O2 launches new corporate strategy to challenge status quo and grow market share

Today O2 announces that it has re-launched its corporate strategy to meet the challenge of UK corporates’ changing mobile needs.  The new approach will allow O2 to grow market share by taking a far more consultative approach to sales and give a better customer experience that is driven by customer insights.   At the heart of the strategy is the recognition that two major shifts are taking place in the corporate space, a burgeoning demand for data, coupled with services that are fit for purpose. This means enterprises are moving away from the traditional tactical voice-driven approach to mobile, to one that focuses on achieving a competitive advantage. This is a view backed up by analysts, most of which are predicting that enterprise mobile data revenues will be close to £1billion by 2010*.   There are three key elements that are driving this new approach:   ·         The establishment of an O2 sales academy to equip O2 salespeople to better understand client needs ·         A shift to a more IT-focussed consultative approach to sales ·         Recognition that Partnerships are key and that O2 partners with the best in the business   Firstly, through its Sales Academy, O2 is equipping its staff with the advanced business skills necessary to drive deep customer understanding crucial to this type of value added activity. This provides customers with access to experts, people that really understand their business and a consistency of approach and experience. Recent big wins with the AA and Police Constabularies, such as West Yorkshire Police, are proof that the new approach is already paying off.   Secondly, O2 is shifting to a far more IT-focused consultative approach to corporate sales.  However, O2’s aim is not to replace Value Added Resellers (VARS) in the mobile IT value chain.  Instead, it is working with the leading players such as RIM, Microsoft and its accredited VARs, as well as Westcoast, one of the country’s biggest IT distributors, to establish better ways for companies to understand, acquire and deploy mobile technologies.    Lastly, O2 is partnering with the best in the industry to seek new routes to market to better serve corporate customers. O2 has a long rich history with the mobile channel through O2 Advance, designed to deliver profitable partnerships, characterised by trust, openness, fairness and pragmatism, and is extending this to the world of IT.   In recognition of O2’s ability to provide the highest levels of technical expertise, strategic thinking, and hands-on skills it was recently accredited as a Microsoft Certified Partner.  Encompassing a broad range of expertise and vendor affiliations, it is the only network in the UK to achieve this.    Ben Dowd, General Manager, Business Sales, O2 UK, said: “Enterprises are increasingly looking to create value from their mobile implementations, and a whole new value chain is set to emerge to supply these needs. We believe that operators need to adapt very quickly to these shifting trends or they will struggle to survive in the corporate market. Through our new a new approach, we are challenging the traditional service experienced by enterprises across the industry, using customer insight to drive the right customer experience.”   O2’s new approach comes at a time where there is clear evidence that enterprise mobility is moving up the corporate agenda. Recent research from Quocirca, confirms these claims. 15% of corporates now have more than five remote access projects up and running, and a further 60% have between two and five – both big increases over 2005 figures.   However, despite half of corporates saying that mobile is now driven by the same strategies that govern IT and 55% fund it from the same budget, fewer than 10% of employees currently leave the office with even the ability to use mobile email. This indicates that while awareness is growing fast, companies still need help in turning good ideas into practical applications and strategies.   Rob Bamforth , Principal Analyst at Quocirca said, “ Mobile and remote access to IT resources is moving from an add-on to a normal and integral aspect of the business.  For many companies the pilot phase is drawing to a close, with the wholesale deployment phase approaching, and these companies will expect even closer support from all their suppliers – hardware, software and network providers.”