O2 Aims to Snag More IT Contracts

The Spanish-owned network operator will think like an IT company to become number one in corporate, ahead of Vodafone

O2 is coming over all IT company in an effort to woo more corporate customers.

The Spanish-owned network operator has set its sights on dethroning Vodafone from its number one position in the corporate market now that it has secured preferred supplier status with the government procurement agency OGCbuying.solutions.

That status gives O2 the thumbs-up to bid for managed services work for the public sector and it's the only network provider in that privileged position, alongside more traditional IT companies. And we can expect to see more encroachment into IT, according to O2.

Ben Dowd, general manager of business sales at O2, said: "We're talking to heads of procurement and then we're talking to IT managers as well. Budgets are coming out of both areas now so we need to think much more like an IT company than a network operator."

The operator is already talking with outsourcers such as Accenture and LogicaCMG to see if they can work together. It's also signed an agreement with tech distributor Westcoast to give it another avenue into the IT department.

O2 is aiming to become the number one corporate network, ahead of current leaders Vodafone. Dowd said: "We're not the cheapest and we never will be but the ability to differentiate gives us the edge."

O2 has also announced it has bagged a 9,000 SIM contract with the AA, providing the motoring organisation with all its voice and data connectivity for its fleet.

O2 apparently won the deal with its GPRS network, which the AA uses to schedule its workflow for staff on the road. The operator has also built a new product into the AA's network to automatically handover to GSM should the GPRS network fail.