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FOLLOW US overtakes rivals as O2’s biggest B2B connector

Michael Garwood
September 1, 2015

18-month-old O2 airtime partner adding thousands of new connections per month has overtaken airtime rivals Daisy Distribution, Chess and Carphone Warehouse Business to become O2’s leading B2B partner for new connections.

This is according to co-founder Keith Curran (pictured), who told Mobile News the company, which has traded for 18 months, is now averaging “several thousand” new connections a month – a figure that continues to rise.

“The feedback we have from O2 is we are now their largest B2B connector for new connections in the indirect channel,” said Curran. “That’s a phenomenal achievement when you consider how long we have been around compared to some of the companies we compete against.

“Many of those will say they do several thousand connections a month, but the vast majority of those are upgrades. We’ve not been around long enough to do upgrades, so everything we do is new business for O2.”

Top of the pile

Curran, who spent seven years as CEO of former Vodafone service provider Yes Telecom, refused to reveal the exact number of connections added since Plan first went live in March 2014. However, he did claim it has achieved more in its first year than Yes Telecom, sold to Vodafone in 2006, did in its first five.

He added Plan, which he co-founded with Dan Craddock in 2013, is now working with Curran: phenomenal achievement in short space of time 435 mobile resellers, up from 350 in March, and has already smashed its internal targets for the year.

“The growth we have experienced has surpassed all expectations and is showing no signs of slowing down.”

Dealer control

Curran credited Plan’s early success on its strategy on “modernising” the B2B airtime market with a key emphasis on giving dealers the tools they need to gain greater control of their own business rather than being dictated to.

Craddock, owner and founder of private equity firm Bramden Investments in which Plan sits in, previously branded methods used by some airtime distributors as 20 years out-of-date compared with other sales industries he’s been involved in.

Plan’s key USP is its internally built online portal, which provides dealers with a number of services, such as the ability to create bespoke deals from scratch (minutes, texts, data, contract length) to match the customer’s needs, as well as determine costs for each service and even the way they wish to be paid, such as upfront or revenue share.

The portal also provides real time detailed information on each customer account, a service which Curran said allows its dealers to operate like a network operator.

“We give the dealer the information they require to look after and support the customers. Things like SIM swaps, bolt-ons and bars for example can be done instantly by the partner using the portal.

“We want them to be in control and not have to wait on others to get things done.”

The latest version of the portal, V3, was unveiled at the firm’s Plan.Live in Manchester in March, attended by more than 400 dealers – many of which have now become partners.

Last month, the portal had 1,583 unique users generating 6,721 quotes for 127,281 mobile connections.

Curran revealed since the event, feedback from partners on ways the portal can be improved to drive their business has resulted in more than 100 updates being made.

He says Plan’s philosophy on giving partners their say, and making their “if onlys” a reality is a key reason for its early achievements.

“The reason we have been so successful is because we have actually listened to the market” said Curran. “We didn’t want to just build another version of what already existed. [That] would have added no value to anyone.

“Dealers know what they need to drive their business and no one knows their business better than they do.”

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