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Nortel Networks today serves the emerging and existing needs of small, medium and large organizations in more than 100 countries around the world, and has offices in Europe, USA, Canada, Asia Pacific, Caribbean, Latin America, Middle East, Africa and Pakistan.
Nortel Networks has a major presence in the wireless world with over 300 wireless networks and includes deployment of over 70 GSM networks in more than 30 countries worldwide, comprising both multi vendors and turnkey solutions.
Through partners, Nortel Networks has been working in Pakistan since the 1990’s. Today the company is supplying nation backbone for NADRA, NLC and Paknet. It started regular operation in Pakistan in October 1998. Since then, it has been expanded to three offices (Head office is Islamabad and regional office in Karachi and Lahore).
In 1999, Nortel Networks opened a formal office in Islamabad and, teaming with Ufone, quickly installed a GSM digital wireless network.
In addition, Nortel Networks is a leader in international call center solution, with a 90% share in Pakistan market.
1.1.2 Future Plans in Pakistan:
To cater the accelerating demand of mobile phone services, a year after its official launch, Ufone has awarded Nortel Networks a contract estimated to be worth US $60 Million to implement a major expansion of its GSM digital cellular network. This expansion will raise Ufone’s capacity to 370,000 subscribers.
The group will analyze the Technological Components (Technoware, Humanware, Orgaware & Infoware), Technological Capabilities and Technology Strategies of Nortel Networks and will measure their sophistication level as well as their implication on the overall working of the organization.
Due to the time limitations, our project study will be focused on the Islamabad Head Office of Nortel Networks.
The methodology adopted to conduct research for the project is as under:
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The project is based on the findings that have been listed in this chapter.
2.1 Technological Components:
Technology may be defined as the manifestations of four elementary and interacting components namely: as object-embodied form called Technoware; a human-embodied form called Humanware; an information-embodied form called Infoware; and an institution-embodied form called Orgaware. These four components of technology are complementary to each other and are interrelated.
The four components of technology that have been mentioned above are simultaneously required in any operation and no transformation can take place in the complete absence of the four components.
In the following pages, each of the four components have been analyzed individually to understand the level of technological sophistication of Nortel Networks’ Head Office in Islamabad.
Technoware is the object-embodied component of Technology. It carries out the necessary transformation based in a set of decisions that are taken to generate desired outputs. Technoware includes all such things as machinery, computers, vehicles, building etc.
As the scope of our project was limited to the Head Office of Nortel Networks in Islamabad, we have tried to study in detail all the aspects related to Technoware in this office. The details are as follows,
The Head Office of Nortel Networks in Islamabad is situated in F-7/4 behind the Saudi-Pak towers. The office covers a total area of 8,000 Sq. feet. It has 24 rooms with 8 bathrooms and 4 kitchens.
Nortel Networks Islamabad has 60 computers, half of which are PCs and the remaining half are Laptops. All the PCs as well as the Laptops are branded DEL machines. The average configuration of the PCs there is that they are P-IIIs with 128MB of RAM and 20GB of hard disk capacity. The Laptops vary from DEL Latitude to C600s.
All the computers in this office are connected to each other and this network is further connected to Singapore via satellite. The speed of this link is 128Kbps, which is provided by PTCL through a leased line. This office is not directly connected to its branches in Lahore and Karachi but can is indirectly connected to them through Singapore. The figure below is an explanation of the networking of Nortel Networks Islamabad with Singapore, Lahore and Karachi.
The figure above shows the connection of Nortel Networks with Singapore, which further connects the Islamabad office to the Asia Pacific region. The topology of the network is “extended star”.
22.214.171.124 System Security:
To use the computers of Nortel Networks, the employees are provided with two passwords. One is the client password, and the other is Nortel Password, which is known as the Norpass. The client password is used by the employees to access the Extra Net of Nortel Networks where as Norpass is the global ID or the employees.
There is an average of 30 hacking attempts on the network of Nortel everyday and due to this, Nortel Networks has a very high security to protect its network. They are using state of the art software to protect their network.
