James Rosewell writes:
The merger of T-Mobile and Orange on 1st April 2010 is one of the most significant events in the evolution of the UK mobile industry since the original creation of Orange and 1-2-1 in the 90s. From now on the UK will have 4 mobile networks, and one of those networks will have ~35% of the market. A 35% market share comes with a lot of potential. Not only can standards be influenced in a way previously unimaginable in the UK, but economies of scale can be translated into profits.
Tom Alexander (CEO) and Richard Moat (Deputy CEO) need to work hard to launch a new brand ahead of Christmas 2010 and maximise the merger's potential. One of their most significant and unglamorous challenges will involve the business processes and supporting technologies the merged organisation will adopt. Everything from customer credit scoring, relationships with dealers, customer retention policy, supplier contracts, ecommerce offerings, network management, billing and customer care systems - to name but a small fraction - will need to be considered. And all at the same time as the senior management are working out who’s going to do which job, and probably fighting to retain the familiar processes and systems used in whichever organisation they came from. One thing is for sure; masterful and decisive leadership is going to be required.
Here are some quick tips I think everyone in the new organisation should consider.
1. A vision for the new company, rich in clear and specific detail, will be essential to ensure everyone works to the same goals. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound (SMART) objectives are more important than ever.
2. Clear governance will be needed to ensure decisions are made quickly and are not allowed to fester. A strong Programme Management Office (PMO) will be needed to supplement operational management.
3. Analysing two processes for the same task and using the best bits of each takes time, ultimately leading to a new process that no-one has operated before. Better to pick an existing process, knowing its faults, and implement it everywhere without modification if time is critical. The process can always be evolved over time.
4. Make it clear to vendors, particularly technology vendors, what is expected of them and where the benefits could lie for them. Ensure a single and strong vendor management function is in place early.
5. 3rd parties previously unconnected to either organisation are often a great way of providing insight, leadership and support at this critical time; providing focus on the new goals without being encumbered by the legacy.
Those are just a few thoughts. If you work in the mobile industry (or not) we’d love to hear your comments and experiences. Post and comment below to join in.