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Samsung Case

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Samsung: Uneasy in the Lead

By ERIC PFANNER and BRIAN X. CHEN December 23, 2013
Lee Kun-hee, the man who built the most successful, most admired and most feared business in Asia — a $288 billion behemoth that is among the most profitable in the world — had a message for his employees this year: You must do better.
At other companies, congratulations might have been in order. His companies were headed to another extraordinary year. But this was Samsung, the South Korean industrial group that Mr. Lee, an elfin man with a stubborn will, transformed from a second-rate maker of household appliances into a conglomerate with a flagship electronics business that has left most rivals eating its silicon dust. There would be no pat on the back for Samsung’s 470,000 employees. Instead, in June, he sent a companywide email sternly urging them to raise their game.
“As we move forward, we must resist complacency and thoughts of being good enough, as these will prevent us from becoming better,” Mr. Lee, who is 71, wrote. Samsung’s management, he said, “must start anew to reach loftier goals and ideals.”
Two decades earlier, having taken over the company from his father, Mr. Lee met with dozens of his executives and gave them a similar order, one that remains embedded in company lore: “Change everything but your wife and children.”
That message was effective. Samsung’s sales are equal to about one-quarter of South Korea’s economic output. Samsung Electronics, the flagship, posted $190 billion in sales last year — about the same sales as Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Facebook combined.
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Lee Kun-hee, third from left, chairman of Samsung, who transformed a second-rate maker of household appliances into today’s hugely successful conglomerate.Samsung, via European Pressphoto Agency
Last year, Samsung shipped 215 million smartphones, about 40 percent of the worldwide total, analysts estimate; this year, it is expected to ship more than 350 million. Interbrand, a marketing consulting firm, ranked Samsung as the eighth-most-valuable brand in the world. Mr. Lee is one of the world’s richest men.
The company’s sweet spot has become electronics: It makes chips, display panels and many other electronic parts, and then assembles its own smartphones and other devices.
This kind of vertical integration has fallen out of fashion in the West, where it is considered unwieldy. While Apple designs its hardware and software, for example, the company buys chips from other companies, including Samsung, and outsources the assembly of iPhones, iPods and iPads.
But many years ago, Mr. Lee prodded his lieutenants to see the company’s deep reach into the supply chain as a competitive advantage, not a burden. So far, it has worked for Samsung
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“I don’t think people realize how effective a machine Samsung is in terms of how quickly they can turn around products in response to market change,” said Chetan Sharma, an independent analyst who advises mobile carriers.
So why the crabby email? What on earth is Lee Kun-hee so worried about?
The Ultimate Follower
Mr. Lee is worried about what might be called the fast-follower problem. Samsung is a well-oiled machine: If it spots a trend and decides to compete, it can outspend and outpace practically anyone. Its everything-included, research-to-manufacturing-to-marketing model allows it to obliterate the competition.
But Samsung has become so good at executing that few moneymaking areas exist where it doesn’t already dominate, particularly in electronics.
Suddenly, the company is the leader, with the onus of creating the next trend.
“If you are on the peak and looking where to go next — this is something new for them,” said Chang Sea-jin, author of “Sony vs. Samsung: The Inside Story of the Electronics Giants’ Battle for Global Supremacy.”
“In the past, they didn’t need a strategy because they always had somebody to look up to,” he said.
Smartphones have been the major driver of Samsung’s growth in recent years, and it doesn’t take the instincts of Mr. Lee to grasp the fleeting nature of mobile phone leaders. The brands that plunged after reaching the summit are etched in the minds of everyone at the company: Motorola, Ericsson, HTC, Nokia, BlackBerry.
Moreover, upstarts from China are gaining ground with smartphones that cost hundreds of dollars less than Samsung’s popular Galaxy S4 or an iPhone. Some of those Chinese brands have growing export ambitions; one, Xiaomi, recently hired a top Google executive, Hugo Barra, to lead its international expansion.
“There’s a feeling of elation and paranoia at Samsung — ‘Look at how well we are doing, and look at what might happen,’ ” said Benedict Evans, an analyst at Enders Analysis in London.
So Mr. Lee is pushing the company to think more boldly. Developing new products is no longer enough; Samsung wants to create devices that define whole new categories. And it wants to develop the software that makes them work, something it has mostly left to others.
