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Orange Business is about to cut 700 jobs

The ax fell. A little over a month after the announcement of its new strategic plan, Orange is preparing to implement its savings plan. Beyond the expected sale of Orange Bank, the operator is tackling another source of recurring losses: its business division. Formerly called Orange Business Services (OBS), Orange Business will undergo a major restructuring.

According to information from The letter ataken over by The world, some 700 positions in the SCE entity will be cut out of a workforce of 5,700 employees. The CFDT evokes the destruction of 670 jobs. Activities related to cloud and data (Orange Business SA) and cybersecurity (Orange Cyberdefense) would be excluded from the scope. The operator should present to the union representatives a project of collective contractual rupture in this direction at the next social and economic committee (CSE), fixed for this Wednesday, March 22.

This 12% reduction in the workforce of the SCE entity, which includes traditional telecom and IT services, aims to put an end to the bleeding, for a return to profitability no later than 2025. In 2022, the business segment achieved a turnover of 7.93 billion euros, up slightly (+0.2%) but with an EBITDAaL – earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization – down 18.8 %.

Simplify the offer
To raise the bar, Orange Business is carrying out a detailed review of its portfolio. Its general manager, appointed in May 2022, Aliette Mousnier-Lompré (pictured below) announced her intention to halve the marketing offers in the catalog. The change of name embodying this desire for simplification.

During the last edition of the Orange Business Summit in September, Aliette Mousnier-Lompré already announced the color by retaining five “value propositions”: building digitalized and secure networks (Evolution Platform), enhancing data (Analytics & AI), inventing the office of the future (Workplace Together), building a more intimate relationship with its customers (Augmented Customer Experience), and meeting the challenges of industry 4.0 (Smart Industries).

As an ESN (digital services company) backed by an operator, Orange Business has a special position on the market. As a network and digital integrator, the company intends to take advantage of this dual expertise, telecoms and digital, by positioning itself as a “leader in next-generation connectivity solutions”.

In the concern shown by Christel Heydemann, new CEO of Orange, to refocus the group on its fundamentals, its B to B subsidiary will consolidate its base in the cloud, data and cybersecurity. This should go through external growth operations. Since the acquisitions in 2018 of Basefarm (cloud) and Business & Decision (data), Orange Business has been more wait-and-see with a few small takeovers.

Become a European leader in cybersecurity
To become a major player in cybersecurity in Europe and reach a turnover of 1.3 billion euros by 2025, Orange Cyberdefense will make targeted acquisitions and accelerate in the professional and SME market. For Orange Business, it is a question of finding sources of continued downward growth in fixed telephony with the increased use of “over the top” solutions such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom or Google Meet.

In addition, the competitive landscape is hardening. The other operators have not waited to position themselves, too, on the cloud, connectivity and cybersecurity. Like British Telecom, which counts, recalls The Digital Factorygreat references in France, such as Michelin, Alstom and TotalEnergies.

The French competitors have also retained more or less the same triptych, whether it is Bouygues Telecom Entreprises, SFR Entreprises or the latest entrant, Free Pro. Launched in March 2021, the business subsidiary of the Iliad group intends to at least double its turnover by 2025 to reach 400 to 500 million euros by 2025. In addition, it will present new offers in the field of cybersecurity.

First departure plan after “the suicide crisis”
Be that as it may, the restructuring project will be difficult to carry out. This is the first voluntary redundancy plan conducted by Orange since the “suicide crisis” of 2009-2010. It is accompanied by a training and retraining program for 5,000 employees. It also provides, according to The world, site transfers. Employees from the Boulogne-Billancourt, Clichy and Montreuil sites will join Stadium, the flagship based in Saint-Denis.

On its site, the CFE-CGC of Orange said it was “particularly worried about the decline of an economic flagship of our country”. For the union, “steering through cost reduction is a failure. It hampers any prospect of growth”. Deploring “once again the dividends paid to shareholders”, he believes that “the new strategic plan does not provide any response to the essential issues”, including: “How to make Orange Business a leading ESN?” Get To Text

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