Sunday, 17 January 2021

BT eyes new revenue streams with new tech unit

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Tuesday 12 January 21

BT Digital will focus on developing new products, platforms and services using new tech, while leaving network development to the core technology business

BT is moving ahead with plans to restructure its business in the wake of the accelerated digital transformation brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.    The operator has taken the decision to divide its core technology business in two, creating BT Digital…

BT is moving ahead with plans to restructure its business in the wake of the accelerated digital transformation brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. 
 
The operator has taken the decision to divide its core technology business in two, creating BT Digital, a new unit dedicated to improving the company’s position in new products and services using emerging tech like AI, the edge, and the cloud. This will leave BT’s core tech business primarily in charge of network development. 
 
Harmeen Mehta, who left her position as chief information officer at Bharti Airtel this week, will be heading up the new unit. BT’s previous chief strategy and transformation officer, Mike Sherman, is leaving the company.
 
Alongside this development, BT has also created a new technological advisory board to give additional input on emerging technologies and potential opportunities. 
 
“This is more than a leadership announcement, it’s an important statement of intent,” said BT CEO Philip Jansen. “The creation of BT Digital will enable us to focus on the areas where we can have the greatest impact, delivering digital platforms that bring together best-in-class services for our customers, and fully embracing new technologies such as AI and machine learning.”
 
2020 was a challenging financial year for BT, which saw its shares sink to their lower price in 11 years, with the operator dropping its 2019–2020 dividend in May and announcing it will not resume payments until 2021–2022. With new a new lockdown taking place in the UK, BT is rapidly refocussing to try and make the most of this environment to create and harness new digital revenue streams.
 
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