Jean-Francois Thomas Issue: Africa and the Middle East 2015
Article no.: 2
Topic: From Essentials 2020 to 4G
Author: Jean-Francois Thomas
Title: CEO
Organisation: Orange, Jordan
PDF size: 393KB

About author

Mr. Jean François Thomas has been the CEO of Jordan Telecom Group (Orange Jordan) since 2012. He is a graduate in Business Management and Information Technologies from Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Telecommunications’ in France. He also has a degree in Physics, Mathematics and Economics from Ecole Polytechnique.
Mr. Thomas has over 25 years of experience in the ICT field and has occupied positions in marketing, sales, business development, operations and management. Before assuming his role as CEO of Orange Jordan, he held the responsibilities of Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer at Mauritius Telecom between 2008 and 2012. Prior to that, he worked as Regional Director at France Telecom / Orange Alsace (2006 – 2008) and as Vice President Asia at France Telecom Long Distance in Hong Kong (2001 – 2005). He also held several senior management positions, including President of France Telecom Japan (1997-2001); Director of Marketing and Development at France Telecom Worldwide Networks & Services (1991 – 1996); and Vice President of France Telecom Japan (1988 – 1992).
Mr. Thomas was elected VP of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan in 1998 and VP of the European Business Community in Japan in 1999. He also held the position of Chief Financial Officer of the French Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Mauritius from 2010 until 2012, and was previously appointed as the French Government Counselor for international trade. Mr. Thomas is a regular speaker at industry conferences and a contributor to industry publications.

Article abstract

Since 4G represents the best of what wireless broadband technology can offer, the presence of customer-centric 4G services is integral to the overall evolution of Jordan’s ICT arena. Not only is it a prerequisite to the creation of a knowledge-based economy, it is also paramount to the sustainable development of the nation’s various business sectors, particularly that enterprises can now leverage on 4G’s capabilities to boost productivity and venture into new operational territories like M2M, remote site management and e-commerce.  

Full Article

Over the past decade, Jordan’s ICT industry has experienced a radical transformation. Given the nation’s reliance on foreign investments, the progressive policies espoused by its leadership have allowed telecommunications to become the core driver of its socioeconomic development. As a result, Jordan’s ICT infrastructure today is one of the key attractors of its large-scale investment opportunities.
Jordan continues to lead the region when it comes to internet penetration, with 63% of citizens enjoying Internet access. This falls in line with the continued efforts of His Majesty King Abdullah II to establish an environment that facilitates the creation of a knowledge-based economy — an endeavor that has resulted in a solid telecoms infrastructure capable of hosting the nation’s growth.
Naturally, this rapid progress is also being met with an equally unprecedented evolution in market dynamics, particularly as more people embrace the Internet as a preferred communications platform. Smart devices, over-the-top services, cloud-based applications and storage, and video on demand are being adopted by larger demographics nationwide, resulting in a substantial shift in customer expectations. Jordanians today want more value for their money, not to mention more personalized and customizable services.
This is why Orange Jordan took the initiative in May 2015 to introduce its Essentials 2020 strategy, which, as the name suggests, calls upon us to return to the basics; to connect people with all that is essential to them. The strategy comes with specific and highly ambitious targets for the coming years, including delivering the best customer experience in Jordan by year-end 2015. To achieve this, we intend to leverage on five key drivers: offering richer connectivity options; re-inventing customer relationship, building a people-oriented and digital employer model; accompanying the transformation of enterprise customers; and diversifying our operations by effectively capitalizing on our assets. All of this will be achieved within a business model that is efficient, responsible and digitally proficient.
Essentials 2020 is more than just a theoretical framework. It comes with a clearly established timeline and a massive financial investment of more than JD 200 million earmarked exclusively for the development of our network and core operations. More importantly, as Jordan’s sole integrated operator, Essentials 2020 maintains our focus on the enterprise segment, pouring considerable investments into research and development programs that cover critical areas such as cloud computing and security solutions.
Shortly after the announcement of this new strategic vision, we delivered the first major milestone within our established timeline: the launch of our 4G network. This achievement allowed us to bring a wealth of cutting-edge connectivity options designed for both individuals and enterprises, demonstrating our commitment to realizing the lofty promises we made in our new strategy. More importantly, it signaled the beginning of a new era for Jordan’s ICT sector, one in which the customer experience is re-established as the primary driver of the industry’s transformation.
Since 4G represents the best of what wireless broadband technology can offer, the presence of customer-centric 4G services is integral to the overall evolution of Jordan’s ICT arena. Not only is it a prerequisite to the creation of a knowledge-based economy, it is also paramount to the sustainable development of the nation’s various business sectors, particularly that enterprises can now leverage on 4G’s capabilities to boost productivity and venture into new operational territories like M2M, remote site management and e-commerce.
During the launch of our 4G network, one of our key priorities was to avoid retreading familiar territories. We wanted to underscore the many elements that differentiate our network, and this spilled into every aspect of our rollout strategy. We set a fairly short timeline for the launch of our network, carefully establishing a balance between delivery time and quality. We positioned 4G as an initial offering within a much larger expansion plan that guarantees Jordanians nationwide access to reliable, high-speed wireless broadband, keeping in mind the millions of customers who may not have the resources to procure 4G-capable devices. Last but not least, we created a dynamic marketing campaign that artistically communicates the attention to detail that accompanied the rollout process.
The rapid implementation schedule, distinctive branding and customer-driven approach demonstrated our dedication to break new ground, which allowed us to unequivocally position ourselves as the preferred partner in the digital lives of Jordanians — a vision that has guided our strategic philosophy over the past few years.
One of the major developments in the field of ICT has been the concept of “connected objects,” also known as the “Internet of Things,” which stands to redefine the way we perceive and interact with the world around us. The notion of a seamlessly connected world — where every object in our environment is uniquely identified and has the capacity to exchange data with its surroundings — has today become a plausible, if not inevitable, scenario. It is no longer a question of “if” but of “when” and “how.” To Orange, the Internet of Things is an integral element of humanity’s future, and we as a brand plan to spearhead its evolution by cultivating the infrastructure and tools necessary to accelerate its realization.
Both Essentials 2020 and 4G have a key role to play in this endeavor, not only by promising an entirely new benchmark for a positive customer experience but also by delivering the technologies necessary for a smarter, more connected environment. In Jordan, our integrated operator model gives us a unique edge, allowing us to establish a unified platform with virtually limitless potential.
There is no doubt that leading the charge in the establishment of a digitally-proficient business model means adopting a similar model to steer our internal operations. This is why Orange Jordan intends to fully leverage on its global network and expertise, using e-learning as a powerful and cost-effective tool in the development of its human resources. With 2,000 employees handling our operations nationwide, this is a strategic long-term investment that will help us create an unparalleled community of self-driven individuals capable of achieving our long-term targets.
The primary drivers outlined in our new strategy clearly echo the uncompromising direction we are taking as we reaffirm our commitment to the Jordanian market; a market that possesses infinite potential but requires the consistent dedication of the Kingdom’s largest organizations. Orange Jordan will always strive to take a leading role in translating Jordan’s national objectives into realities. This is the responsibility we are placing on our shoulders, and we now have the strategy, resources and dedication necessary to live up to our commitment.