Case “Mobile-INTEGRAL”

Case “Mobile-INTEGRAL”

L-F Pau (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark and Rotterdam School of Management, The Netherlands)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-101-6.ch610
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Abstract

The case “Integral” is about how a multinational company specializing in machinery goods uses high technology in its field support and mandated safety solutions to migrate its customer relationships into partnerships of growing scope and with new revenue streams. The key technologies are in-situ equipment monitoring and wireless communications. The key management ingredients are top management’s understanding and respect for operational issues. The history of the case also illustrates the importance of the strategic choice of the in-house vs. in-sourced nature of the needed technical expertise, and of a gradual deployment compatible with the fast technology evolution.
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Setting The Stage

The overall management culture at Integral is one of delegation with consensus building. The roots for this are craftsmanship and the trust mindset by the owning family, far from hierarchical structures of many mechanical industries. However, there have been cases in some recent national subsidiaries where the hierarchical mindset prevails. They are slowly adapting to the corporate culture focused on improving cohesion.

Integral has a centrally-driven technology management process. As such, the company is continuously looking for innovations in the process, resource utilization, social behaviors as they relate to their customers, and advances in technology. In addition, Integral encourages “novelties” in technology when they lead to reduced cost of ownership from the end user perspective. Selected Integral customers are indirectly involved in the technology management process and much of corporate communications are targeting operational people rather than top executives in client firms, the financial community, or the general public.

Over the past 15 years, Integral had divested itself from a range of products families or generations, in order on one hand to focus on a very innovative new product line introduced only 10 years ago, and also on a very lucrative service business dealing with the installation and maintenance of all its product lines. Another major new product line has been introduced over the last two years.

This case will refer to some widespread technical abbreviations.

  • B2B: Business-to-business

  • CDMA: Code division multiple access

  • D-AMPS: Digital advanced mobile phone system

  • ERP: Enterprise resource planning

  • GPRS: Global packet radio system

  • GSM: Groupe système mobile (also called “2G”)

  • HSCSD: High speed circuit switched data (also called “4G”)

  • IT: information technology

  • “Leased line”: facility and contract granting a user exclusive usage of a fixed communication channel

  • LTE: Long term evolution (also called “4G”)

  • Mobitex: Proprietary mobile packet data communications technology

  • NMT: Nordic Mobile technology

  • SLA: Service level agreement

  • SS7: Signaling system 7

  • UMTS: Universal mobile technology standards (also called “3G”)

  • VPN: Virtual private network

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