By Jess Heald on Tue 10 February 2015 in Topical
Last week it was announced that BT have taken over EE, the largest mobile network provider in the UK.
The contract sees BT buying all EE shares currently held by Orange and Deutsche Telekom,where Orange will receive a 4% stake as well as about £3.4billion in cash. Deutsche will also receive a 12% stake in the new combined business and have a seat on the board as a result of the deal.
BBC News reported that the acquisition mean BT will become a communication giant – BT have now more than trebled their retail customers, whilst increasing EE’s 24 million direct mobile subscribers by 10 million. It has also been reported that the stock market greeted the move by increasing BT shares by more than 5%, the highest since 2001 when it sold off its old mobile operation, O2.
According to Mobile News the acquisition is expected to generate revenue synergies with a total net value of around £1.billion through providing a full range of communications services to the combined customer base. This would include selling its broadband, fixed line and TV services to those EE customers who don’t currently take a service from BT.
EE’s chief executive, Olaf Swantee, stated that the announcement will “ensure the UK remains at the forefront of the mobile revolution, bringing even more innovation and investment in world leading connectivity for our customers”. This statement further proves and supports how vital it is for businesses to move mobile.
What does this all mean for you?
This recent takeover indicates that multi-national corporations like BT are realising how important offering your customers convenience and accessibility is in order to effectively compete in the market.
Speaking with the former Sales Director at Orange and Online Sales Director at EE directly, I gained a first-hand insight into the market and the importance of SMEs going mobile:
“All the recent activity of big mergers such as EE/BT and Vodafone/Cable point to the fact that mobiles (smartphones and tablets) are becoming central to our social, personal and working lives. Additionally, there has been a significant rise of IoT (the Internet of Things) i.e. machine to machine connections such as smart watches or business devices that automatically reorder goods, and Mobile Payment options (tap to pay etc.) to provide customers with convenience.”
“UK shoppers spent £91bn online in 2013, with the internet retail market growing by 16% during the course of the year, according to the IMRG-Capgemini eRetail Sales Index for December. It was capped by a final month in which online sales rose by 18%, with £11bn spent up from £9bn in December 2012. Twice as much was spent via mobile devices as was spent using them in December 2012. The figures beat IMRG’s original estimate last January of 12% growth. Small businesses need to consider how they open up mobile as a key channel for trade of any sort as their customers and potential clients are ready to do business – they are equipped with devices already.”
It’s seems evident that for SMEs there are two main areas to focus on when you’re optimising your accessibility, communication and convenience for your business, customers and employees:
- Mobile-optimised websites – Moving to mobile solutions means you will engage with customers anywhere whether you’re in the office or on the move. People are getting used to browsing the web via their smartphones and tablets, so a “one site fits all” approach will soon become the norm in order for businesses to provide optimal user experience, irrespective of the device used.
- Cloud solutions mean all your data is backed up and encrypted ensuring it’s fully secure. SMEs relying on standard backups will not guarantee the security of your business and customer information. – EE reported that in IBM’s recent third annual chief information security officer study (CISO), 90% of those organisations surveyed have already adopted cloud or are planning cloud initiatives.
Considering mobile in both these areas is quickly becoming vital. As well as offering unparalleled integration with your existing business systems, ProspectSoft solutions are fully mobile capable offering both your customers and employees the convenience they need. Why not get in touch with one of our consultants on 01494 486 301 or just leave us a message to find out more about how we can help mobile become a part of your business plans?
In the meantime, take a look at some of our other blogs here.