Orange seeks out new horizons
French-owned telecommunications provider Orange is seeking out new horizons for its global footprint and has started in South Africa.
Orange has launched a new subsidiary called Orange Horizons which aims to find new business opportunities in countries where the Group is not already present as a mass-market provider.
The company says these projects are aimed at leveraging its global reputation and providing new sources of revenue as well as improving customer loyalty without the need for significant investment.
The projects being rolled out by Orange include the launch of online stores selling telecoms-related equipment or airtime; the introduction of flexible travel solutions; or the launch of a virtual mobile operator (MVNO) activity.
The first of these projects has already been launched in South Africa under the Orange Horizons banner. This comprises two websites: firstly an e-commerce website, http://store.orange.com/za, has been launched to sell telecoms-related devices and accessories.
This is combined with a country website, www.orange.com/za, which provides online content specifically tailored for a South African audience including news feeds, sports news and audiovisual content.
The launch of these services coincides with the start of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations, SOUTH AFRICA 2013 pan-African football tournament in which six countries, in which Orange is already present ,will be playing.
To increase interest and visibility, South African residents connecting to www.orange.com/za will be able to enter a contest to win tickets to several matches, including the final.
A similar e-commerce initiative has also been opened in Italy (http://store.orange.com/it), where the brand already enjoys a strong reputation. These two existing online stores already offer state-of-the-art telecoms and electronic equipment, and will soon also offer a variety of telecoms services including airtime for Orange customers visiting from other countries.
The Group’s footprint currently covers around 10 per cent of the world's population, leaving 6.2 billion people who could potentially become customers through Orange Horizons activities.
The Group plans to launch business ventures in several other countries in 2013 in Europe and Africa, and will also look at opportunities in South America in order to leverage existing content-related assets such as starMedia (a South American internet portal) for example.
During an interview on the launch of Orange Horizons, Elie Girard, Senior Executive Vice President of Strategy and International Development, said: “Orange Horizons is a very exciting project that fits perfectly in the Group’s overall Conquests 2015 strategy.
“Due to traditional migratory flows or cultural and professional ties, there are many countries where Orange is already very well-known despite not having an operational presence. We think there is strong potential to create a new source of revenues in these countries by leveraging awareness of the brand to propose very simple mass-market offers.”
Click on the link to watch the complete interview: www.orange-innovation.tv/en/webtv/international-en/europe/orange_horizons
SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data
SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation.
“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.
In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”
Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.
Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”
SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”
With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.
“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”
Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.
“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”