Much of that work is happening in Digital City, the Samsung Electronics headquarters campus at Suwon, about 25 miles south of Seoul. Like all things Samsung, Digital City is massive: the size of 320 football fields, with room for 40,000 workers, not to mention the biggest parking lot in Asia. Inside its walls are many of Samsung’s most tightly guarded secrets. The inner sanctum is R5, a pair of new 27-story, glass-sheathed office towers, where the company’s mobile research and development program resides.
The R5 workers who pile into the building favor colorful polo shirts and dresses over the traditional Korean business uniform of black suit and white dress shirt, but R5 is all business. Samsung Electronics is expected to spend nearly $11 billion on research and development this year. This is where Samsung is plotting how to stay at the top of the lucrative electronics market.
A few months ago in an R5 conference room, Lee Young-hee, head of marketing for the mobile division, showed off some new products to The New York Times, including a new version of Samsung’s Galaxy Note smartphone and a new smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear. This was before the devices were introduced to the public, but the real revelation was the talk about Samsung’s overarching strategy.
“We would like to create a new trend,” Ms. Lee said. “If you wear Galaxy Gear, it’s a cool thing for young people.”
Ms. Lee is one of the important actors in the plot to change Samsung’s reputation. A stylish former executive at the cosmetics company L’Oréal, she wears colorful eyeglasses and a bobbed haircut. Her English is sharp. She speaks in animated fashion about the future of mobile technology and Samsung’s role in that future — sometimes to the point that her public relations aides remind her to be more discreet.
“We will make all the celebrities and important people wear it,” she added, tongue slightly in cheek. “If you don’t wear it, you will be obsolete.”
Before Samsung assumes that role, though, the company must shake its lingering reputation as a fast follower.
Samsung executives bristle at the notion that its products are imitations. Yet many of them acknowledge that their company followed Apple into smartphones.
Legal decisions have underscored that reputation. Apple has successfully argued in one major case in California that Samsung infringed on a series of its patents, and now Samsung must pay Apple $930 million in damages. Both companies are set to go to trial in California again in March, for a case in which Apple accuses Samsung of infringing on a separate set of patents on newer Samsung devices.
Devices like the Galaxy Gear smartwatch are meant to position Samsung as a trendsetter, not a follower. Apple has been working on such a device, according to people briefed on the project, and it has registered “iWatch” as a trademark. But it has yet to show off a device bearing that name. With Galaxy Gear, Samsung beat Apple to the market.
Galaxy Gear “bridges the gap between the mobile device and fashion worlds to create truly wearable technology,” J. K. Shin, who heads the Samsung mobile division, said before the device was released.
But Samsung is finding that setting trends is not so easy. The company put its full resources behind the watch, making a major marketing push with slick TV ads showing smartwatch-like devices used in movies and television shows by characters like James Bond. But the ads received a far better reception than the device itself. Technology reviewers largely panned it, criticizing its design and software features, and questioned why it existed at all.
Sales have been a bit better. Samsung said it shipped 800,000 of the watches in their first two months in stores, more than it expected. But how many of the shipped devices were sold to consumers remains unclear, and although analysts say Galaxy Gear has been the best-selling smartwatch on the market, no other smartwatch has had huge sales, either.
The company has struggled with other flashy new products, too, like televisions with curved screens that use organic light emitting diode, or OLED, technology.
Samsung is “certainly impressive from a technology perspective, and they may even be leading edge,” said Ross Rubin, a consumer technology analyst for Reticle Research, “but very often they just seem to be flashy-gimmicky, or technology for technology’s sake.”
Those struggles — along with the intensifying smartphone competition — have disappointed investors. Shares of Samsung Electronics fell this summer before ticking back up. In a move to appease shareholders, last month the company told investors at a special meeting in Seoul that it would raise its dividend. Shares actually slipped on the news — investors had hoped for more — and they have barely budged since then.
A Dependence on Android
Technology analysts and consumers often compare Samsung to Apple. But the elephant in the room in any discussion of the Korean giant is another American technology company: Google.
The vast majority of Samsung’s phones run on Android, Google’s operating system. Together, Samsung and Google have quickly taken over the global smartphone market. In the third quarter of the year, Android was installed on 81 percent of the mobile phones shipped worldwide, according to IDC, a research firm. That compared with 12.9 percent for Apple’s iOS and 3.6 percent for Windows, the nearest rivals.
