Are we making a mistake with our ICT approach?

By Gavin Franks, Chief Operating Officer, O2 Business

In recent customer conversations it’s become apparent that we think a little differently.

It seems that, unlike many other ICT providers, and at least according to our customers, we don’t talk technology first. We’re not straight through the door showing off all our shiny tech, or talking about widgets and gizmos, whether the discussion is as simple as SIP trunking or spans the global WAN.

But talking tech demonstrates expertise, doesn’t it? Throwing around the latest tech jargon then quickly demystifying it gives an IT provider credibility, doesn’t it? So I started to ask myself, is this a problem for us?

I initially wondered if it’s because we are relatively newer to market than some of the big boys of the ICT world. No, we don’t have the mainframe heritage of an IBM. Nor the swathes of consultants that Accenture enjoys. We haven’t spent the last 3 decades in the fight to build the world’s fastest supercomputer. But in today’s digital world – is that what matters?

Well, at O2, we don’t think so.

We think what matters is developing the right solution so your people can do the right thing at the right time. To get that right, it’s about starting with the people. Your people. It’s your people that make your organisation successful. Your people can increase the organisation’s productivity, reduce inefficiencies, deliver a better, more engaging experience for your customers and help you grow.

So we focus on them. By looking at the technology they need to achieve more in their working day. And what’s right for Tony in accounts isn’t necessarily right for Claire in HR or Derek, your head of retail operations. Today’s technology needs to be flexible, adaptable and above all, fit for your users – each and every one of them.

Designing solutions around people and not the technology brings benefits to every sector and industry. Decision-making, customer service, and even trackside repairs have been improved through opening up new Skype channels to reach experts; nurses get to spend more time with patients; and seconds can be knocked off call centre answering times. And here’s some of the figures our ICT has delivered to clients so far: 45% in infrastructure savings, a £1.4m cut in postage per annum, and we even stopped one customer missing 90,000 calls a month, each worth about £11 in lost revenue.

So when you’re next with your desktop provider, or network services supplier, or your comms partner, ask yourself: are they talking to me about the technology first? What’s with the latest buzz around fast IT, lean IT or mobile first? Challenge them to put people back where they belong – at the front and centre of your ICT strategy. Because, even at O2 with our 30-year heritage in mobile, we know. We know it’s not mobile first, it’s people first.

To find out how O2 can help you put your people first, visit our website.