What Do Recent Reorganizations Tell Us About Global Operator Strategies?

Kathryn Weldon
Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • In February 2013, Orange Business Services launched Orange Mobile Enterprise, a unified organization for offering global mobility/M2M to MNCs.  Also in February, Deutsche Telekom announced a new organization, Business Excellence, to unify all of its B2B activities within one unit.  Around the same time, NTT DoCoMo launched its ‘Smart Life’ business model, shifting to a focus on (mostly consumer-facing) services involving media, commerce, M2M and finance/payments.
  • There were also reorganizations in 2012 at Telefonica, Vodafone and BT GS in which Telefonica Global Solutions and Vodafone’s Group Enterprise organization, respectively, were announced, while BT GS reorganized around five regions and nine verticals.  With six Tier 1 global operators streamlining their organizations over the last six months, we ask:  What are the common and uncommon themes in these launches?  Moreover, what is happening in the global operator market that requires these new units?

Global operators are focused on providing telecommunications and IT services both to domestic enterprises and MNCs (as well as consumers, of course, with increasingly blurry lines between segments due to consumerization and BYOD).  This focus includes both fixed and mobile connectivity services, value-added professional and IT services, as well as M2M solutions which require capabilities in all of the above areas.  Some operators (such as Vodafone) have come from a dominantly mobile position and are now focused on becoming broad-ranging ICT providers (or vice versa).   Yet others have determined their key growth markets/vertical opportunities, which may include both enterprise (B2B) and consumer (B2C) opportunities, and are looking for innovative ways to ride growth curves for security, e-commerce, e-health, M2M and other markets which are relatively small today but poised for big growth in the near future.  In addition, global operators with a strong domestic presence within their in-country operating companies may have come to realize that their enterprise-focused and MNC-focused initiatives need to be more effectively coordinated, to offer consistent messages, services and customer experience.  The six reorganizations reflect different combinations of these issues.

These reorganizations are all slightly different, but what they have in common is the desire to sell, market and support the entire set of solutions they offer customers more effectively, but in a way that optimizes each segment.  For example, consumer and enterprise lines of business are often quite different, but in these days of consumerization, a focus on growth areas (exemplified in Telefonica Digital and NTT ‘Smart Life’ groups) is a logical one.  A consolidation of organizations within an operator that are all aimed at B2B segments (as in Verizon’s VES, DT’s new Business Excellence and Vodafone’s Group Enterprise unit) also reflects the desired optimization of sales and marketing resources and a logical segmentation strategy.  Underlying all of these activities is the sense that the global telecoms market is a very competitive one, and operators need to make sure they have the best people in place, an efficient reporting structure with built-in agility and the ability to make decisions without too much bureaucracy getting in the way.  Hopefully, that will be the result of these organizational streamlining efforts.

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