“Google created a product that helped Samsung make more money than all of Google,” said Horace Dediu, an independent analyst in Helsinki, Finland.
That has been great for Samsung so far, but the downside is that the company has become more and more reliant on Google’s software. As Samsung rode to the top of the mobile phone industry strapped to Android, the company sacrificed a degree of control over its mobile destiny.
More and more, smartphone hardware looks similar — glass touch screen, nice camera, a few buttons. That has often made the mobile operating system, apps and services — along with “soft” elements of the hardware, like the design and the user experience — the more important distinguishing factors.
“When someone buys our handset, we want them to be interested in the whole experience,” said Hong Won-pyo, president of the Media Solution Center, the content and services arm of Samsung Electronics. “Combining excellent hardware innovation and software innovation — when you combine them neatly, the value will be maximized and the consumer will appreciate our products because we integrated them.”
The combination of seamless hardware and software has been a crucial part of Apple’s success. Once a user is dialed into Apple’s system, it is hard to leave it for something else. Switching to an Android phone from an iPhone results in losing access to Apple’s exclusive software, like its free text-messaging service, iMessage, or the plethora of third-party apps made only for iPhones.
This gives Apple the advantage of what some analysts call “lock-in” — an advantage that Samsung doesn’t enjoy with Android, because Samsung users can always switch to another Android phone, like one made by Motorola, and get many of the same features.
For several years, Samsung has been conducting research on mobile operating systems. Last year, Samsung merged that work with an industry project called Tizen, whose partners include Intel and other technology and telecommunications companies. Samsung is expected to introduce phones running the Tizen operating system soon, in partnership with mobile operators like NTT Docomo of Japan.
While there has been speculation that Samsung’s alliance with Tizen is a move to distance itself from Google, the company says it is merely trying to provide consumers with a range of alternatives.
“I don’t think they can be a dominant smartphone operating system in the near term,” said a former Samsung executive who insisted on anonymity to protect business relationships. “But it’s an important step for Samsung to take at the moment. If they want a new success story, they will have to focus on the software side of things.”
Tapping Into Silicon Valley
One of the people behind Samsung’s new software focus is David Eun, an outspoken Korean-American executive who has worked at AOL and Google. About a year after he joined Samsung Electronics in 2011, Mr. Eun suggested that some top Samsung executives fly over from South Korea for a road trip in Silicon Valley to visit companies in the world’s software mecca.
“This was about trying to understand what makes these people tick in Silicon Valley,” said Mr. Eun, 46, an executive vice president.
The road trip proved illuminating. Samsung decided it needed a stronger presence in Silicon Valley if it truly wanted to compete in software and Internet services.
Soon afterward, Lee Kun-hee, in perhaps his most ambitious undertaking yet, began trying to bring a bit of the culture of Silicon Valley to Samsung. In February, Samsung announced its Open Innovation Center, with offices in South Korea, California and New York. In the office in Mountain View, Calif., which is set up in a small two-story office building next to the Caltrain commuter rail station, Samsung employees search for start-ups to invest in, team with or acquire.
In July, the company bought Boxee, a start-up that made an entertainment box with smarter television software. A partnership with Flipboard, the popular news-reading app, came through the Open Innovation Center. Now Flipboard comes installed on Samsung’s flagship smartphones in the United States.
Mr. Eun also runs something called the Samsung Accelerator program, which opened in July in Palo Alto, Calif., and in September in Chelsea, the Manhattan neighborhood where many tech start-ups have sprouted. Samsung acts as the lone investor for start-ups in the program, treating their workers as its own employees, with full benefits, legal resources and insight into Samsung’s product road maps. In exchange, the start-ups make their products exclusively for Samsung.
The Silicon Valley and accelerator programs suggest that Samsung is serious about embracing the creativity and collaborative spirit necessary for software development, and going wherever those creative minds live. But the big decisions will still be made in Suwon or Seoul, where a number of companies in the Samsung group have their headquarters.
“It’s still very much a Korean company, with a very Korean mind-set,” said Mr. Chang, the author of “Sony vs. Samsung.” “It’s all about speed, efficiency and cutting the cost of production, none of which have anything to do with creativity.”
