Ericsson is on a journey—one that started 140 years ago. It never had a name but maybe now it can, courtesy of the new-age nomenclature created by the cloud.

Some people build IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) or PaaS (Platform as a Service) or SaaS (Software as a Service). We also do all of these things. While all are fantastic in their own right, they are missing what is truly transformational. Ericsson has spent 140 years building “Planet as a Service,” enabling people worldwide to collaborate on a scale never seen before and building platforms that are trusted in 180+ countries and that all work seamlessly with one another.

Starting in 1876, we connected fixed locations. Then people became the endpoints. Now we are machines to the mix and looking for the next generation global team to make that happen. Are you interested in being part of that team? Is there a more interesting technical challenge? Another one that is planet sized?

Who is Ericsson?

Ericsson is a complex systems company that has continuously deployed and operated such systems in 180+ countries for over 140 years. If you have communicated over a fixed or mobile phone, you have used our systems. Ericsson is the fifth largest software company in the world, with 2.5 billion users a day and 1 billion users under direct management from follow-the-sun operation centers. More people use our software on a daily basis than any other software, and you use it every time you place a call or, more commonly these days, check your Facebook page or any one of the 100 apps you can “no longer live without."

Chances are you never think about our software in the same way you never think about your health. If you are fortunate enough, you take both for granted and notice them only when something goes wrong. Fortunately, our software goes wrong very rarely, and our systems are highly industrialized, highly reliable and highly secure. All of it is also regulated and needs to show compliance according to differing country and/or region and/or industry requirements.

Industrialization and predictabilitycloud-home-digital-industrialization-1146x650_720x409_90.jpg

Industrialization enables such complex systems to scale and function globally. With both comes efficiency and known performance. For these reasons, our technology and deployments change how the planet works.

Name any other system that is trusted in 180+ countries? In the first 100 years ,we connected one billion buildings. In the following thirty years ,we connected five billion people. In the next ten years, we will connect 50 billion devices.

This is the next wave of a communication system — the most inclusive ever, since participants do not have to be human to take part. If these systems do not work, then you might see the nightmare scenario: “Country X is currently down. Please try again later…” Countries do not want this. Countries also do not want to be colonized digitally the way some were physically.

"The British ruled the world because they controlled the seas," said Prabir Purkayasta, chairman of the Society for Knowledge Commons in India, recently to the BBC. "Is India going to be content to just be a digital consumer? To being colonised once again?"

Data is the most personally valuable asset, the most important to businesses and foundational to the future of any country. Any doubt with respect to the history or veracity or management of data introduces risk and unpredictability and creates the biggest threat to economic growth and sustainability going forward. We need tamper free systems the size of countries that all work together and ensure co-operation without opportunity for compromise.

Too big a problem? About the same size as connecting 5 billion people with similar none-compromised real time communication? What is different? Machines have different behaviors from humans, and we need to industrialize compute and storage in the same way we have networks. And as always we need to build a constellation of cooperating companies to enable open and cooperative progress where everybody has a choice but all work and works together.

Why do we believe this is possible?

Communication as a basic human right

Ericsson did not invent mobile communication systems. But we did industrialize it, scale it, and place it in 180+ countries. We did not invent fixed telephony before that. But we did decide communication is a basic human right—not just for the elite—which led to Stockholm being the world's most connected city by 1900.

The next wave of growth will lead us to repeat this journey for the third time, by taking what exists in the cloud and placing it in all the same countries in a fully industrialized and trusted state. Developers can develop with the best experience knowing their customers (be they machines or people) will have the best experience wherever they are.

The complex system handling such a world will have global distribution that can be trusted, have known performance, and implement scale and efficiency to match the best of the best. It is taking what already exists and making it better with great partners such as Intel, Quanta Computer, and Amazon Web Services (AWS). We believe your connected car should work more like a mobile phone (when you turn it on, it just works) than like an electronic spreadsheet.

Why you?

So why should you consider joining this journey? All global change starts with a small number of people who want to make a difference, want be part of something, and are good at what they do. With mobile telephony, it started with 34 people in Kista, a small suburb of northern Stockholm. It involves a leap of faith. It involves seeing something that doesn’t exist, looking through a different lens. You are never late to anything unless you lack the imagination to see something better. Was Apple late to phones?

For past journeys watch here - "On the Line" and imagine yourself in the release of the next one.



And to explore the ideas from this post, please read the discussion paper that kicked off these ideas for us: Changing the game before game changes you

Download & read the paper now

Digital Industrialization

Geoff Hollingworth

Geoff is Head of Product Marketing Cloud Systems, responsible for the global positioning, promotion and education of Ericsson’s next generation Cloud infrastructure offerings. He was previously embedded with AT&T in Silicon Valley, leading Ericsson’s innovation efforts towards the AT&T Foundry initiative. He has also held positions as Head of IP Services Strategy for North America and overseeing the Ericsson brand in North America, as well as other roles in software R&D and mobile network deployment. Joining Ericsson more than 20 years ago, Geoff has been based in London, Stockholm, Dallas and Palo Alto. He holds a First Class Honors Bachelors degree in Computing Science and has won the Computing Science Prize of Excellence from Aston University in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

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