Management Strategies O2 is a provider of mobile communications services in Europe, with wholly owned businesses in the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland and the Isle of Man. During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2005, the company had almost 24 million customers. The company’s mobile businesses covers some of the largest markets in Europe, with the UK and German markets giving it access to a total population of over 140 million people. The company’s markets have also been highly receptive to the first wave of data products, seeing significant increases in the use of text messaging and, in the UK, WAP data access.
O2 has a well-established and profitable mobile businesses in the UK and Ireland (former BT Cellnet and Digifone). In these countries, O2 has developed a strong presence in high value markets and in the provision of mobile data and Internet services. As their company strategy, O2 take seriously their responsibility to the communities in which we operate.
They believe that companies, who respond to the needs of the communities in which they work, and of the wider world, are more likely to succeed on a sustainable basis. O2 was the top scoring mobile phone operator in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes and they were included in the FTSE4Good, the Business in the Community Corporate Responsibility (CR) Index and the Top 100 Global Sustainability Reporters list.
Under their “Can Do in the Community” programe, they have successfully developed a number of community projects across their territories, while measures to support employee fund-raising and giving to charity through payroll have been launched. In total, O2 contributed 1.7 million in charitable donations across the Group, of which over 600,000 came from UK-based companies and a further 500,000 to the Tsunami appeal. Most importantly, they see their employees to give their time and imagination to a wide range of fund-raising schemes (O2 Annual Report, 2006).
At O2, they are sensitive to public concerns over issues such as health and the use of mobile phones, the siting of masts, and the protection of the vulnerable. To help parents and others make informed choices, they have introduced measures such as age verification, parental controls, filters and barring. In addition, they help fund on-going research and are committed to effective, responsible communications, producing leaflets on subjects ranging from health issues to advice to parents on personal safety, bullying and internet grooming. All of this information is available in their retail outlets and online. The excellent performance of O2’s individual businesses also won independent recognition in the form of a number of important awards.
I am particularly proud that O2 was voted “Best Large Company to Work For” in Ireland and placed in the top 15 medium-sized employers in Germany. One of their key objectives at O2 is to improve the day-to-day working lives of their employees and to ensure that work is an environment that they enjoy. Moreover, O2 is in the process of introducing Balance – a new flexible approach to employee benefits designed to help with the management of work/life choices. It would allow, for example, their staff to substitute extra payments for life insurance or additional child-care vouchers for unwanted holiday time (O2 Annual Report, 2006).
O2’s strength compared to other companies is that it has established itself as one of the most innovative telecommunications service provider in the European market. A number of innovative O2 sourced and branded devices have helped O2 build increased brand differentiation and drive service usage. The company extended its O2 Xda signature range of wireless personal digital assistants with the launch of the O2 Xda II, the O2 Xda IIs and the O2 Xda IIi. O2 also added three new phones to the “X” range of O2 branded handsets.
In the market for small and medium sized businesses (SME), the company launched O2 Business Zones which offered 40% off calls to two chosen area codes. O2 also introduced a new set of tariffs providing “shared minutes” and “shared bundles” (for example, data minutes) for small businesses to use across all mobile phones on their account. In October 2004, O2 UK launched O2 Connection Manager. The service provides business customers on the move with a simple way to connect their laptop computer to the O2 data network using any UMTS, GPRS or WLAN network. Following agreements signed with WLAN operators, O2 now provides WLAN access in over 6700 UK locations including hotels, airports, coffee shops, bars and pubs.
Also, the unique O2 Genion product, offers innovative services in combination with reduced tariffs in a geographical area chosen by the customer, usually near the home or workplace. This is a unique service in the German – and also European – market. These products and several other such innovations as well as unique service offerings differentiate O2 from its competitors and allows it to attract more new customers. Surely, with their effective strategies, O2 will continue to ensure in making a difference to the communities in which they operate, building a sustainable business in the future.
About O2. O2 Company Website. Retrieved October 27, 2006 at http://www.o2.co.uk/abouto2
Annual Report and Financial Statement 2006. O2 Plc. Berkshire UK: O2 Plc, March 3, 2006.