O2 launches new offering to support flexible working

O2 today launches a new service to enable businesses of all sizes to implement more flexible and effective working practices and support organisations in managing the complex societal changes affecting their business operations.

O2’s Joined Up People proposition helps make the case for change and supports customers on their journey to working differently. It increases productivity inside an organisation, harnesses innovation and enables everyone to get the most from their working day.

The service – called Joined Up People – consists of consultancy, security and mobile device management (MDM) in addition to O2’s core portfolio of devices, hardware, mobile, fixed line and broadband. It is supported by technical professional services and end user adoption training to help organisations with widely varying flexible working practices on a journey towards implementing them more consistently and effectively.

O2 has converted its understanding of businesses’ needs and objectives into mobile solutions, helping organisations to address the challenges they face due to the blurring of work and personal lives. Growing numbers of people work more flexibly, and the proportion doing so is set to reach 35% of the total global workforce by 2013 (IDC). Innovations in consumer technology also mean a quarter (25%) of the workforce will be using their own devices by 2013 (Gartner).

Additional new research from O2 also highlights how current economic conditions are undercutting such flexible working practices, with 41% of office workers feeling pressure to be present in the office as a result of the economic climate. More than a quarter (27%) of employees also feel they’re prevented from working more flexibly by their line manager.

Commenting on the launch, David Plumb, O2’s General Manager for Enterprise, said: “For growing numbers of employees, work is something they do rather than a place they go. Not only that, but many also want to use their own personal devices. For businesses, meeting these expectations can be a challenge but getting it right can increase productivity, harness innovation, reduce cost and provide employees with a better work/life balance. With Joined Up People, we’re able to take organisations through whatever steps are necessary on their journey towards truly effective flexible working.”

This announcement is the latest example of O2 delivering Joined Up People under its Joined Up Business vision – creating solutions to join businesses up to their people, assets, customers, IT systems and communications help businesses drive efficiency, productivity and innovation.

O2’s range of consultancy packages help organisations of all sectors and sizes implement effective flexible working practices in the most efficient and successful way possible. From identifying customers’ objectives, developing the business case and engaging senior leaders, O2 consultants work inside businesses and organisations to understand the dynamics of the business ultimately enabling customers to achieve their objectives, working with partners where relevant.

O2 has selected trusted apps and platforms to facilitate safe and secure flexible working wherever employees are. These range from secure VPN to access corporate data remotely; virtual desktops carried on mobiles; secure remote web browsing from home or corporate computers; two-factor authentication to get verification pass codes direct to devices; and online backup for laptops. O2 has partnered with selected MDM providers to offer solutions aligned to customers’ needs. O2 is introducing flexible transformation funds that can be used with any product or service. This replaces hardware and airtime credits, which are inflexible and can be costly to manage.

Understanding end users is critical to the success of such transformation projects. With Joined Up People, O2 therefore takes a people centric approach ensuring customer requirements are understood and that training and resource materials supports them at the pre-implementation phase as well as during actual implementation and beyond.

The Joined Up People proposition is built on O2’s core portfolio of devices, hardware, mobile, fixed line and broadband. This includes a range of devices, from entry level through to top of the range.

Harrogate Borough Council decided to run a pilot scheme to identify the business bene?ts of ?exible working across the Council and chose O2 to carry it out. During a six-week pilot scheme, 30 people were provided with a range of devices and applications to trial and provide feedback on their suitability to their roles and activities that they perform.

The pilot identi?ed numerous areas where ?exible working would dramatically reduce both costs and staff time. For example, arboreal teams can quickly identify tree diseases by sending images to an expert in the office. In practical terms, this means that days of work can be completed in a few hours, reducing the need to close off roads and disrupt traffic. HBC has also discovered that ?exible working can help provide exceptional customer service by enabling council workers to help customers with other services at any point of contact.

Mike Kenworthy, Director of ICT at Harrogate Borough Council, says “Someone out and about with a mobile device could order services not necessarily related to what they do, for example an Environmental Health Officer at someone’s house could also arrange a large item collection, which is another department. It all adds up to great service.”