A Critical Evaluation of the Strategic Choices of Telkom and Whether They Are Appropriate or Not

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According to Grant (2010:23) an organisation strategy can be identified or located in three places: in the heads of the chief executive and senior managers, in their articulation of strategy speeches and written documents and decisions through which strategy is enacted. From the Telkom view, the strategy statements can be identified in its vision, mission and values. These are as follows:

To be Africa’s preferred ICT Solutions provider.

To be a leading South African-based international ICT services group focused on long term sustainable profitability through growth in existing new markets.

* Continuous performance improvement
* Honesty
* Accountability
* Respect
* Teamwork

Strategic choice is the third logical element of the strategy formulation process. It therefore entails identifying options, evaluation of options and selecting a strategy. According to Boojihawon and Segal-Horn (2010) the process of strategic choice requires managers to identify several potential options, evaluate them and select the most appropriate for his or her organisation and context. Viney and Gleadle (2010:7) argue that in defining organisational objectives and implementation of selected strategy, comes the identification, evaluating and choice of strategic options, based on the analysis of external and internal data.

Therefore, in evaluating the strategic choice of Telkom, the discussion will firstly look at its strategic objectives/intent and secondly, evaluate its recent strategic decisions it has taken as a result of those objectives.

The aim of Telkom is to continue to strengthen their position as a communication champion across the African continent. This will be done through the following strategic intent:

* To offer our customers enhanced bundled packages and tailored calling plans that will successfully grow annuity revenue; * To use our unique fixed-mobile capability as a platform for future growth. We intend to provide customers with array of ICT services, both voice and data, fixed and mobile. It should also enable us to leverage the strong relationships we have with our current corporate customers by extending the bouquet of services we offer to them; * To utilise the strength and reliability of our unique Next Generation Network and infrastructure to bring high quality broadband products to the market. These new and exciting ‘content rich’ offerings are particularly applicable to digital home consumer markets such as gated communities; and * To become a Pan-African integrated service provider by making the Telkom brand synonymous with the best products and services on the continent

Strategic decisions or options that Telkom has taken as a result of its objectives will be highlighted below:

* Telkom has increased its global connectivity by entering into strategic memorandum of understanding with one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world, AT&T, which will connect Telkom’s regional network with AT&T global network. In this regard Telkom has co-operated with AT&T for each partner to contribute something and moreover Telkom will benefit in terms of being connected to AT&T global network * Telkom made its acquisition outside South Africa, namely, Africa Online, which is the largest Pan-African Internet Service provider in Sub-Saharan Africa * Telkom has pursuit a revenue growth opportunities outside the borders of South Africa. This was spearheaded by the acquisition in 2007 of Nigeria based Multi-Links. * Telkom also acquired 100% interest in MWEB Africa Limited. MWEB Africa is a group of companies offering internet services and its own VSAT access in Sub-Saharan Africa * Telkom is also investing in the Next Generation Network (NGN) to support converged services and the massive amounts of bandwidth...
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