Mobile operator Orange has created a business division to incorporate fixed-line connections and broadband.
Orange Business Services will operate as a single banner for resellers to provide mobile, fixed-line and broadband services.
Last month, CRN revealed that Orange plans to double its channel sales and make half of its data business indirect (CRN, 5 May).
Sam Sandercock, head of channel sales at Orange, said the formation of the new arm highlights the firm’s plans to become a convergence provider.
“Resellers will see a wider product range and customers will be able to buy more products from one source,” he claimed. “There will also be some innovative products to come.”
Sandercock added that Orange has some extensive existing channels and is looking to recruit more partners.
“There has been a massive broadband revolution, with huge market penetration,” he said. “Our broadband will offer proper business customer services. Broadband will be an evolving roadmap, with voice over IP and other innovative services on the way.”
Orange resellers will be keen to expand their portfolios to incorporate broadband because it is easier for them to have a single provider relationship, Sandercock added.
Mark Cope, director at Orange VAR Jem Telecom, said: “We will be looking to harness Orange’s plans and leverage the additional products. The market has been crying out for convergence. Orange has made a bold move. People want a single bill, and Orange has a lot of traction in the business market.”
Cope added that he expects other mobile operators will follow suit on the convergence front and trail Orange’s move.
Chris Lewis, enterprise practice leader at research firm Ovum, said: “SMEs are keen to have a single source for all their IT requirements. If Orange Business Services has all the tools in one box, it is a good strategy.”
Lewis added that resellers prefer to have one point of contact for all of t heir requirements, rather than having multiple suppliers.
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