written by Helen Ranaghan


I’ve just returned from a tiring, but brilliant 3-day whirlwind trip to Seoul, South Korea.

Our Product Manager, Andy Herring and I were honoured to represent Pragma at Ericsson-LG’s Global Product Managers Meeting 2023 – the first face-to-face one since the pandemic and my first trip to Korea since 1998.

After more than 13 hours of travelling, followed by a very disturbed night’s sleep, our first day was spent with Ericsson-LG in meetings dedicated to Pragma.

We met with the product development teams and exchanged information on our strategies – it was great to get an insight into the long-term roadmap and how it aligns with our priorities in the UK.  We also met with the Ericsson-LG marketing team, which was invaluable for me in my role as Group Marketing Manager – building face-to-face relationships with the Ericsson-LG team is going to make a huge difference in my ongoing ability to create exciting and innovative campaigns for our partners to use.

The next two days were then focused on the Global PM Meeting.

Ericsson-LG have a Global reach, and their route to market in each territory is through a dedicated, close partnership with a chosen provider.  We, as Pragma, are their UK representative.  Having personally been in the telecoms industry for over 30 years and worked with many of the market-leading providers in that time, I have always recognised our strong partnership with Ericsson-LG as being both unique and beneficial.

This trip has reminded me that what we call a partnership is exactly that.  We can shape the direction of product development, and Ericsson-LG not only cares but also take a direct interest in us and our partners.

We are an ecosystem that succeeds together.

It was an interesting experience to be in a room with all of Ericsson-LG’s global partners. Apart from some small differences in priorities, it was clear that we were aligned on the areas that strengthen the product and help our partners to continue to win.

Sadly, we didn’t have any time to participate in any tourist activities due to a packed schedule, but outside of the meetings, Ericsson-LG made us feel very welcome. Nothing was too much trouble, and our awesome account manager, Brian Shin, went above and beyond, particularly in catering to Andy’s vegan requirements at every meal. Needless to say, there was much alcohol consumed, and in such a short time, we have made firm friendships across the globe.

As I mentioned at the start, I visited LG in Korea in 1998.  It’s difficult to say how much had changed as I didn’t have time to revisit the tourist areas that I had seen back then.  But there are a few points that are worth noting:

  • Almost all of the senior product team were working for LG at the time I visited in 1998 and are still influencing the product today, having been on the same journey moving from on-premises hardware through to Cloud technology and software-focused applications
  • Koreans like routine around food – they stop for lunch at a set time and eat dinner much earlier than I’m used to!
  • After having an evening meal, if you go for drinks, it is tradition to order food – yes, more food after just eating food!
  • The food was much more ‘Westernised’ than I had experienced previously. It was an area of trepidation for me when embarking on this latest trip, but I was pleasantly surprised by the variety available and my willingness to try more traditional food
  • Ahem! Apologies for this one, but very noteworthy!  They have very complicated toilets, and in the searing heat of +28oC, most toilets I visited had heated seats!!!  Most of the other buttons would have required me to take a training course to understand.

I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to travel to Korea, to meet with Ericsson-LG and form long-standing friendships with all who attended the PM meeting.

I can’t wait to go back and hope that it will be much sooner than the 25 years it took me to make my second visit.