Samsung’s innovation drive coincides with a push by President Park Geun-hye to promote entrepreneurship and creativity. In her election campaign last year, she promised to bring “economic democratization” to South Korea.
That could be a tall order. The 30 biggest chaebol, or Korean conglomerates, accounted for more than 80 percent of South Korea’s exports in 2010, according to the Federation of Korean Industries. All of them — like Hyundai and LG — have built up their production muscles over time, and Samsung is the biggest of the bunch.
Chaebol like Samsung were encouraged to grow in the 1960s and 1970s, under President Park’s father, the authoritarian ruler Park Chung-hee. In an effort to industrialize the economy after the devastation of the Korean War, the government provided cheap loans and favorable regulations. And until the financial crisis of 1997, South Korea was the leading example of Asia’s so-called tiger economies.
Loosening the grip of the chaebol and the powerful families behind them, however, will not be easy. Since 1987, when Lee Kun-hee succeeded his father as chairman, he has led Samsung for all but two years. And Mr. Lee is expected to give control eventually to his son, Lee Jae-yong, who is a vice chairman of Samsung Electronics.
So far, deeply embedded Confucian values like a respect for family, tradition and hierarchy have helped Samsung play catch-up by instilling discipline and dedication in its workers. What remains to be seen is whether those same values will prevent the company from stepping outside the pack. Mr. Lee acknowledged as much in his June email exhortation: “We must create an environment of ingenuity, where autonomy and creativity abound.”
Of course, no one blames the rigidity of Finnish or Canadian values for the downfall of Nokia or BlackBerry. Those companies were simply blindsided by Apple. Samsung was, too, but it managed to accomplish something the others did not — it bounced back, stronger than ever.
And one thing is certain: No matter what, Mr. Lee will find reasons to worry — and his employees will hear about it.
Question:
After reading the case, please answer what's the possible strategy for Samsung in order to lead the digital industry? In order to draw the strategy for Samsung, what kinds of information should we know? Besides Samsung, what is your interested company or industry? Hope you can provide a optional company for strategy course to discuss.
Please pay attention to this homework need to be handed in next class!

中文版

三星:从手机产业跟风者到领头羊

李健熙(Lee Kun-hee)一手打造了亚洲最成功、最受推崇、最令人畏惧的企业,这家市值2880亿美元(约合1.75万亿元人民币)的巨头是全世界最盈利的企业之一。今年,李健熙给员工传达了这样一条讯息:你们必须做得更好。
若是在其他公司,现在大概应该是致贺词的时候。他领导的公司又进入 了非同凡响的一年。但这是三星(Samsung),是并不高大但意志坚定的李健熙打造出来的韩国工业集团。李健熙把一个二流的家电生产商变成了一个企业集 团,这个企业集团的重点业务电子产品业务让大部分竞争对手只能望尘莫及。然而,三星47万名员工没有得到表扬。相反,李健熙在6月发了一封面向全公司的邮 件,严厉督促三星员工再接再厉。
“在向前发展时,我们必须防止自鸣得意和我们已经够好了这种想法,因为它们会阻碍我们变得更好,”71岁的李健熙写道。他说,三星的管理“必须再度启程,以实现更高的目标和理想。”
二十年前,从父亲手里接过公司的李健熙和几十名高管开会,向他们传达了一道类似的命令,这项命令至今仍体现在公司流传甚广的一句话里:“除了老婆孩子,一切都要变。”
那一命令很有效。三星的销售额大致相当于韩国经济产出的四分之一。 三星旗下的王牌企业三星电子(Samsung Electronics)通报去年的销售额为1900亿美元,几乎相当于微软(Microsoft)、谷歌(Google)、亚马逊(Amazon)和 Facebook销售额的总和。
分析人士称,去年三星智能手机出货量为2.15亿部,约占全世界总量的40%;今年,三星的出货量有望达到3.5亿部以上。在营销咨询公司Interbrand的全球最有价值品牌排名中,三星排在第九。李健熙本人则是全球最富有的人之一。
三星的重点业务是电子产品:公司生产芯片、显示器和许多其他电子器件,同时还装配自己的智能手机和其他设备。
在西方,这种垂直一体化被认为被认为是笨拙而过时的。比如,虽然苹果(Apple)会设计自己的硬件和软件,但苹果公司的芯片却是从包括三星在内的其他公司买来的,苹果还会把iPhone、iPod和iPad的组装外包出去。
但多年前,李健熙鼓励自己的助手把公司深入供应链的举措看作是竞争优势,而非负担。迄今为止,三星的这一策略是奏效的。
“在对产品进行调整以应对市场变化的速度方面,我觉得人们还没意识到三星是一台多么高效的机器,”为移动运营商提供咨询服务的独立分析师切旦·夏尔马(Chetan Sharma)说。
那么,为什么要发那么凶巴巴的邮件?李健熙到底在担心什么?
