Mobile retailer Fonehouse is ramping up its move into b2b with the launch of Fonehouse Business – a branded partnership programme selling business and unified comms deals through a network of 30 partners across the UK.
Fonehouse Business partners will provide b2b deals on Orange, T-Mobile and EE4G, and unified comms services via Vodafone MVNA and communications provider Gamma. Fonehouse Business unified comms services will include mobile, fixed line, broadband, VOIP and video conferencing. Gamma will also provide Fonehouse Business partners with a one-stop billing service under its recently launched Simplicity proposition (see page 17).
Speaking to Mobile, Fonehouse group chairman Clive Bayley said three major dealers had already been recruited to the programme and the hunt was on for a total of 30 branded partners that will each cover a geographical region of the UK.
Bayley said the branded partnership will be open to experienced mobile dealers, including Fonehouse’s existing team of 15 b2b mobile dealers, established last year, and Fonehouse retail franchise partners. Retail partners who join the programme will be awarded a geographic region based on the location of their store. Bayley said he expected some of his 45 franchise retail partners to meet the criteria but predicted the majority would come from the ranks of experienced mobile business dealers.
Bayley said the Fonehouse Business partnership programme will run alongside Fonehouse’s existing b2b partnership programme. However, Fonehouse Business partners will get exclusive access to EE business deals and access to their own geographical region, whereas Fonehouse’s existing 15 b2b partners will continue to offer b2b services only via Gamma.
Fonehouse is also strengthening its b2b presence in its stores. Currently it has specialist b2b staff in around 13 stores, selling basic b2b deals on Orange and T-Mobile. This strategy will be extended to all 50 Fonehouse stores with each store establishing a dedicated b2b area, known as ‘B2Box’ .
Bayley said: ‘We want to be in b2b as well as the consumer market. We want to be able to offer the whole unified comms piece. We see this as an important market to us. We believe our branded partnership will offer our partners a well known brand supported by our network of stores across the country. This is a great opportunity.’
Fonehouse will be holding an event later this month to launch the Fonehouse Business Partnership Programme, which will be attended by its retail franchise partners and interested dealers.
This latest drive into b2b is part of a wider strategy to grow the business. Last year Fonehouse appointed Simon Douglas as CEO. Douglas’s brief is to expand the business over the next two years.
Fonehouse has also ramped up its b2b division, taking on Russ Wheeler to head up the division and boosting the team with another four account managers.
Author: Carol Millett