BT has moved to put its 105,000-strong workforce on a more agile footing by setting up an elite group strategy and operations unit that will have the responsibility to roll out services for its four existing customer-facing units. It said the move is designed to accelerate its move into a networked IT services company, delivering software-driven products over broadband.
Chief executive Ben Verwaayen described the creation of the 20,000-strong new unit as the second phase of BT’s transformation. The first phase saw BT shift its focus from narrowband to broadband, he said. This next stage is equally important. It will see BT advance from a 20th century hardware-based company to a 21st century software-based services company.
The hub of the new unit will be BT Exact, its internal IT development and operations division, which currently has a workforce of 7,000. It will be supplemented with staff who have the same sort of role in its wholesale and global services arms to end demarcation within the organization. It will be responsible for rolling out services for the existing units BT Retail, BT Global Services, BT Wholesale, and Openreach.
Andy Green, who moves from chief executive of BT Global Services to become CEO of group strategy and operations, will head the new operation. He will lead two new units, BT Design, whose 7,000 staff will be responsible for the design and development of new services, and BT Operate, whose 13,000 workforce will be responsible for their deployment and operation.
BT said the units would benefit customers by bringing them new services quicker, making them more reliable, easy to buy and to use. The changes suggest that Verwaayen has detected some lethargy in the organization and part of Green’s brief is to drive transformational change throughout BT.
As the one major European incumbent without a mobile arm, BT has offset the decline in landline revenue with a big push into broadband and IT services, and the latest reorganization will give it a much more flexible structure than its peers in Germany and France.
The new chief executive of BT Global Services is Francois Barrault, who moves from his current role as president of the Brussels-based BT International and joins the BT board.