Yesterday in Paris, Orange unveiled its new five-year strategic plan, Conquests 2015. The plan covers four strategic priorities:
The conquest of employee pride – to re-build its reputation as an employer;
The conquest of networks – covering fibre-optic build in France, LTE deployments, the monetization of mobile data traffic (read: no unlimited data plans) and green networks;
The conquest of customers – delivering a superior customer experience and helping customers navigate through their connected/digital lives;
The conquest of international development – targeting 2x growth in revenues from emerging markets, with total customers growing from today’s 200m to 300m by 2015.
We published a report profiling the world’s 20 largest mobile operators last week, providing a SWOT and overview of strategic directions. We knew a new Orange vision was on the way, but there are only so many events that can postpone a report’s publication. It is with relief that I can say that, in terms of the key elements of this new strategic plan, enough had been discussed in the past to allow us to predict this quite accurately.
In this report, we looked at two key differentiators for operator performance: footprint (scale) and unification (both in the sense of integrated/converged networks and the provision of integrated services). The more profitable global mobile operators have strengths in these areas and it is good to see they form the basis of Orange’s new strategy.
Orange is very much committed to improving the value of its footprint, both in terms of growing its business in Africa and the Middle East (it is suggesting roughly three-quarters of its emerging market revenue growth could come from M&A here), but also in terms of its mature market footprint, where further consolidation (after the Orange / T-Mobile UK deal) can be expected.
In terms of unification, the next-gen network upgrades are a key building block there, as well as layering in services in areas such as health, education and payments. One of the more interesting statements in this strategy launch was that “Orange must become a multimedia coach for its customers by working alongside them to make their digital life easier”, with Orange’s CEO Stéphane Richard adding that Orange “are trying to be activists for an open world”. That trusted partner role has taken over from the own-branded services/content role as a priority for telcos and it is encouraging that Orange is focusing on its key strengths there.