In an interview with Light Reading, published in two parts, Suri noted that following the many changes made during 2011 -- including the major acquisition of Motorola Solutions' mobile network assets and the decision to focus the company on the mobile broadband, professional services and customer experience management (CEM) sectors -- "we are able to get the innovation engine back." (See NSN to Cut 17,000 Staff, Analysts: NSN Focus Makes Sense, NSN Gets $1.36B & New Leader and NSN Finally Seals $975M Moto Deal.)
He added: "You will have seen some announcements around Flexi Zone -- that's a picocell, a small cell, it's technology that came from the Motorola side [Motorola Networks, acquired in April 2011], and that's a sign of innovation clearly coming back to NSN. And we are improving quality a lot as well, again through a lot of the Motorola processes." (See NSN Pours Small Cells in Liquid Radio.)
In terms of R&D, Suri believes the process of shifting the vendor's R&D processes to countries such as India and the Philippines has given it an operating edge over some of its key rivals. "I think it's fair to say that on R&D we are more efficient than our European peers because 60 percent of our R&D is in low-cost countries," says the CEO. "We are well funded in R&D and have been investing well, but we will invest more to get ahead of the curve and not just play catch up."
Suri also discussed how CEM tools are providing a broader range of operator executives, particularly the chief marketing officer, with greater visibility into real-time customer metrics that can influence their jobs. Web interface tools can display network and service data on "an iPad screen and that makes it very simple for a chief marketing officer … That was the problem [previously], it was too technical. If the CMO is sitting in the room and is looking at activation data, call set-up success rate, call drop rate … those are not interesting things for a CMO. Nowadays, it's in layman's language -- network not accessible, this number of platinum subscribers … It will show you what kind of terminals they are using, how many iPhones, how many Samsung devices, all of that. It really is the CMO's dream."
Check out all that Suri had to say, including what kind of deals NSN is not taking on these days and how he'd like to sell his company's CEM tools to operators, by checking out the full interviews:
- NSN's Rajeev Suri: Restructuring, Research & Resilience
- NSN's Rajeev Suri: Carrier Capex & Customer Experience
— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading