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O2 to steal ICT share with new Unify JV

Paul Withers
January 13, 2011

Joint venture marks the first tie-up between a mobile operator and IT service provider and claims it can drive efficiency savings of up to 30 per cent for businesses

O2 and IT service provider 2e2 have teamed up to create O2 Unify, a joint venture it said would will provide businesses of all sizes with the opportunity to outsource their IT and communications needs to a single provider.

O2 Unify claimed it will help customers tackle their business challenges and drive efficiency savings of up to 30 per cent.

The O2 Unify team will be headed up by former O2 head of professional and managed services Paul Osborne. The joint venture company said it will initially focus on ways that businesses can develop flexible working programmes and manage their networks more efficiently.

Customers will have full access to O2 and 2e2’s portfolios, under a single service model. There will be one help desk, unified reporting and billing as well as bespoke services designed to provide premium customer service.

O2 Unify has gone live with its first UK customer, public services provider Amey. O2 Unify is providing mobile services, fixed voice services and a Multi-protocol Label Switching (MPLS) wide area network (WAN) for it, which has been ongoing since last month.

In addition to traditional converged solutions, spanning fixed, mobile, voice and data, O2 Unify will officially launch on April 2 with a portfolio of services including managed WAN, cloud data services and flexible working solutions.

The O2 Unify team will be based in Slough and will be supported by a sales force of over 500 people. O2 added the new joint venture takes it closer to achieving its goal of becoming the total communications integrator of choice for businesses of all sizes across the UK.

O2 business director Ben Dowd said: “The announcement shows the desire of O2 to accelerate the ‘Joined Up’ strategy that was announced at the end of 2009, and take a greater share of the ICT market. By cooperating with a growing IT services provider we believe we can transform the way customers do business and help drive efficiency at a time when budgets are still under pressure.”

O2 Unify managing director Paul Osborne said: “Our customers will be able to take advantage of emerging technologies, such as cloud capabilities, and unify their communications across all channels. This move is absolutely based on what our customers have asked for. We are now seeing around 30 per cent of bids requiring a totally converged solution. We are in a great place with O2 Unify to provide exactly what corporate customers are looking for.”

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