The software that Nortel Networks is using is Windows 95 or 2000. These softwares that they are using have been customized for the use of Nortel Networks only. They cannot run on any other computer. The other softwares that they are using are VISIO, WinZip, FTP, and Microsoft Office. All these softwares are also customized for the use of Nortel Networks only.
The Islamabad office of Nortel Networks is using 4 computers all of which are Laser printers and are connected to the network.
126.96.36.199 Email and Internet Facility:
The network at Nortel is connected to the Internet and all the computers have access to it. The employees use their client passwords to access the Internet.
The Islamabad office has to stay in touch with the other offices around the world all the time and using PTCL telephones costs a lot. Nortel Networks has the capability to make its own telephone exchange in Pakistan to communicate with the offices around the world but the law in Pakistan does not permit to do so. Every call in Pakistan should go through PTCL. For this, Nortel Networks has a toll free number, which has been given to them by PTCL. By dialing on this number, they connect to their exchange is Singapore. This exchange in Singapore is very fast and has very low rates. It is for the use of the Nortel Networks only.
Nortel Networks Islamabad has 21 vehicles out of which 20 are rented and only 1 is owned by it. These vehicle are used for different purposes such as transportation to the working sites, pick and drop service of the staff, for shopping for the office etc.
Nortel Networks is not manufacturing anything in Pakistan. All the components that they are installing here are being imported from their factories around the world. They do not own any machinery for the installation of any kind of towers or switches and are having this job done by subcontractors.
The equipment that Nortel Networks is using comes from different companies. This equipment is stored in warehouses. Nortel Networks has one warehouse in Islamabad, which stores the equipment for the northern region (from Multan to Peshawar). It is 5000 Sq. feet hall situated in the I-9 sector. This hall has to maintained at room temperature as it carries very sensitive material.
The warehouse is sub-divided in to Zones. Same kind of equipment is kept in these zones and this is solely done for the convenience of the employees.
The transportation of this equipment is carried out by TAQ logistics, which has a contract with Nortel Networks to transport its equipment. TAQ logistics is also responsible for the clearing of the equipment from the port.
In any organization without relevant Humanware, Technoware is simply useless. For any organizational activity, all four components are complementary and are required simultaneously.
The current numbers of employees at Nortel network Islamabad are 40. The minimum qualification of employees required at Nortel varies from job position.
For managerial position, they require Masters. For technical position, the minimum qualification is diploma and graduation. Currently the engineers working there are bachelors from various universities. The type of human ware needed to manage Technoware would depend on the characteristics of the job to be carried out.
188.8.131.52 Skill Variety:
To equip their employees to have variety of skills to enable them to perform better they have training programs consisting of both on-job training as well as specialized training programs under which the employees are sent abroad for training to countries such as Singapore, France etc
The employees at Nortel network follow work specification policy where by each employee handles one job at a time and is responsible for completion of the job from the beginning to
The employees are given the highest level of freedom in scheduling the work and determining the procedure in which the work is to be carried out.
The performance appraisal of all employees of Nortel network is held twice a year. This seems as a platform for employees to obtain clear information regarding their performance.
“It refers to the information that has been tested and, if necessary, refined so that it can be used for value addition activities.”
Information technology (IT) has these days become more then a buzzword. However, here we have to see that the critical element is information. Thus if you have the relevant and timely information, you can really out perform your competitors. However, this information really plays a vital role for the internal functions of the organization.
So even with excellent Humanware and Technoware, you cannot succeed if you do not have the required Infoware. The importance of Infoware is also highly valued at Nortel Networks.
The three categories under which Infoware is divided at Nortel Networks are:
184.108.40.206 Infoware-specific Infoware:
It includes their Company Magazines, brochures for marketing purpose, Policies for marketing, Company Directory, etc.
220.127.116.11 Humanware-specific Infoware:
It includes the employees’ ACRs, Contract books (specific to employees), and Role profile of the employees.
