In the final plenary session of Orange Business Live! Orange Business Services CEO Vivek Badrinath shared with customers the progress of its conquests 2015 strategy.
Badrinath said that Orange was continuing to sustain its core business in voice and data, and was remaining a key connectivity provider. In 2011 it also developed and delivered several new products. Important amongst these was the cloud solution Flexible Computing Express and a number of video solutions. This was reflected in increased revenues in both of these areas: 36% growth in cloud, and 11% growth in video.
Emerging markets continued to be a focus for Orange, with revenues in high-growth markets up by 11% in 2011. High-growth countries included China, India, South Africa, Turkey, Morocco, Brazil and Argentina. Orange also launched a smart cities program and had signed up a number of customers including a water company for metering and a major car manufacturer.
However, Badrinath acknowledged that there was still no quiet life for global companies, and that 2012 was likely to be no easier than 2011. In these economic uncertainties, CIOs were still being asked to deliver key projects for the business.
They are being asked to be very strong on IT expertise and manage an IT infrastructure that is ever-more important to the business. They need to have services that are robust with high levels of resilience. Most importantly they are being asked to deliver projects that offer rapid payback for the business.
Although connecting people is still the core business for Orange, it is delivering a range of innovative services on top of this network infrastructure says Badrinath. He shared three of these with the audience:
collaboration: the new workspace
The new workspace is not one product or service, it is a series of solutions that improve the working environment. It needs to be device agnostic because CIOs are no longer in the driving seat for what devices people take to work. The new workspace also needs to offer access to all the resources that you have in the cloud.
Orange offers a range services to help you get there, including: secure access so that you can access services from multiple platforms; new endpoints for video so that employees can collaborate everywhere, and mobile device management to manage your diverse mobile estate. And all of this is delivered on-demand and per-user.
developing your business with new solutions: machine-to-machine (M2M)
M2M can help transform business processes in a wide range of industries including public transport, smart cities, utility metering and connected cars. It involves mobile networks and complementary technologies such as NFC and sensors, and is becoming a realistic proposition and hardware costs shrink.
Orange is already helping a number of businesses offer innovative services with M2M, such as Nespresso, which using it keep its coffee machines in good condition and Sorin, which is helping patients keep their doctors up-to-date with their cardiac condition. M2M solutions are frequently required in multiple countries, so Orange has set up the Global M2M Association along with TeliaSonera and T-Mobile to specify SIM cards that can be rolled out in multiple countries.
engaging better with customers with contact centers in the cloud
By putting the contact center in the cloud and having a global cloud-ready network, Orange is able to deliver contact center functionality to anywhere in the world. This gives you the ability to set up smaller sites and allocate calls easily through a web interface. The contact centre functionality allows you to handle multiple contact methods from your customers even including social media, which is becoming increasingly important.
The foundation of all of these services is the network, says Badrinath, and Orange is continuing to invest in infrastructure. This includes IPv6, a new 10GB ring around the world and a 42% increase in Ethernet coverage in 2011. Orange is also setting up more partnerships with other telcos to be able to offer better in-country penetration, which is vital for companies that operate in multiple domestic markets.
After a Masters in Computer Science, I decided that I preferred writing about IT rather than programming. My 20-year writing career has taken me to Hong Kong and London where I've edited and written for IT, business and electronics publications. In 2002 I co-founded Futurity Media with Stewart Baines where I continue to write about a range of topics such as unified communications, cloud computing and enterprise applications.