Last year, the company joined forces with U.S.-based Internet router maker Cisco to fill a gap in its product line and sell combined network solutions to bolster sales. But the partnership has yet to announce any major sales breakthrough and some investors have expressed concern over whether the collaboration will deliver. Ericsson’s deputy head of strategy Mikael Back said new product innovation was a bit slower than anticipated although the partnership was going largely according to plan. “A little bit of what I think people are disappointed about is that the creation of fantastic new things is taking a longer time than we had expected,” Back, who has served as deputy head of Ericsson’s strategy for over four years and first joined the company in 1994, told Reuters. The Cisco tie-up is a test of Ericsson management’s claim that it does not need a big merger to match Nokia’s acquisition of Alcatel Lucent. “There isn’t a silver bullet which can solve everything,” Back said when asked about big M&A, adding that organic growth remained at Ericsson’s core. Ericsson and Cisco aim to generate an extra $1 billion in sales apiece by 2018 by integrating IP and wireless solutions and collaborating to create new products, an ambition acting CEO Jan Frykhammar said still stands. PIGGY BACKING? In its quarterly report in July, Ericsson said that through its partnership with Cisco more than 30 deals had been closed to date, a good start towards reaching its 2018 sales target. However, some worry about the lack of real sales figures to prove the partnership is working.
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