Social Computing; enabling the conversation

The Orange Live event had several really great keynote’s with a particular highlight being Peter Sondargaard. A common theme through the keynotes was Social Computing and engaging with both customers and also generation Y as they enter the workforce. As a result Sondargaard pointed out, if you have any policy to block access to sites that encourage the conversation then you need to remove them pretty quickly.

So this almost constant mention of social computing and the importance of the conversation inspired some people to come along and check out the social media team at the event and find out what was happening and how. Several customers called in and asked to speak to people who could help them engage with their customers and we were more than willing to help. We also had a participant who owned the communication channel between his business and his top 35 customers and asked if we could help him engage and take the communication with his top customers to a new level, exciting stuff.

I’m sure we could learn more about social computing and having the 10 external bloggers who’ve links to initiatives such as Amplified, Organic and Media Aces it certainly helped me to expand my horizons as to what can be achieved and how. Maybe next year one of the breakout sessions will be social computing and we’ll get a chance to take the time to explain directly to the Execs present exactly what we’re doing at Orange Business, if you can’t wait till then get in touch or simply leave a comment.

Another new role at Orange!

It’s only been a few months since the last time I mentioned that I’d got a new role within Orange Business, but it’s all change again, I’ve moved Managers and become the Manager of a new group, Telecoms Integrated Operators.

The Sourcing department of Orange Business Services (OBS) has created a new Telecom Integrated Operators Group for Europe or TIO as it’s known. It’s role is to look after telecoms sourcing within the countries where there’s both a Orange Business Network and an Orange Mobile Network, so countries like, UK, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Ukraine, Poland etc. I’ve got a team of  managers across Europe reporting to me, which is great, so I’ll be polishing up my management skills again as well as learning the ins and outs of various new telecoms markets such as Poland which is very exciting and a great challenge.

So I’ve been with OBS now for 1 year and this is my 3rd role, so things move fast here!

New role at Orange

I’ve been keeping this under my hat for a few days, but my Manager told the rest of the team last week so it’s in the ‘public’ domain. I have the name of the person to handover to and a date too, so I’m a bit more comfortable talking about it.

For the last 7 months I’ve been working on Orange’s only full scope outsourcing project as the lead buyer, so managing pretty much everything that Orange needs from third parties, software, devices and services. It’s been extremely interesting understanding how Orange manages its outsourcing business and I’ll miss the guys working on the account and the account directors of the various suppliers. I also spent a lot of time with the finance guys helping to fix the growing pains we’ve experienced, well outside of my remit I know, but it needed to be done. Over last few weeks I’ve been ‘loaned out’ to the CIO of the customer, helping them with an RFP, hence the recent 3 day trip to Halmstad, it’s been a strange experience, but an interesting one nonetheless.

So where am I going..

I’m joining the group level integrated Telco operator’s team, so I’m back working in a Telco only environment. There’s two of us in the UK team working on all Telco spend at group level, which means covering, Orange Business Services, Orange Mobile and Orange Home. I spent last Thursday down in Bristol taking a look at all of the projects going on which was great to be talking about Telco stuff again. We even had a great geek out tour of the Bristol Switch, a 500m2 room with all the associated kit of a mobile network.

So it’s going to be fun to understand from an insider view point, how enterprise, mobile and DSL networks are managed, costs are saved and partners chosen. Which in the face of calls for dumb pipes from the Telco’s it’s going to be interesting and challenging. I’ve read the paradox of the best network and totally understand the drive for more bandwidth and realistically priced mobile data access and how the likes of the BBC’s iPlayer will impact the network to deliver the extra bits and bytes.

So I just can’t wait to start the conversations

Orange considers Christmas without the iPhone of APPLE

It looks like France won’t see the iPhone before the key christmas trading period. The stumbling block appears to be France Telecom’s group fear that Apple can’t lock the device correctly to thier network. So it’s pretty clear that Orange has it’s ear to the ground and aware of the unlocking that is taking place of the US iPhone. [via] – (in french)

Hopefully the 8gb Nokia N95 will make the stores before christmas instead.

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