British Telecommunications Group, plc (“BT”) is one of Europe's leading providers of telecommunications services. Its principal activities include local, national and international telecommunications services, higher-value broadband and internet products and services, and IT solutions. BT is a UK wide communications solutions provider with a global reach in the business market.
In the UK, BT serves over 20 million business and residential customers with more than 29 million exchange lines, as well as providing network services to other licensed operators.
BT is the world's oldest communications company, with a direct line of descent from the first commercial telecommunications undertaking in Europe. The Electric Telegraph Company established in 1846, was the first outside the United States to exploit leading edge telegraphy technology and introduce electrical communications to an astonished world. Within ten years an international network had been developed, making communications possible within minutes and hours instead of days and weeks.
BT's mission is to help customers thrive in a changing world. The world people live in and the way people communicate are changing. It's important to help customers make their lives and businesses better with products and services that are tailored to their needs and easy to use, which means getting ever closer to customers, understanding their lifestyles and their businesses, and establishing long-term relationships with them.
1.2 Key Objectives
To reach the mission defined, we should define clearly the key objectives to achieve, so that we can make plans and evaluate the performance more precisely. To sum up, there are six key objectives to achieve as follows:
- Turning around BT Global Services. As the globalization process moving on, more and more companies are expanding to multi-site organizations. According to the financial report, from the second quarter to 30 September, 2009, about fifty percent of the total revenue of BT is created by BT Global Services. It's important to keep the market share of BT Global Services. For example, to continue winning contracts in three key markets and keep the relationships with existing multi-national customers like Emirates Airline.
- Driving broadband based consumer services. According to the financial report, in the mature broadband market, BT's share of the DSL and LLU installed base remained at 35%, which keeps growing up, even in the economic crisis. Now, the broadband technology is upgrading that BT's rolling out 20Mbps broadband with ADSL2+ technology enabled. Also, BT is have customers trying fiber based services.
- Building new super-fast networks. As the technology upgrading fast, network speed is the key to competition. The faster the network speed is, the more users attracted, and the more avenue earned.
- Being the brand for business in the SME sector. Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) are very important in the consumer market. For the cost of business negotiation, it's hard to negotiate with them one by one, while the more appropriate way is to advertise BT and build a brand for business in the SME sector.
- Becoming the wholesaler of choice. It's not possible for BT to customize all kinds of services for each customer. By cooperating with small service providers, BT can wholesale the service more specific to end users. In this way, BT can gain bigger market share.
- Making BT a great place to work. Without a good environment to work, the employees won't be able to focus and be creative. BT may provide more services to its employees to satisfy them.
1.3 Environmental Factors
To achieve the key objectives, BT shall evaluate the environmental factors to predict potential risks and make plans to respond to these risks.
- Political factors. BT Global Service is mostly vulnerable to the global political issues. The political situation in Iraq and Afghan is dangerous while the political situation in Israel and Pakistan is uncertain. It's highly risked to expand business in these places. The politics in European Union won't affect much on BT business.
- Economic factors. The economic crisis is still ongoing, although in US, the economic figures are better than the last quarter. From the financial report, we see the total revenue decrease five percent. To drive broadband and build new super-fast networks, BT should examine the cash flow carefully and do more research to understand the users' requirements in this specific period. Also, there are chances that SME sector customers are willing to save operation costs by implementing E-business to a higher level.
- Social factors. The upcoming Olympic Game 2012 in London would be a big opportunity to build a brand in the SME sector. Helping poor people in the economic crisis can help build the brand and help the employees be respected more.
- Ecological factors. The exceptional weather incurred by earth warm can damage the infrastructure of BT, make the services interrupted and unreliable, which consequently impacts the brand built long ago.
- Technological factors. Technology is developing fast, with network speed sped up exponentially. To keep up with the speed, deprecation of the infrastructure and cost of the new infrastructure should be accounted and predicted carefully. With new technology, BT can also reach the end users more conveniently and provide better Set-Top Boxes to entertain end users.
1.4 Strengths and Weakness
With all the environmental factors analyzed, and according to the key objectives for BT to achieve, we can find the strengths, weakness, threats and opportunities:
1.5 Critical Success Factors
- Strongly consumer oriented services.
- Well controlled infrastructure cost and deprecation.
- Tightly cooperation with strategy partners.
2 Businesses Structure and Information Systems
To realize BT mission and key objectives, based on the strengths, weakness, threats and opportunities, critical success factors analyzed above, we should implement or improve BT systems practically.
