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O2 and 2e2 establish unified communications partnership

O2 and 2e2 establish unified communications partnership

Initial product portfolio will include flexible working and cloud data solutions

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Mobile operator 02 has announced a joint venture that will give its enterprise customers access to their corporate IT systems on their mobiles.

The joint venture with IT services provider 2e2, called ‘O2 Unify’, aims to provide businesses the opportunity to outsource their IT and communications requirements to a single provider. The companies claim that this could help firms achieve efficiency savings of up to 30 percent.

O2 Unify, which launches on 2 April, will provide an initial portfolio of services including managed WAN, cloud data services and flexible working solutions. This would include enabling mobile devices of all types, from smartphones to tablets, such as the Apple iPad, for corporate use.

The JV will be run by Paul Osborne, previously O2’s head of professional and managed services.

Ben Dowd, O2 business director, said that the creation of the joint venture was part of the mobile operator’s ‘Joined Up’ strategy that it announced at the end of 2009.

“With smart devices now a key element for UK businesses the ability to manage complex fixed and mobile networks is at the heart of the next generation of converged solutions.

“By co-operating with a growing IT services provider, we believe we can help drive efficiency at a time when budgets are still under pressure.”

Terry Burt, CEO of 2e2, added: “Corporate IT departments are under increasing pressure to drive productivity by enabling flexible working. This often requires rewriting corporate apps for a web world and freeing the business to use smart mobile devices to access these services, whilst maintaining compliance, governance and security posture. O2 Unify brings together the skills to provide this capability.”

Initially, O2 Unify’s service will be rolled out to existing O2 and 2e2 enterprise customers.

One of the first users of the service is Amey, an O2 customer who provides public services in the UK. Since December, Amey has had thousands of mobile devices and more than 1,000 fixed devices connected to an MPLS network across the UK.

David Lloyd, CIO of Amey, said: “Our decision to work with O2 as our strategic supplier across mobile, fixed voice and managed WAN services means we are able to consolidate suppliers. Our experience of the transition of these services has been very positive, with a reduced cost of operation.”

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