With its planned acquisition of data and digital services firm Business & Decision, Orange Business underscores the increased importance -- and recognition -- of the value these capabilities bring to broadband providers.
Orange will pay about $69.7 million for 67% of Business & Decision (B&D), which has about 2,500 employees in France and other parts of the world. The company develops business intelligence and customer relationship management software, which Orange Business Services (OBS) said complement its enterprise focus.
"We think that operators are probably in the grand ballpark of utilizing analytics. Clearly there are leaders and laggards, but in terms of an industry, we can't say that telecom is ahead of Internet-players," said Bela Virag, partner at Arthur D. Little , in an April interview with UBB2020. "But we can say that telecom operators are ahead of financial services, healthcare, travel and transport and many other industries."
The acquisition -- expected to finalize in the third quarter of this year -- is part of Orange's development strategy to position itself as an international provider of digital transformation and data services solutions and services, the CSP said in a release on Thursday. The move will expand OBS' presence both geographically and through the number of on-staff experts, the company said.
"As a global communications solutions provider, we at Orange Business Services already have strong expertise in data management and analysis for our multinational customers. This acquisition of Business & Decision, with a presence in 12 countries, enables us to grow at greater speed, and size really matters in order to be trusted as a global player in data analytics," Thierry Bonhomme, CEO of OBS, told UBB2020 via email.
Building on its investment in ultra-broadband networks that support Orange Business Services' Internet of Things, cloud, cybersecurity and application-development offerings, the acquisition will expand the CSP's analytics and digital transformation offerings to both companies' customers, according to OBS.
Disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud and analytics will "transform how organizations function and what they are capable of doing. Furthermore, the lower cost for hardware, connectivity and processing, in particular, will lower barriers to entry, thereby increasing competition and customer choice," wrote Light Reading sister company Ovum in "Digital Economy 2025: Technology Outlook."
By offering an array of services that depend on ultra-fast, low-latency network capabilities for performance, OBS is banking on becoming enterprises' partner for a gamut of digital transformation and analytics or big data solutions. Since it's already connecting users and offices, securing and transmitting sensitive data, it's a natural segue to then entrust data-related services to OBS, the CSP expects.
"We are convinced that the combination of Business & Decision's expertise in data and business intelligence and our dual know-how as an operator and service integrator will be a key lever that will enable us to accelerate the digital transformation of our enterprise customers and stimulate growth," said Bonhomme.
Deutsche Telekom just signed an infrastructure project with the Gigabit Region Stuttgart, home to 174 municipalities and almost 3 million people, one of many partnerships the German operator has inked in its bid to grow revenue and business.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.
The MDU market continues to face fierce competition among service providers due to tech-savvy residents (i.e., millennials), demand from building owners and management companies, plus the favorable economics of bulk contracts. However, no MDUs are the same, so service providers must use multiple technologies and inconsistent deployment models, increasing operational complexity and rollout costs.
The MDU market itself is evolving as residents adopt smart-home technologies, generating rising demand for smart apartments with built-in connected thermostats, keyless entryways and doors, and video doorbells. This evolution presents both new challenges and opportunities. In other words, service providers must consider innovative service-delivery strategies to compete and win.
In this Broadband World News and ADTRAN webinar, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will highlight emerging MDU broadband Internet trends and challenges. In addition, Kurt will outline the next-generation service creation and delivery platform, built on open standards, that allows service providers to connect millions of underserved MDUs, enables creation of user-driven services, and reduces operational complexity and costs.
Plus, special guest, Alice Lawson, Broadband and Cable Program Manager for the City of Seattle, will discuss Seattle’s B4B-Build For Broadband initiative that addresses best practices in planning for MDU telecommunication infrastructure.