Inside Samsung

By Lori Castle, Editor in Chief — October 14, 2013

Next year is predicted to be the time when companies start to go from one-off mobile deployments to taking a broader look at strategy across the business. Samsung Electronics, in order to  support this for its customers, operates internally on the same principle of collaboration.

A fragmented provider could lead to a fragmented customer, but Samsung practices what it preaches and realizes there’s no success in siloes anymore. The portfolio of products the company offers goes from consumer to enterprise and back, and in the overlap there is opportunity. 

“Our go to market strategy is very simple,” said Tod Pike, Senior Vice President – Enterprise Business Division, Samsung Electronics America (SEA), Inc. in an interview with Mobile Enterprise. “We provide an array of solutions that enable the interoperability of devices from each of our categories so that customers can share information across them. We focus on vertical market applications and workflows, helping our customers communicate better, solve problems and grow their revenue.”

The Divisions
SEA includes the Consumer Business Division, Enterprise Business Division and Samsung Telecommunications of America (STA), along with two semiconductor and one information systems organizations.

This year saw the launch of the Galaxy Gear, numerous smartphones and tablets, the Executive Briefing Center and the Samsung Solutions Exchange, but from the outside, they did not appear to come from different parts of the organization.

The Enterprise Division is the umbrella for B2B products such as PCs, tablets (both Windows and Galaxy), virtualization, display (large format displays), monitors, printers, hospitality TV, SSDs, health and medical equipment and set top boxes, and is home to the Center. 

Whereas, STA produces handheld wireless phones, wireless communications infrastructure systems, fiber optics and enterprise communication systems, and oversees the Solutions Exchange.

Coming Together
So how do all the pieces of the strategy come together? The devices, solutions, security, the opening up to third parties?

“It takes an ecosystem,” said Pike.  

In the Samsung environment, the business is organized to serve the hospitality, healthcare, retail, finance and education industries, and the corporate market.  “It’s where we spend all our time and energy. We have aligned sales and channels that way. The Executive Briefing Center is the realization of all of this,” he noted.

The Center, which is busy “everyday” since launch in May, is organized in vignettes of the verticals. Each, however, reflects Samsung’s core strategy – showing the interoperability of the devices and how they work together to solve problems.

Though this tactic may seem disconnected on the surface, there is work across the disciplines as well.

To facilitate partnership, the vertical marketing organization falls under one director. She also has business development reporting into her and works with the solutions architecture teams and headquarters  staff. Pike said, “There is great sharing to ensure the verticals are not compartmentalized in any way.”

Understanding the Entire Enterprise
The wide mix of  consumer and enterprise products is an obvious advantage Samsung has over the competition, but could it not be leveraged without cooperation. “We are getting much better at providing opportunities to buy our products in multiple device categories,” said Pike. “We are also working hard to see that current users benefit from additional products we offer.”

For example, Pike said the Enterprise Business Division works closely with STA, sharing account strategy and information. STA, located in Texas, utilizes the Center in New Jersey and is often included in customer events and visits.

“Asking our customer about the smartphones they use in business, even though we don’t directly have the responsibility for those devices, helps us to better understand the entire needs of an enterprise. And working with our counterparts at STA enables us to create a complete solution.”

Collaboration, while ideal, is, of course, not always easy. Bi-weekly calls from top to top are just one of the elements of having “a lot of good communication” among the teams to ensure success. Pike said, “Having the spirit that you want to do what’s best for your customers and best for your company enables our ability to answer the needs of the end market in the best way possible.”

Mobile Printing Alliance
In that same spirit, Samsung is a founding member of the newly launched Mopria Alliance— a non-profit membership organization with the goal of providing simple wireless printing from smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Other founders include HP, Canon, Xerox.

Why would they work with their biggest competitors for a common goal? “The lack of easy print solutions has limited the usage of features and applications in mobile devices. The Mopria Alliance will open up the opportunity for innovative and convenient mobile printing and as well as the use of mobile devices,” said Sungho Choi, Vice President, Standards & Technology Enabling, Samsung in a statement.

Pike expanded on this. “We want to continue to develop and introduce products that lead the market in terms of mobility. Whether traditional mobile print or NFC opportunities, we are very interested in the ability to allow mobile workers to print. The Alliance is there to help customers.”

Creating an industry standard will streamline the user experience and Pike believes, especially in the mobile world, allowing technology to provide the right capability is a positive advance — even if it’s across multiple manufacturer platforms.  

Pike said, “There is a lot of room out there to help customers and to sell technology, and we have taken an open approach to doing that.”

Related Content
Microsoft Goes Horizontal
Samsung’s Galaxy is the Enterprise
The Year of Samsung

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