Vodafone’s One Net unified comms offering will be a key product in the company’s drive to increase its market share in the SME market, according its enterprise director Peter Kelly.
Speaking to Mobile this week about the overhaul of Vodafone’s indirect channel, Kelly said that One Net is a key differentiator for its newly unveiled Platinum, Gold and Silver tiers of partners in the enterprise space.
The three tiers account for 400 dealers, each of which will receive varying degrees of dedicated account management, commercial and marketing services, depending on which tier they are in. The services will be managed by a new centralised support unit, Vodafone Partner Services (VPS). VPS has 250 staff and includes the rebranded Yes Telecom.
‘We will be asking our partners to become accredited in Vodafone One Net – RIM, Apple, Microsoft and so on. The further they invest, the more it will help them move up the tiers and create more value in the marketplace,’ said Kelly. ‘We are investing in our training capability and resources, so we expect our partners to invest in their people,’ he added.
Vodafone has a full training programme for Vodafone One Net with around 20 firms now completing the training and four or five actually out selling in the marketplace. Potential One Net partners are assessed for their levels of capability to sell and market the solutions to see if they are they capable of transacting a One Net sale.
‘It’s taken longer than we’d hoped to bring One Net to market,’ admitted Kelly, ‘but we had to ensure the quality was there. We are ramping this up now. We see our indirect partners as crucial to growing One Net. We know SMEs really want to use One Net, so our partners can add value to their existing customer base by supplying it and add significantly to that base with new customers.’
Kelly added that Vodafone will be widening the One Net portfolio from its initial target size to include slightly larger customers than traditional SMEs. It will also target slightly smaller customers; firms of 10 to15 employees with one to five mobiles.
Some mobile dealers have struggled with the fixed line or IT side of unified communications. ‘We are providing more sales and support for One Net. There is a whole LAN, fixed IT telephony certification and training journey to go on,’ said Kelly.
But Vodafone is also now providing a form of One Net that doesn’t require DSL or LAN – just pure mobile. Kelly said it would allow some of Vodafone’s more mobile orientated partners to build up their capability in that arena.
Kelly said: ‘We are rolling One Net out in Italy and Spain and it is nearly all indirect channel sales there, so I’m absolutely confident that it will be a fantastic differentiator for our partners in the market in the UK.’