Convergence capabilities pushed by Vodafone.

In an effort to make it easier to work at different locations, Vodafone has launched a converged fixed-mobile service for its small-business customers.

Mobility Solutions for Business, the name accosted to the service, promises to reduce costs, combine support services into one point of contact, and simplify account and service management.

Nick Read, Vodafone, said the launch is “one of the first steps on an evolutionary journey that will take us from being a mobile-only communications provider to the total communications provider of choice”.

“To date, Vodafone has shown little of its hand in regard to its strategy for convergence. It has remained fairly sceptical about some of the prospects for technology-based convergence, even as its integrated operator competitors, with France Telecom/Orange leading the pack, are making much of their own abilities to meet all of the customers’ needs,” says Jeremy Green, Ovum analyst.

He added, “If the point is to demonstrate that the company also has a convergence strategy, it will have to try harder than this,”
Vodafone’s Elaine Roberts elaborated on Wednesday that the launch was “very much focused on how we would position something we’ve been doing for three years already.” Also, customers have recently requested Vodafone provide converged services, she elaborated.

The new emphasis on customer-account management “makes it easier for our customers to think what their needs are,” argued Roberts.

“Convergence is what the industry needs to consider, but if you totally focus on the technology part and miss the needs of your customers, you miss the point,” said Roberts.

She added. “We’re all recognising that to be really successful in this business you need to focus on the customer and how to focus on their needs.”