Leading international markets
A Marconi case study

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Page 5: Core competencies

Marconi 5 Image 4Core competencies are separate activities that provide competitive advantage and are usually difficult for competitors to imitate. Marconi’s competencies are:

  • speed of response
  • technological scale
  • global reach
  • highly-skilled and motivated people.


In its strategy to develop competitive advantage, Marconi Communications had to develop the technology and build on its core competencies. It was only by doing this that the company would be able to adapt to change and provide its customers with multi-service solutions and high-value support. This involved moving away from being a vertically integrated organisation.

In the past emphasis was simply upon supplying equipment for telecommunication companies. The newly formed Marconi Communications is concerned with being a market-sensitive organisation, capable of providing business solutions for each of its customers through a process of world wide service support, which will eventually include the management of network operator’s infrastructure.

The new role for Marconi Communications is to:

  • understand the challenges of its customers
  • propose solutions which help customers meet their challenges
  • deliver what is promised
  • help customers use its networks to create value.

Transmission technology

The investment made by Marconi Communications in transmission technology ensured it would go through a transformation unmatched by any other telecommunications equipment company. The transformation was focused on four elements:

  1. The management of the decline of narrowband switching as BT’s investment programme in digital exchanges came to an end and the re-positioning of its business into higher growth segments.
  2. Extension of control over its technology.
  3. Broadening the customer base – in terms of both customer and geographical.
  4. Acquisition of strategic technology for the next decade.

The largest part of the developing transmissions market is the supply of Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) equipment. SDH equipment is a broadband solution that has the power to increase network capacity and flexibility greatly, while at the same time streamlining management and cutting costs. Designed for the 21st century, the system is able to meet the expanding needs of electronic commerce, video-conferencing and a wide range of multimedia applications, such as interactive television and on-line entertainment.

Investment by Marconi in SDH in 1992 resulted in it capturing the largest market share in this market. In its home markets (UK and Italy) Marconi has always enjoyed a healthy market share. As markets have changed and become less regulated, Marconi has been successful in winning business from many former state controlled telecoms industries across the world.

Marconi | Leading international markets
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