终极跟风者
李健熙担心的东西,或许可以称作快速跟风者问题。三星是一台运转正常的机器:如果发现一项潮流并决定参与竞争,它有能力拿出更多钱,超越几乎所有对手。从研发到生产再到营销这种无所不包的模式让三星可以摧毁竞争对手。
但三星在执行方面做得如此之好,以致于鲜有三星未占主导地位的赚钱领域,尤其是电子产品行业。
突然,三星成了领头羊,担负起了创造下一个潮流的责任。
“对他们而言,身处巅峰而且要寻找该去向何方是全新的领域,”《当 索尼遇到三星:如何超越VS如何反超越》(Sony vs. Samsung: The Inside Story of the Electronics Giants’ Battle for Global Supremacy)一书的作者张世真(Sea-Jin Chang)说。
“过去,他们不需要战略,因为总有人引领他们,”他说。
近年来,智能手机是三星增长的主要动力,而移动电话业务领先地位是 朝不保夕的,这一点李健熙不需要靠直觉就能看出来。公司所有人脑海里都铭记着那些到达巅峰后快速衰败的品牌:摩托罗拉(Motorola)、爱立信 (Ericsson)、HTC、诺基亚(Nokia)、黑莓(BlackBerry)。
此外,来自中国的新秀正凭借比三星人气颇高的Galaxy S4或iPhone便宜几百美元的智能手机攻城掠地。其中一些中国公司的出口野心增加,比如,小米前不久聘用谷歌前高管雨果·巴拉(Hugo Barra),负责公司的国际扩张。
“三星有种欣喜并惶恐着的感觉——看我们做得多好,再看看可能会发生什么,’”伦敦恩德斯分析公司(Enders Analysis)分析师贝内迪克特·埃文斯(Benedict Evans)。
因此,李健熙正逼迫公司进行更大胆的思考。开发新产品还不够;三星希望创造出能定义全新类别的设备。而且,三星希望开发出能让那些设备工作的软件,一直以来,三星几乎都是让别人来做这件事。
在首尔以南大约25英里(约合40公里)处的水原,三星电子总部园 区“数字城市”(Digital City),上述许多工作正在进行中。和三星的所有东西一样,“数字城市”很大:面积相当于320个足球场,可容纳4万名员工,更不用说亚洲最大的停车场 了。围墙内便是三星严防死守的许多秘密。内部机要重地是R5,两栋崭新的27层玻璃幕墙办公楼,三星的移动研发项目就在里面进行。
涌入R5大楼的工人喜欢彩色的马球衫和裙子,而不是由黑色套装和白衬衫组成的韩国传统商务套装,但这不表示R5是个寻常地方。据预计,三星电子今年将在研发方面投入近110亿美元。三星就是打算靠这个地方来保住自己在利润丰厚的电子产品市场的领先地位。
几个月前,移动通讯部门的营销负责人李英姬(Lee Young-hee)在R5的一个会议室里向《纽约时报》展示了几个新产品,其中包括新款三星Galaxy Note智能手机和新智能手表Galaxy Gear。当时三星还没有公开推出这些设备,但他们披露的真正讯息是关于三星总体策略的讨论。
“我们想创造一种新趋势,”李英姬说。“如果你戴着Galaxy Gear,年轻人会觉得很酷。”
李英姬在改变三星形象的过程中起了重要作用。曾在化妆品公司欧莱雅(L’Oréal)担任管理人员的她很时尚,戴着一副彩色眼镜,一头短发。她的英语相当不错。她在讲述移动科技的前景和三星将在其中扮演的角色时往往非常激动,她的公关助手有时甚至会提醒她要低调一些。
“我们要让所有的名人和重要人物戴上它,”她带着点开玩笑的口气说。“如果你不戴,你就落伍了。”
然而,在三星开始承担这项任务之前,它必须摆脱自己作为快速跟风者的声誉。
有人说三星产品是对其他公司产品的仿造,三星高管对这种说法非常不满。但是他们当中的许多人都承认,公司是跟随苹果进入智能手机市场的。
法院的判决再次突显了三星的这种声誉。苹果在加利福尼亚的一次重要案件中胜诉,法院裁定三星侵犯了苹果的一系列专利,三星现在必须赔偿苹果9.3亿美元。两家公司3月将再次在加州对簿公堂,因为苹果指控三星在新产品中侵犯了苹果的其他专利。
像Galaxy Gear智能手表这样的产品旨在让三星成为潮流引领者,而非追随者。据知情人士透露,苹果也一直在研究这种设备,而且已经注册了“iWatch”商标。但苹果尚未拿出这个名称的设备。三星用Galaxy Gear在市场上领先了苹果一步。
三星移动通讯部门负责人申宗均(J. K. Shin)在Galaxy Gear发布前表示,Galaxy Gear“弥合了移动设备和时尚界的差异,创造了真正的可穿戴技术。”
但是,三星也发现,引导潮流并非易事。公司把所有资源都用在了这款手表上,还用引人注目的电视广告来大力宣传这款设备。广告中,很多电影电视剧中詹姆斯·邦德(James Bond)式的人物都带着类似智能手表的装置。但是,广告要比这款手表更受欢迎。科技评论界基本不认可这款手表,对它的设计和软件性能表示了批评,而且还质疑它是否有存在的必要。
不过Galaxy Gear的出货量尚可。三星表示,上架的最初两个月,Galaxy Gear的出货已经达到80万只。虽然分析人士称Galaxy Gear现在是市场上卖得最好的智能手表,但是究竟有多少到了消费者手上,目前尚不清楚。其他智能手表的销量都不高。
公司在其他新前沿产品方面也遇到了困难,比如采用了有机发光二极管——即OLED技术——的弯曲屏电视机。
