well maybe next time Ericsson throw a bash like the one in Portsmouth, those dealers too can be wolfing down the meatballs served up by Ericsson’s excellent caterers, whom we are reliably informed are known by their nick-name of the “Kaiser Chefs”.

Wonders will never cease!

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