18.104.22.168 Technoware-specific Infoware:
Whenever a component or gadget is made by Nortel Networks, they hand it over to the customer with its manual. Although they are not manufacturing any thing here in Pakistan, but what ever comes from abroad for installation here has a manual. They are manufacturing Circuit board, so that circuit board has a manual specifying the placement of the circuits and how to install that board.
22.214.171.124 Orgaware-specific Infoware:
It includes their standard operating procedures (SOP). The SOP that is there in Singapore head office is followed here at Islamabad head office with little modification. It also includes the daily reports and the reports that are maintained through out the year.
Orgaware May be defined as, ”Effective organizational practices, linkages and related arrangements needed to make the best use of the Technoware and Humanware.”
Thus, the practice strengthens the strength of the weakest link in an organization. Thus, it could be said as the dovetail that connects various activities and facilitates the organization to prosper. Different elements under which Orgaware can be discussed are:
126.96.36.199 Work Convention:
“It refers to the value creating and corporate culture defining philosophies adopted by the management of the firm.”
The overall vision of Nortel Networks is:
“To be a company that is valued by the customers, employees, stakeholders and by the community where our people live, work and raise their children”.
This statement highlights the philosophy behind the company’s business strategy, which is to be a community-oriented company. Thus, they not only cater for their employees only but for all the stakeholders including the community.
During our study we found out that the organizational culture is pretty open and have a relaxed environment. The company believes in long term employment of their employees, thus enhancing their commitment to the organization and loyalty to the firm.
188.8.131.52 Work Organization:
“It refers to the role that each member of the organization is expected to perform and the relation between the members so that their combined efforts will lead to the most efficient and effective utilization of available Technoware and Humanware.”
At Nortel networks, we found out that all their departments are working in a synergetic manner. Teamwork with commitment is highly valued there. Work profile of each member of the organization is outlined and every one has clear understanding of the job.
“It is refers to the practices that may be regarded as the supportive measures.”
Five major elements that contribute towards work facilitation are communication, information-sharing, skill enhancement, incentives and rules.
As far as Nortel Networks is concerned, communication out there is open and they have an “open door” policy. Any one can go to the top management to discuss any organization relates matter. At departmental level communication is pretty informal. At top level, it is to some extent formal, but not much.
Skill development and training at Nortel Networks is highly valued. They have extensive on the job training as well as foreign training programs. They have strict rules for hiring new employee. For this the employee has to have relevant educational background and experience in that field. Their interviews are like hard nuts to cracks.
Incentives are given to employee of annual performance appraisal basis.
184.108.40.206 Work Evaluation:
“It refers to the follow-up activities. Means the practices used to verify whether work organization has led to the desired results or not and taking desired actions to correct any deviation.”
For every task, they follow the SMART philosophy.
So on every job they keep a check through this SMART way. Not only their major projects are monitored in this way but the minor jobs given to the employees are monitored I the same way. The reason being that these small tasks would combine to have a synergetic effect.
3.1 Technological Capabilities
3.1.1 Innovative Capability:
“It refers to the capability of the firm to come up with technological innovations and take them through to economic practices with a view towards strengthening the current business, providing new business ventures, and exploring new technology bases.”
What Nortel Networks is doing they are making their products highly innovative. One of their IT specialist told us the circuit board that is fixed into heavy duty exchanges which they are manufacturing is ten times smaller and sleeker as compared to what CISCO is making. All the time Nortel is on the hoop to come up with new and innovative products. Now they are manufacturing equipment for the Internet-II. They are almost leader in the wireless equipment provider.
Then they are also undergoing the process utilization. Though we have not seen any of their process, but the concerned person there told us that they are using state of the art technology and their processes are highly sophisticated.
The managerial practices they are following are unique in their own self. They are using every managerial practice that could give them a bit of advantage, and could contribute to their core competence.
3.1.2 Transaction Capability
Technology itself is only the mean; the ultimate aim of any organization is to use technology for the competition. Transaction capability refers to ability of firm to effectively plan and implement technology transactions. This capability refers to how any organization buy the technology. Nortel Networks is basically in the business of technology. The technology they use, some they have their own and some of it they acquire. Nortel Networks efficiently plan, control and implement technology transactions.
