Uncommon Wisdom

Oct 16 2009   10:48AM GMT

NSN’s very bad quarter: Good technology, bad messaging

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

Nokia Siemens Networks’ (NSN) quarterly results were just plain bad, with the company admitting a much larger market share loss than they’d forecast—so much so it swamped a market that turned out to be better than NSN had expected.

We think the problem here is a combination of conservatism and the lack of a single area of specialized focus on which NSN could underpin marketing efforts. NSN has excellent technology but extremely limited marketing skills, and the company is especially troubled by a lack of ability to engage high-level issues in a telco market that is increasingly focused on transformation of business model.

The NSN analyst event late this month may show how, and if, NSN plans to change all of that. The numbers make it very clear that it needs to. NSN can’t sustain sales and margins against Huawei without a strategy, and it can’t boost its U.S. market position without one either. The expectations of vendor M&A in the telco equipment space has driven prices on companies up, making it less likely NSN could bring off an acquisition that would position it here in the U.S.

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