从技术角度来看,三星“绝对成就斐然,甚至可能具有领先优势”,市场研究公司Reticle Research的分析师罗斯·鲁宾(Ross Rubin)说,“但很多时候,他们的产品给人的感觉都是华而不实的噱头,或者‘为了技术而技术。’”
这些做法——以及智能手机市场竞争的加剧——令投资者感到失望。今 年夏天,三星电子的股价出现了下跌,之后有所反弹。上个月,公司为了安抚股东,在首尔的一个特别会议上向投资者宣布将提高股息。然而股价应声下滑——这个 消息没有达到投资者的期待——自那时起,三星的股价几乎就一直保持原地不动。
对Android的依赖
科技分析人士和消费者往往会把三星和苹果做比较。然而关于这家韩国巨头的任何讨论,都无可避免地和另一家美国科技公司有关。它就是谷歌。
三星绝大多数手机都是在谷歌操作系统Android上运行的。三星 跟谷歌联手,迅速成为了全球智能手机市场上的霸主。调研公司IDC的资料显示,今年第三季度全球出货的手机中,有81%都搭载了Android系统。而跟 它最接近的两个竞争对手,苹果iOS占据了12.9%的份额,Windows占据了3.6%。
“谷歌开发的这个产品帮助三星赚了很多钱,比谷歌所有的业务都多。”霍拉斯·德迪欧(Horace Dediu)说,他是芬兰首都赫尔辛基的一位独立分析师。
迄今为止,这对三星来说都是一件好事,但美中不足的是,它对谷歌软件的依赖程度愈来愈严重。跟谷歌捆绑在一起,三星在移动手机产业登顶的同时,也在一定程度上牺牲了对自己移动业务命运的控制权。
在硬件方面,智能手机看上去越来越千篇一律——玻璃触摸屏、不错的摄像头,几个按钮。这往往使得移动操作系统、应用和服务——以及手机硬件的“软”元素,比如设计和用户体验——的差异化作用变得更加重要。
“当有人购买我们的手机时,我们希望他会对整体体验感兴趣。”三星 的内容和服务部门“媒体解决方案中心”(Media Solution Center)总裁洪元杓(Hong Won-pyo)说。“出色的硬件创新和软件创新相结合——当你将它们巧妙地结合在一起,就会实现产品价值的最大化,消费者会喜欢我们的产品,因为我们把 这些东西整合起来了。”
硬件和软件的无缝结合,一直是苹果获得成功的重要原因之一。用户一 旦开始使用苹果系统,就很少会弃它而去,改用别的产品。如果从iPhone改用Android手机,你就既用不了苹果独有的软件,比如免费的短消息服务 iMessage,也无法使用大量专门为iPhone开发的第三方应用。
这就为苹果提供了一些分析师所说的“锁定”(lock-in)优势——搭载Android系统的三星产品没有这样的优势,因为三星用户可以随时改用另一款Android手机,比如摩托罗拉公司生产的Android手机,仍然可以享用很多同样的功能。
几年来,三星一直在开展移动操作系统的研究。去年,三星把这些工作 和一个名为Tizen的产业项目合并起来,Tizen的合作伙伴有英特尔以及其他科技和电信公司。通过跟日本的NTT都科摩(NTT Docomo)等一些移动运营商合作,三星有望很快推出搭载Tizen操作系统的手机。
虽然人们猜测,三星与Tizen结盟是想跟谷歌保持距离,但该公司表示,它只是想为消费者提供了一系列别的选择。
“我认为,在短期内,Tizen不可能成为一个占据主导地位的智能手机操作系统。”三星的一位前高管说,为了维持业务关系,他要求隐去姓名。“但当时,这是三星采取的一个重要举措。如果三星想要获得新的成功,他们就必须把注意力聚焦在产品的软件上。”
进军硅谷
在软件这个新的焦点背后,戴维·殷(David Eun)发挥了一定作用,他是一个直言不讳的韩裔美国人,曾在AOL和谷歌任职。戴维·殷2011年进入三星电子,大约一年后,他建议该公司一些顶级高管从韩国飞往美国,到世界软件产业的圣地硅谷拜访,参观这里的一些公司。
“此行旨在帮助他们了解硅谷作风,”今年46岁的执行副总裁戴维·殷说。
事实证明,这趟旅行很有启发性。三星决定,如果它真的想在软件和互联网服务上跟其他公司开展竞争,就需要更深地扎根硅谷。
之后不久,李健熙开始一项或许是他迄今为止最雄心勃勃的行动:试图 向三星公司引入一些硅谷的文化。2月,三星宣布成立开放创新中心(Open Innovation Center),并在韩国、加州和纽约设立办公室。该中心在加州山景市的办公室设在一栋小型的二层写字楼里,位于加州火车(Caltrain)通勤铁路车 站的旁边。在这里,三星员工的工作包括寻找适合投资、合作或收购的初创公司。
今年7月,三星收购了初创企业Boxee。这家公司开发了一种具备更智能的电视软件的娱乐设备。通过开放创新中心,三星与流行的新闻阅读应用Flipboard达成合作。现在,三星在美国销售的旗舰智能手机均预装了Flipboard。
戴维·殷还发起了一个名为“三星加速器”(Samsung Accelerator)的项目,今年7月在加州的帕洛阿尔托启动,9月在涌现了众多科技初创企业的曼哈顿切尔西街区启动。三星是参与项目的初创企业的唯 一投资者,将它们的员工视同自己的员工,让他们享受全部的福利、法律资源,并能完全了解三星的产品规划。作为交换,三星独家享有这些企业的产品。