Recently Nortel networks have signed a contract with UFONE for their expansion.
"Operative capability refers to the continuing ability of a firm to effectively transform inputs into outputs in accordance with the business strategy of the firm"
Nortel Networks is effectively utilizing the available machinery and equipment along with making full use of the available space in its Islamabad head office. In accordance with the business strategy of Nortel Networks, the Islamabad office is quick in changing over to newer, better and more productive models of equipment. The Information Systems Department lends information support and networking for efficient operations.
3.1.4 Supportive capability:
“It refers to the capability of the firm to develop, integrate and improve the operative, transaction, and innovative capability.”
Nortel Networks is formulating their strategies in such a way that it gives all it capabilities a magnified push to sustain and enhance their current standing in the market. They are achieving their strategic goals through technology. They are giving extensive training to their employees so they could contribute in the overall development of the organization.
3.2 Technological Strategies:
Though the scope of our project was limited to the Head Office of Nortel Networks in Islamabad, but to study the technological strategies of Nortel Networks we have kept in view, the global aspect of this organizations. This is due the reason that Nortel Networks is one of the biggest networking companies in the world. To study the technological strategies of a company like this, we cannot restrict ourselves to one regional office where there are no strategic decisions being made. Furthermore, all its branches follow the strategies that are adopted by an organization.
Based on our observation, we have discussed, in the following pages, the technological strategies that are being adopted by Nortel Networks all around the world.
3.2.1Strategic Management Model:
The strategic management process of Nortel Networks is based on the following elements.
220.127.116.11 Environmental Scanning:
Environmental scanning comprises of two parts
18.104.22.168.1 External Scanning:
Nortel Networks have teamed up with Ufone and they are providing them with PABX switches and Tower erections. The competitor of Ufone is Mobilink, which is working in collaboration with Siemens, so Nortel Networks has to look out for what Siemens is doing.
22.214.171.124.2 Internal Scanning:
The two important issues related to internal scanning are
Ø Resource Allocation
Ø Time to market
126.96.36.199.2.1 Resource Allocation:
As far as R&D is concerned, there is no resource allocation for R&D in Pakistan, but Nortel Networks has its research centers in Canada and Singapore. Our group will not go into their detail as it is beyond the scope of this project.
188.8.131.52.2.2 Time to Market:
As Nortel is an industry leader and an innovator, therefore from time to time they keep on introducing new products.
184.108.40.206 Strategy Formulation:
Strategy Formulation is based on the results of environmental scanning; the strategies are based on the following decisions
I. How to cope up with technological discontinuities
II. How to decide whether to make or buy technology
III. How to allocate money between product and process R&D
220.127.116.11.1 Technological Discontinuities:
For Nortel Networks, technological discontinuity does not pose any problem, as they are industry leaders and innovators focused on how the world communicates and exchanges information.
18.104.22.168.2 The Make or Buy Decision:
The make or buy decision depends on the technological status of the firm.
Nortel Networks fall under the status of Technology Leaders.
Our decision is based on the following findings:
Nortel Networks is an industry leader and innovator focused on transforming how the world communicates and exchanges information. The company is supplying its service provider and enterprise customers with communications technology and infrastructure to enable value-added IP data, voice and multimedia services spanning Metro and Enterprise Networks, Wireless Networks and Optical Long Haul Networks. As a global company, Nortel Networks does business in more than 150 countries. Nortel Networks has offices and facilities in Canada, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Caribbean and Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and the United States.
Nortel Networks has very high technological capabilities as explained earlier. Innovation is their forte so they produce state of the art technology, which they incorporate in their products. Meredian Switch is an example of their state of the art technology as this switch provides voice switching and is a very secure machine. As the level of security provided by this machine is very high, these machines installed in PM house, foreign office, Taxila (HIT) and Marriott.
Nortel Networks heavily invests in R&D. Nortel Networks research capabilities around the world include a network of research and development facilities, affiliated joint ventures and other collaborations fostering innovative product development and advanced design research in 17 countries. Nortel has its research and development centers in Canada and Singapore along with following countries.
