UPdate on the ericsson / Cisco partnership – mobile world congress 2017

Ericsson and Cisco representatives provided an upbeat presentation about the corporate partnership, offered some customer success metrics and discussed some new initiatives. The teams held back from providing concrete measures of progress such as revenues. Our judgement is that since each is continuing to make joint offerings, the relationship is moving ahead.

Customer engagement progress was characterized at 100+ deals and 300+ engagements.  
It is interesting to figure out what each of the two parties deliver to customers.  The way the two companies characterize what each is good at and what each delivers to customers is quite similar to the way it was characterized at the previous year’s MWC 2016 presentation – with one possible exception: Each of the spokespersons said that customers are using the Ericsson wireless packet core (Cisco also sells wireless packet core).

Roles and Responsibilities.  Generally, the teams still see the roles and responsibilities split up as follows:

  • Cisco does “IP,” generally and specifically cited routing and WiFi
  • Ericsson does Radio Access and provides professional services, OSS/BSS and typically serves as the Systems Integrator
  • Cisco sees this partnership as a means to target emerging markets.  This is because Ericsson has significant market presence in emerging markets.
  • Working on smaller deals up front, then if the relationship works, will pursue bigger sized deals.

Given how strategic the NFV landscape is for the future of the telecom industry, we were interested in each company’s participation in NFV Orchestration.  The partners say the way they split up the orchestration between each other would typically be as follows:  Cisco’s NSO is used typically in managing the network and resources (Cisco claims it wins big here).  Ericsson’s transport-oriented NFV is typically used. And then Ericsson’s orchestration system manages both Cisco’s and Ericsson’s lower level management systems.

Some wins discussed:

  • 3 Italy
  • C&W
  • Aster Dominican Republic
  • Vodafone PT
  • Evolved WiFi networks in Africa
  • Next Generation Network – Middle East
  • W transformation.  Vodafone Hutchinson AU
  • IP Transformation – Telefonica Latam

As we explained earlier, the partners discussed new three initiatives discussed for the future:

  • Collaboration Mobile Convergence mobile phone used as enterprise device). UC, presence, messaging from Cisco using its Spark offering and Telco TAS delivering VoLTE from ERIC.  CMC is intended to allow mobile phones to be useful communications devices for enterprise users.  In this case, users will make VoLTE calls using the regular dialer of the phone and can use collaboration capabilities using the Cisco Spark application.  Avail late 2017.  There is a press release with more detail.
  • WiFi/Small Cell joint offering.  Uses Ericsson small cell and Cisco WiFi.  Together, these systems allow traffic steering.
  • Managed security from Cisco.  Orchestrated by Ericsson.