来到硅谷并开展创新和孵化项目意味着,三星的确真心希望接纳创新与合作的精神,这种精神是软件开发所必需的。不过,重大决定还是会在水原或首尔做出,也就是三星集团旗下数家公司的总部所在地。
“这还是一家韩国特色浓厚的企业,带有鲜明的韩式思维,”《当索尼遇到三星》一书的作者张世真说。“最关注的是速度、效率和削减生产成本,所有这些与创新完全不相干。”
三星的创新努力与韩国总统朴槿惠(Park Geun-hye)倡导提升企业精神与创造性的举动步调一致。去年竞选总统期间,她承诺给韩国带来“经济民主化”。
这一点或许是天方夜谭。韩国产业联合会(Federation of Korean Industries)的数据显示,30家最大的韩国企业集团,即“财阀”,贡献了该国2010年80%以上的出口额。它们的生产能力全都是在多年的发展 过程中累积起来的,比如现代(Hyundai)和LG,而三星是其中的龙头。
上世纪六七十年代,在朴槿惠的父亲、威权统治者朴正熙(Park Chung-hee)治下,三星等财阀的增长受到了鼓励。为了在朝鲜战争的重创后实现国民经济的工业化,政府给它们提供了低息贷款和有利的监管环境。直到 1997年的亚洲金融危机之前,韩国一直是亚洲四小龙中的佼佼者。
然而,挣脱财阀及其背后的权势家族的控制并非易事。自从1987年接任父亲的职位以来,李健熙只有两年时间没有担任会长。预计他将最终传位于目前在三星电子任副会长的儿子李在镕(Lee Jae-yong)。
包括尊重长辈、传统与上级在内的儒家理念深深地融入到了三星的文化 中。一直以来,公司通过在员工中确立纪律与奉献精神得以后来居上。然而同样这些理念会不会阻止公司特立独行,还是个有待观察的问题。正如李健熙在6月份的 电子邮件训诫中承认的那样:“我们必须开创一种鼓励发明创造的文化,让它充满自主性和创新性。”
当然,没人会把诺基亚或黑莓的衰落归咎于芬兰人或加拿大人的僵化。它们不过是被苹果杀了个猝不及防。三星也如此,可是,它成功做到了其他公司未能完成的事情——它重新站起来了,而且比以前更强大。
还有一件事是确凿无疑的:无论形势如何变幻,李健熙都会找到担心的理由,而他的员工,也得倾听。
Question:
1.After reading the case, please answer what's the possible strategy for Samsung in order to lead the digital industry? In order to draw the strategy for Samsung, what kinds of information should we know?
2. Besides Samsung, what is your interested company or industry? Hope you can provide a optional company for strategy course to discuss.
Please pay attention to this homework need to be handed in next class!

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...SAMSUNG Case 1. What kind of advantage are the Chinese entrants seeking? How close are they to achieving that advantage? Chinese firms have cost advantage to jump in growing market. While Samsung and the other innovative companies had focus on inventing new territories stuff, they positioned in cost advantage with using rather cheap labor. Even though they didn't have flourish experiences and tacit knowledge to require getting enough market share, still they have easy access to outside finance and talented local engineers to lead success of potential market. 2. How much of Samsung's performance is based on its reputed low-cost advantage? The biggest challenge for Samsung recently, Chinese firm has been positioned with similar strategy that Samsung did at late 80's against Japan and US market. So that they need to choose their price value for competing with Chinese market, this lead company to have cost advantage in their market. Furthermore, with based on their reliable technology, cost value will give enforcement to Samsung market barrier against Chinese competitors. 