9/29/2010 12:34:00 PM
Orange smashes partner programme targets
The Orange Partner Programme is on the hunt for new partners after beating targets since its launch in April.
Speaking to Mobile, Martin Lyne, Everything Everywhere’s SME director, said: ‘It has performed above all expectations, so we are now starting to develop the programme to incorporate new partners that have previously just traded in T-Mobile connections, as well as some of our existing partners in Orange.’ Lyne declined to say how many new partners would join the programme.
The three tiered partner structure is central to Everything Everywhere’s aggressive plan to dominate the business market as the UK’s largest network.
Lyne said Everything Everywhere was now in ‘a strong third place’ in the b2b sector after O2 and Vodafone. ‘The merger has given us scale. That is what underpins our confidence – we have strong targets and we are continuing to hit those,’ Lyne said.
The Orange brand is expected to dominate the larger end of the SME market, as it does in the corporate sector. However, partners in the programme will continue to sell deals under both brands to smaller SME customers with up to 50 employees, said Lyne.
The Orange and T-Mobile SME sales teams merged operations this month and are now trading under the Orange brand.
Lyne said: ‘This gives us a significant advantage – it puts us on par with the competition in what is an important channel for us.’
A move into the converged solutions market, which will see new IT and fixed-line partners taken on, will happen by the second half of next year, said Lyne. ‘It is going well. It is an important part of the SME business plan and the board has given its backing and the investment needed to roll it out.’
He added: ‘We expect to expand into that space significantly. We are already having conversations with various fixed and IT sellers.’
Customer service helps retention
Customer retention is central to Everything Everywhere’s ambitions to grow share in the business market.
The company’s aim is to offer a markedly better service than its rivals to keep existing b2b customers and attract new ones.
Lyne said: ‘We are putting a huge amount of energy into improving the experience of the existing customer – whether they are buying from
us or making a call into one of our service centres.
'We are ensuring a level of difference in how we service our customers. There is substantial investment going into that space.’
He added: ‘We are maintaining UK based centres and looking to improve the customer care experience in all areas. We are putting significant energy into that.’