First, we describe the BT business structure clearly to see where the improvements could be. After that, we analyze each level of the business structure and management structure for the information systems requirements.
2.1 Businesses Structure
BT is the listed holding company for an integrated group of businesses that provide voice and data services in the UK, elsewhere in Europe and around the world. It has six businesses listed below (see the following figure):
BT Retail - serves business and residential customers and is the prime channel to market for other BT businesses. BT Retail is a major force in the communications market and has: 18,000 employees, 18.3 million customers, annual revenues of £8.48 billion generated in 2007-08. Customers are at the heart of BT Retail business, which focuses on developing new market opportunities and innovative products and services. For the consumer market, BT Retail develops and delivers innovative propositions, such as BT Fusion, BT Talk Together, BT Vision, BT Answer and BT Broadband. For business customers, this means developing bespoke solutions and giving advice on important areas of business strategy, as well as the BT Tradespace portal. BT Retail operations include BT regions, customer service, products, mobility and strategy, enterprises and support activities.
BT Wholesale - runs BT's networks and provides network services and solutions to other communication companies. BT Wholesale is a significiant part of the BT Group. It provides network services and solutions to practically every UK business that's reliant on communications. Its network handles: more than 300 million calls every day, 350 million internet connections every month. BT Wholesale makes sure that all these calls and other connections get through quickly and easily. It has more than 700 customers, which comprise fixed and mobile communications companies, internet connections, as well as other providers and BT itself. BT Wholesale is also helping to extend the reach of broadband access across the UK, where more than 99 per cent of BT exchanges are enabled for broadband.
BT Global Services - BT's global managed services and solutions provider, serves multi-site organizations worldwide. BT Global Services helps multi-site organizations to master the complexity of business communication. It serves corporate and government customers worldwide and wholesale customers outside the UK. It employs around 37,000 people in 53 countries and delivers service in more than 170 countries. In addition, BT Global Services has more than 10,000 professional services people (around 40 per cent of all its employees) skilled in business and process transformation, change and project management, solutions design and innovation. BT Global Services provides a range of specialist network-centric propositions and practices spanning high performance networking, applications management, outsourcing and managed services, and business transformation.
BT Innovate and Design - BT Group's IT design and delivery business. BT has combined BT Design and BT Innovate to create a new organization called BT Innovate & Design, which combines network and platform development with long-term technology strategy and research. BT Innovate & Design aims to improve speed to market, reduce development costs and, above all, enhance the end-to-end customer experience. Its dedicated professionals provide the technology foundation for BT Group's transformation into a global networked IT services company while working to create a zero touch, self-service, real-time world for BT's customers. It also delivers strategic innovation and technology vision for BT through effective and coherent engagement with other parts of the BT organization. BT Innovate & Design's IT professionals have a strong track record in the delivery and development of systems and solutions, and in managing a secure and resilient infrastructure. The innovations developed at BT's laboratories at Adastral Park near Ipswich, UK, provide BT with a world-class science and engineering base for the design and delivery of next-generation converged networks and services.
BT Operate - deploys and runs communications services for customers over BT's core network and systems. BT Operate is responsible for deploying and running communications services for customers over BT's core network and systems and is responsible for implementing BT's global 21CN platform. It implements and operates the software, hardware and networks that drive BT's services to its Retail, Global Services and Wholesale customers, and their customers. The BT Operate team is responsible for the overall customer experience. This involves a focus on increasing reliability and service across all aspects of IT and network services to all customers, whether domestic residential, communications providers, or global enterprise.
Openreach - owns, maintains and develops the access network that links homes and businesses to the networks of Britain's communications providers. Openreach owns, maintains and develops the access network which links homes and businesses to the networks of Britain's communications providers. Openreach delivers access and backhaul products to the communications and internet industry, including Local Loop Unbundling (both Partial and Full) and Wholesale Line Rental. By giving all our customers equivalent access to the local access and backhaul networks, this enables them to provide their customers with everything from analogue telephone lines and calls packages, to high speed broadband connections and complex networked IT solutions. Openreach is not a communications retailer. We do not deal directly with residential and business customers; only with communications providers, which are defined as organisations that provide electronic communications services or networks to 'end users', i.e. householders and businesses. Openreach has been up and running since January 11th 2006. Vans carry the Openreach identity and its engineers will always show you Openreach ID badges when they knock at your door.
Figure 7 BT Openreach Business Structure