3. Can Samsung's low-cost advantage withstand the Chinese threat on costs? Samsung's major business strategy is to be innovative market leader, they have anticipated to future potential market, not just rely on short term profit. They had move faster step forward than other competitors. The reason Samsung's low-cost advantage can withstand the Chinese threat on costs is that, as one side, they......

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Samsung Case Study

...Maintaining the “Single Samsung” Spirit: New Challenges in a Changing Environment Caryn Ng Kar Yan B1102572 Keah Mei Sian B1102580 Nur Fathiha Bte Johan Ariffin B1100381 Mohd Roshan bin Mohd Yusop B0101223 Sarkunarajah S B1001971 Wan Arjunaidi Bin Awang @ Wan Abdul Halim E0300073 Abstract Samsung portrayed a very interesting and impressive success story in every aspect of development. Although they were hit hard by financial crisis in 2009, Samsung survived the ordeal with their impressive financial performance. The astonishing part of their achievement is mostly guided by internal management capability, positive aligned culture and belief system that empowering human capital is the foundation in building and maintaining a great organization. Their strong belief system in emphasizing and investing on employees well being pays off when they become the leading company beating some of the top companies such as Sony, Apple and HTC. The process and development of human capital was never an easy matter for Samsung, in fact the culture has been practiced and improvised regularly ever since 1950 to fit to the demand and maturity of the current society and technology. Nevertheless at the end, Samsung indeed make a marked in the world with sustaining a Single Samsung culture. 1. Perform a PEST on Samsung and identify the change drivers POLITICAL | ECONOMIC | * Work hand in hand with the government; consist the same agendas and......

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