No respite for Aliette Mousnier-Lompré. Appointed in May to head Orange Business Services (OBS), the new leader, who succeeded Helmut Reisinger, faces many challenges. And for good reason: the profitability of OBS, which was once one of Orange’s growth engines, fell by 25% in the first half of the year.
With the Covid-19 pandemic, the uses of companies have evolved, in particular by abandoning landlines for applications such as Zoom, Meet or Teams. As a result, Orange’s B2B subsidiary faced new difficulties, amplified by the war in Ukraine, the shortage of electronic components and runaway inflation. To date, the telecommunications vertical generates 57% of OBS’s turnover, compared with 43% thanks to IT services. Despite being a minority in the revenues of the B2B division of the French group, it is the latter that have recorded the strongest growth within OBS, with an annual increase of 10%.
Five development priorities
In order for IT services to become OBS’s growth engine, Aliette Mousnier-Lompré presented the roadmap of the French group’s subsidiary at the Orange Business Summit, held in Paris on 27 September. To bring profitability back to the top by 2024, the new CEO intends to focus on five priority areas of intervention: the transformation of customers’ digital infrastructures, data analysis and artificial intelligence, collaboration tools in the company, customer experience transformation and related industry, with especially digital twins and the Internet of Things.
In this context, OBS intends to grow its wind-down businesses. These include in particular the cloud, which grew by 15% in one year, cybersecurity (+ 13%) and data management (+ 8%). To date, the cloud and data already generate a billion euros in turnover, a milestone that cybersecurity should reach in 2023.
If the cyber component is advancing, however, it is no longer a question of bringing Orange Cyberdefense on the stock exchange, a branch of the group considered an internal nugget. The latter having been largely built through external growth, could allow Orange to shine more internationally against American or Chinese companies and, more importantly, grow an asset that has potential. However, the cyber branch of Orange has recently been the victim of a data leak, which has certainly cooled the ardor of the Italian company’s staff regarding a possible arrival on the stock exchange. Priority is therefore given to the restructuring of Orange Business Services.