O2, one of the country’s leading telecommunications providers has achieved significant Microsoft Office 365 revenue targets, thanks to Office 365 syndication services in the form of an activation, sales and support model designed and delivered by MJ Flood Technology.
The model ensures an exceptional customer support experience for O2 Telefonica Ireland customers moving to the Office 365 cloud service and is an integral part of O2’s sales strategy to transition from a traditional telco to a total ICT solutions provider.
“We’ve invested very heavily in this strategy because we firmly believe that this is the way we need to go as a company,” explains Gary Dempsey, Office 365 Product Manager at Telefónica Ireland, which operates the O2 brand. “We’ve seen phenomenal results. Everywhere we go, we’re asked by Microsoft to act as a reference for other telcos and share our systems and processes.”
O2 recognised that activation, (the process by which customers activate their new Office 365 software license and move their communications to the cloud) would be a critical success factor.
“My experience points to the fact that when you get setup and activation right, customers are satisfied and will not leave you,” according to Dempsey. “We needed the customer experience to be perfect from day one. We already had a profitable relationship with MJ Flood Technology and they had a solid relationship with Microsoft. It just seemed like an obvious fit.”
Natalie Inman, Microsoft’s Global Partner Services Account Manager for the Telefónica Group agrees: “As customers move into cloud technology, a strong activation strategy acts as a safe haven where the support organisation can anticipate a lot of ‘how to’ problems early on. This ultimately drives down support costs and transitions the customer to the cloud in a much faster timescale.”
Faced with this challenge, MJ Flood Technology designed and delivered a best practice activation, tier 1 and tier 2 support model.
“The model was designed with scalability in mind,” explains Brian Murphy, Director of Cloud Services with MJ Flood Technology. “It can easily be adapted for other Microsoft syndication partners such as ISPs, hosting providers or telecoms operators and our ‘white glove’ approach means our involvement in the activation process is completely transparent to the end-user customer,” he adds.
“We’ve seen phenomenal results. Everywhere we go, we’re asked by Microsoft to act as a reference for other telcos and share our systems and processes. That’s testament to our success.”
Gary Dempsey, Office 365 Product Manager, O2
The importance of choosing the right activation and support partner is reflected by average activation rates of 92% since service launch. This figure represents a significant uplift on activation rates in other geographies and has been continuously highlighted by Microsoft globally as a great example of best practice. Denis Meade, Business Development Manager for Cloud Services with Microsoft explains:
“We consider MJ Flood Technology to be a leader in the activation space. They have developed a robust model and a compelling offering that accelerates the learning curve for syndication partners, who wish to position themselves as a total solutions provider.”
In parallel to their best practice activation model, MJ Flood Technology also developed a sales support model to directly assist O2 staff in closing end-user sales opportunities. By strategically placing Office 365 consultants within the sales function, they help the O2 sales team to qualify, specify and propose the most appropriate license plan for the customer.
“The sales support team can split Office 365 into simple messages that customers get and can easily understand,” according to Dempsey. “They have the business sound bites but they’re also capable of having an in-depth technical discussion with an IT manager and we don’t have to engage three or four O2 staff for that conversation.”
As part of the activation and support model, MJ Flood Technology has also rolled out a customised reporting solution for O2 and Microsoft. Built on Microsoft’s Azure platform, it tracks the full lifecycle of each technical support incident, giving full visibility of time spent on calls, call types and resolutions. It provides full transparency to O2 and Microsoft and meets all the reporting criteria with outputs generated for the joint quarterly business reviews.
“The reporting function is a prime example of why MJ Flood Technology is such a good partner,” says Gary Dempsey. “This was a piece of work that they could have taken a shortcut on. Instead they threw themselves into designing and building a customised reporting tool that was sustainable and scalable in line with our sales plans.”
Gary Dempsey believes that if syndication partners get the experience right at the start, it will allow them to use that momentum from within their own customer base to drive additional business.
“If you wait too long to invest, you’ll be too far behind to catch up,” he concludes.
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