Microbusinesses and SMEs are key to France’s economic development and therefore need reliable partners to meet their corporate telephony needs. Bouygues Telecom Entreprises is such a partner and has recently bolstered its services by acquiring two operators specialising in small businesses – Keyyo Communications and Nerim.
par Grâce Noyal
THE CHALLENGE OF THE INTERNET FOR BUSINESSES
Microbusinesses and SMEs have become connected businesses in need of simple and efficient applications in increasingly varied fields such as mobile working, videoconferencing, switchboard services, and on-line ordering and delivery. Such companies usually do not have their own IT departments and therefore must use the services of operators to provide close and responsive support.
Bouygues Telecom and its subsidiaries Keyyo and Nerim have these good listening skills as well as the technical expertise to meet their declared goal – that of gaining more than 10% of a market segment still dominated by Orange.
A UNIQUE DIGITAL SYSTEM
These acquisitions send out a strong signal to the sector,” says Luc Perraudin, CEO of Keyyo Communications. “And they increase our investment in the BtoB1 market.” Keyyo employs 170 staff and has a portfolio of 15,000 customers, including law firms, consultancy firms and estate agents. “Our offer has a strong digital focus and therefore perfectly adapted to the needs of small businesses. Large companies demand more made-to-measure solutions. But in terms of small businesses, you’re dealing with a mass market, requiring automation and “all-in-one” solutions, which is exactly what Keyyo offers.” Founded in 1998, Keyyo is growing fast and its management had been looking for the backing of a big group. It began life by selling fixed telephony solutions, and then gradually adjusted its offer as the need to converge fixed, mobile and internet increased. To achieve this, Keyyo leveraged its highly-advanced web technology that was developed in-house.
“This unique system processes all aspects of customer management, from prospecting clients, to service configuration and to billing”, says Christophe Sollet, Keyyo’s EVP, Technology. In just a few clicks, customers can purchase the services they need, whether fixed or mobile telephony, telephone switchboard services, broadband internet, etc. “This is important because not all small businesses have their own IT departments. It’s easy to install and use”, explains Luc Perraudin. The team of 20 developers is constantly fine-tuning the tool in order to meet the demands of the largest possible number of customers. “We act as both a developer and an operator, which is fairly rare on the market today”, adds Christophe Sollet.
“The BtoB division is performing well with our major corporate clients and on the mobile market, but not so well with small businesses and in fixed. The Keyyo and Nerim acquisitions are the response to these two weaknesses.”
Chief Executive Officer of Bouygues Telecom
This highly-automated system lets customers manage their solutions on-line. It also spares in-house teams the more administrative tasks so that they can focus on customer services, which is a major component in the strategy of Keyyo, Nerim and Bouygues Telecom Entreprises. “We needed to choose companies that share the same fundamentals and DNA as us, particularly in terms of the customer experience”, underlines Pierre-Antoine Thiebaut, Head of operational marketing and communication for Bouygues Telecom Entreprises. Founded in 1999, Nerim is also a benchmark player on the BtoB telecoms market. An unusual feature of this other Bouygues Telecom Entreprises subsidiary, headed by Pierre Amann, is that it offers BtoB hosting services, a niche expertise that complements the existing network and services offers. Here too the aim is to ramp-up growth, especially on the back of Nerim’s 10,000 customers. But also to leverage Nerim’s wide-ranging expertise, which ranges from the cloud using public and private servers, up to the development of made-to-measure BtoB applications. Another similarity between Keyyo and Nerim is that they both offer multi-operator access, even though the longer-term objective is to focus increasingly on the fixed and mobile offers of Bouygues Telecom Entreprises. Synergies to generate growth for all.
employees on two sites; Clichy, near Paris, and Abbeville in northern France
employees based at La Défense
“We want to be the benchmark operator in terms of service quality and customer experience.”
CEO, Bouygues Telecom Entreprises.
What do small businesses expect?
SMEs are essential to the growth of the French economy and the process of reinvigorating its regions. In just a few years, the concept of the connected company has become a reality. To support this transformation, telecoms operators must offer high quality of service, proximity and responsiveness. SMEs and microbusinesses often lack the time and expertise, so finding a trustworthy partner is fundamental for them.
What are Bouygues Telecom entreprises’ strengths?
We have a very good brand image, with the best rates of customer satisfaction on the market. Digital transformation means that companies are increasingly sensitive to and impacted by the quality of telecom infrastructure. Bouygues Telecom Entreprises is capitalising on this phenomenon to drive its own growth. All sectors of activity are affected by this! For example, a restaurant that had just an internet connection for its supply chain now needs to manage orders and deliveries on-line, so internet quality has become crucial to a business’s success. Also new working methods – such as mobile working or videoconferencing – require a guaranteed high-speed internet connection. While time and cost concerns might still cause IT heads to hesitate before changing operator, the increasing availability of fibre and the imminent arrival of 5G are redrawing the landscape. This creates a window for us to launch a drive to win new parts of the market. Of course, we want above all to be recognised as the benchmark operator in terms of service quality and customer experience.
DID YOU KNOW?
How do operators sell telecoms services to SMES and Micro-businesses?
Companies can either sign up to fixed, mobile and internet services directly with an operator, or use a network of approved distributors. These independent firms are local players whose presence is essential to the smooth running of the business model. Bouygues Telecom Entreprises works with around 200 distributors across the country.