O2 innovation could be win-win for it and for us


The operator has a great opportunity to make itself known in the public sector at a time when departments are looking to boost productivity on a reduced budget

O2 may no longer be the market leader in terms of market share, but from what we saw last week it appears to be more than leading the way when it comes to innovation.

As reported on the front page, there is some ill feeling towards Vodafone in the public sector over the cost of its contracts. To what extent, we don’t know – and I suspect many remain content with their deal. However, at a time when jobs within government are being cut left, right and centre, and departments are having to boost productivity on a reduced budget, rightfully other options should be explored.

O2 now has an opportunity to make itself known.

For starters, it has nothing to lose. It can go in with a fixed-line and mobile proposition, and if it betters that offered by Vodafone – or indeed T-Mobile or Orange – then it’s a win-win for the operator. If Vodafone or one of the others chooses to price-match or even better its offering, that’s a loss to the firm.

But it goes far beyond simply cost – which made our discussion so interesting.

O2 is looking to provide more than just a telecoms or even IT service. It wants to provide businesses not only with the tools to improve the way they operate on a daily basis, but also help them communicate better with the public.

Its work with Reading Council to help boost employment seems so simple yet has the potential to solve many issues faced in the town and could in fact help change people’s lives.

From a different angle, its work with Luton Council to help reduce queuing for citizens at its town hall, in order to remove the levels of paper is something that will not only help appease citizens, but has the potential to save huge amounts of time as well as backlogs. It’s difficult to imagine any council not wishing to adopt such measures should they prove successful.

And O2’s efforts to help drive sales on the high street – boosting local economy and business growth with Priority Moments – will not have gone unnoticed.

If O2 is indeed alone in adopting such an approach, then the operator has a great opportunity to achieve its targets – and surpass them.