The fall and rise and fall of Orange

Going, going, gone.

If there is a way of committing Commercial suicide, Orange have ‘bin gone done it’. The most important part of this business is the acquisition of new custom. By freezing investment in this area a company does sign it’s own commercial death warrant. This is how is goes:

1. Freeze recruitment/replacement in sales and account management
2. Decline in customers being signed and re-signed and therefore an increase in churn*
3. Reduction is profit
4. Less money for investment in new technology areas, products and services, retention offers
5. Back to step 2

It is a vicious circle and one which requires a major injection of capital to break. When you consider that it was reported Orange Business Services are £27,000,000 ($50,218,661) behind target for 2006, and being mercilessly raped for funds by a beleaguered France Telecom, you can imagine that the chance of a rescue package is negligible.

Basically, from the point of view of an Orange employee, we’re fucked.

Rats and ships, rats and ships.

Add to that a high profile resignation last week, hot on the heels of the recruitment freeze announcement, and an even bleaker picture comes into focus. The vice president of Orange Business Services unexpectedly resigned on Thursday 12th October and is serving notice only until the end of the month. That position ordinarily requires a three month notice period; especially when he is moving into ‘a completely unrelated field to telecoms.’ High profile departures have become so common place that nobody raised an eyebrow.

The end is nigh?

Not quite, but this is certainly an important event in determining the future fortunes of Orange. We don’t have the money to be able to recruit new sales executives, nor do we have the money to replace those who have left recently. Looking over my spreadsheet here on my desk, we have a *works it out quickly* 14% vacancy rate. We’re missing 14% of the workforce and those roles will not be filled during 2006. I wonder if they realise that in four months time the situation will be worse and we’ll be in an even less prosperous position. It seems the chances of these losses being addressed is slim, and therefore the chance or Orange getting out of the hole they’d dug for themselves, also slim.

Ringside seats.

So now the choice. I have a morbid fascination with what the hell is going to happen here. Part of me wants to stick around and watch the operation go down the shitter. It isn’t my fault, and I’ve always given this place my all (until recently). I have an interest in the future of the company, as do the friends I have made working here. You don’t spend five years of your life involved with something and stop caring about it as soon as things start to go awry. Sure, it’s ‘just’ a job, but it’s also a human situation. We deal with people relationships. We’re all involved with each other and we all care or are interested in each other’s fate.

But maybe I don’t care that much about what happens and I should cut my losses. I am sure I have talked about the shit that is happening to my team in the past. That it is being converted into something altogether different from what we are used to and, more importantly, signed up to do. This company has not been particularly conscious of my desires/requests, so why the fuck should I give a shit what happens to it?

I shouldn’t. It is time to go. By any means necessary, I need to get myself another job away from here. I need to make a start on making that happen, so that’s what I am gonna do!
_________________
* churn , in layman’s terms, is when customer’s move from one network to the other.


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