12/4/2008 10:45:00 AM
O2 strengthens commitment to indirect channel
O2 will transfer more than 100,000 accounts into its indirect channel over the next six months, according to O2’s business sales chief, Ben Dowd.
It comes as O2 continues to grow its lead in the SME market to take a 37% share, and has launched its revenue share deal with its direct dealers and distributors from October 2008.
Dowd also pointed to the indirect channel breaking past the 500,000 connections mark for O2’s SME and corporate division. He referred to both the landmark figure and the transfer of accounts to its direct dealers and distributors, adding: ‘If that doesn’t demonstrate our commitment to the indirect channel, I don’t know what does.’
Dowd also responded to perceived criticisms of the revenue share scheme, which O2 instigated to pay its partners money over the duration of the customer’s contract with less money up-front, and more later, based on the customer’s spend and loyalty.
O2 has five distributors and 85 direct dealers that it connects business contracts through.
Dowd said: ‘Of course there are stockists [dealers who sell O2 through distributors] who aren’t happy with us. The reality is that most of them we’ve either terminated or we don’t deal with anyway.’
He said O2 had no option but to withhold details of the revenue share programme until the final few moments, but that the operator had been in discussions with partners for months regarding the details.
‘I wouldn’t be willing to do something that wouldn’t be unique. Within days of our launch Orange and T-Mobile were copying us. If I could’ve done it differently I would have.’
He said he felt the need to come out and underline that O2 had discussed the matter with partners, adding: ‘We don’t want to come across as arrogant. If there’s a problem we want to face up to it. We worked through those differences and overcame those challenges.’
Read a full interview with Ben Dowd online from Monday (8 December)