Frost & Sullivan analyst, Saverio Romeo, comments on Vodafone’s dedicated store for small business customers in Cheapside, London.
“The European business environment is largely based on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Between 90-95% of European businesses employ fewer than 250 people. Vodafone aims to directly engage with those players in order to develop new revenues opportunities.
“An extensive stream of research in the academic and business environment have discussed and analysed the difficulties these companies face in the market place. Being competitive requires innovation and extensive marketing as well as optimising internal processes to maximise output and reduce costs. These are some of the critical competitive factors and also challenges for SMEs. SMEs have neither the time nor the resources to develop such factors in-house therefore the lack of those hampers their evolution.
“The European telecommunications and IT industry has focused on SMEs offering solutions such as unified communications and enterprise mobility specifically designed for satisfying the needs of SMEs. All the main fixed telecoms providers and mobile network operators have developed packages for SMEs in recent years. Vodafone is taking a further step by opening the first retail store for small enterprises.
“The store, located in Cheapside, London, aims to satisfy the fixed and mobile communications needs of local businesses. The store will also organize workshops and seminars for the SMEs in order to illustrate how fixed and mobile communications technologies can be of benefit to them.
“The Cheapside experience is certainly a trial for Vodafone. The plan is to expand this network of stores for SMEs all over the UK. In this way, Vodafone aims to create a preferential channel of direct contact with a new group of customers. In addition to that, Vodafone will empower their presence in local communities aiming to become the preferred mobile network operator for individuals, families and small businesses.
“The mobile communications market is changing dramatically. Mobile network operators are re-designing their strategies in order to face a new market environment. Vodafone is implementing several initiatives in different segments in order to invent a new Vodafone for the coming market scenario. SMEs seem to play an important role in this new adventure.”