Ø Wollongong (Australia)
Ø Harlow Laboratories (Europe)
Nortel Networks invests heavily in both product and process R&D.
22.214.171.124 Strategy Implementation:
At Nortel Networks, the corporate culture fosters technological innovation. To equip the employees of Nortel with high caliber technological skills, employees are sent for rigorous training programs abroad. These training programs help the employees to understand technology and inculcate it in their working. Employees are given a high degree of autonomy in their jobs as discussed in human ware component; this autonomy motivates the employees to give their best and make the organizational culture stronger.
126.96.36.199 Evaluation and Control:
To determine the degree of success of a technology strategy, some indicators are required.
For Nortel Networks in Pakistan, one indicator of their success can be the signing of expansion contract of Ufone, which will increase their sales. Nortel Networks are providing Ufone with the equipment at competitive prices and there is no compromise on quality.
188.8.131.52 Integration of Technology and Business Strategies:
Based on our analysis the group has found that Nortel Networks are technology leaders and their business strategy is Quality leadership that is providing maximum value to the customers. Nortel Networks offer highly specialized featured products and services to their customers but the main emphasis is to deliver value to customers’ worldwide. The business strategy is an amalgam of value maximization and feature specialization with a strong emphasis on delivering value as it Corporate Vision as well as the Mission of Nortel Networks.
3.3 Swot Analysis:
The strength of Nortel Network lies in their IP products like Internet equipment, routers etc. Nortel Networks at the heart of Internet revolution is strongly positioned as a major player in networks optimized for the Internet Protocol.
One of the weaknesses of Nortel is that they are not strong in the telecommunication field as their penetration is low in this field. Another weakness of Nortel Networks is that they do not provide job security to their employees and if Nortel Networks management feels that they do not have much business in a country, they simply pack and leave on a few days notice. This creates a negative image of the company.
With the recession in the economy, there are a few opportunities now especially in a country like Pakistan. Nortel is working with Ufone, which gives them the opportunity to provide all the expansion facilities, as recently contract for expansion of Ufone was signed with Nortel Networks. In future, if Ufone goes for further expansion, Nortel will have an opportunity to provide Ufone with their services.
The biggest threat to Nortel Networks these days is the recession in the market. They have already downsized their workforce by one third. The other threat that they might face is from their competitors such as Siemens, Ericsson and Alcatel.
Nortel Networks is one of the largest Multinationals in IP products and telecommunications field. In Pakistan, Nortel Networks has collaborated with Ufone, a subsidiary of PTCL and they are providing them with Mobile Switching Connections along with erection towers. Nortel is dealing in GSM technology.
Recently Nortel Networks has signed the expansion contract of Ufone and Nortel will be dealing with the entire expansion plan. Nortel Networks does not have any manufacturing facility in Pakistan. They import all the components and parts from the sites where they have their manufacturing plants. Nortel Networks is an industry leader and has very sophisticated technological capabilities.
Nortel Networks faces tough competition from Siemens, Ericsson and Alcatel in Mobile Networks and from Cisco in IP products. Though Nortel Networks is following technology leader strategy, Nortel has to invest heavily in R&D to produce much better products to keep up with the competition.
1. How many computers do you have in your office? (Islamabad Office)
2. How are they connected? (Network typology)
3. What is the configuration of your server(s)?
4. What is the configuration of your workstations?
5. How is your network connected to the other offices of Nortel Networks across the world?
6. How many printers do you have?
7. Are the printers connected to the network or with individual computers?
8. Is Nortel Networks manufacturing anything in Pakistan?
a. Could you name these products and explain their function.
b. What machinery is Nortel Networks using for the manufacturing of these products?
c. Was this machinery made by Nortel Networks or purchased? (If it was purchased, then please name the manufacturer of the machinery)
9. What different machinery does Nortel Networks use for the erection of towers and other installation?
10. How many vehicles does Nortel Networks have?
11. For what different purposes are these vehicles being used?