Inside Ericsson's Silicon Valley Experience Centre
Nestled in an area at the forefront of ICT development, Ericsson's Experience Centre in Santa Clara, California, is a hive of activity as staff and visitors walk in and out of the building's thick glass doors.
Ericsson decided to open the centre, established in 2016, to allow visitors to interact with some of its experts and see how technology and ecosystems will drive transformation.
The centre also offers digital maturity assessment and transformation workshops for service providers.
Last week, the company opened its doors to a media delegation from the Middle East and Africa region to tour its facility. The tour guide was none other than the head of the Ericsson Silicon Valley Experience Centre, Thomas Olsson.
Olsson said Ericsson first came to Silicon Valley in the early 90s through its partnership with Hewlett-Packard (HP).
At that time, he said, Ericsson and HP thought that software would be important, but their focus was on hardware.
"So we created a joint venture called Ericsson HP Telecommunications and since then a number of acquisitions and partnerships have been made. We bought a number of IP companies, we also acquired media room from Microsoft four years ago, and that, together with our research arm that has been highly involved in the 5G standardisation work here in the US and globally, is sitting here."
Olsson stressed the need for the company to keep reinventing itself. "We are a company that is 148 years old, but that is not important. What is important is how old we will become, and that [depends on] bringing new values to the market."
There are about 500 people working in the centre and Silicon Valley is the place to be to source talent, according to Olsson. "Most of the Fortune 500 companies are here, and they are here for a reason. Ericsson believes there is value in co-creation and proof-of-concept [development] with partners and industry players."