Dowd: Sell more or you won’t survive


Operator’s business director warns dealers that don’t add IT and fixed services to their portfolio that they will face an uphill battle to stay in business this year

O2 director of business Ben Dowd has warned that any dealer not embracing convergence will face a battle for survival in 2013.

Dowd (pictured), who was speaking exclusively to Mobile News, made the claim as he discussed plans for next year – which is expected to see a number of changes to the way in which dealers are paid commissions.

He claims those who continue to sell only the traditional “box, voice and text” tariffs are now in survival mode.

The comments come after Dowd said he expects the number of direct dealers O2 works with to drop in the New Year as the operator prepares to “raise the bar” on targets.

The operator is in the process of re-evaluating its partner programmes O2 Approved and Centre of Excellence (CoE) as part of a restructure which will place a greater emphasis on convergence sales.

O2 currently has direct relationships with around 83 B2B dealers. Fifty-seven of those are O2 Approved and connect through distribution. The remaining 23 are CoE connecting directly to O2 and described by Dowd as “inside the family”.

Dowd said: “The world is changing and they [dealers] need to be selling more than just a box. The challenge for all of those partners is now survival. There are definitely opportunities out there for those who are happy to embrace the change and change their business accordingly.

“Those who are still just selling mobile services are in survival mode. Joined Up Comms is an absolute minimal. If you are not involved, I don’t think you’ll survive. If you are not capable of selling more than just mobile, your time is up.

“We’ve tried to address that challenge and will continue to address it going into next year. The direction they are going towards is Joined Up business.”