Way back in May, MasterCard and Bell announced they were going to start a trial that allows select customers to pay for goods or services from their mobile phones, via Mobile PayPass. This was a 4 month-closed trial and is now offically completed.
Unfortunately no real details were disclosed with what the actual results were in the test period. The only statement is that the trial took place at Bell Mobility’s Creekbank office (located in Mississauga) and about 75 employees from Bell, Citi Cards and MasterCard participated. Also other key findings were that the “participants proved that mobile payments are easy, fast and secure. The average transaction amount during the trial was just under $20″.
Almis Ledas, Vice President of Corporate Development at Bell Mobility “Our objective is to achieve a common gateway and standardized consumer experience for mobile payments. This successful trial underlined both the security and the convenience of mobile payments.”
So, I guess “easy, fast and secure” equals success and perhaps we’ll see this available throughout Canada soon.
Good news for SaskTel this morning as they have been included in the list of Canada’s Greenest Employers… the only telecommunications company to be honoured. Some of the reasons why SaskTel was chosen were:
Here is something cool. Again it has to do with the iPhone. Check out this video that shows an iPhone equipped with an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) reader.
Basically you will see from the video that you hold the iPhone over a object and it starts to play a preloaded video. According to NearField.com “Overall the demo points towards opportunities around the distribution of media through physical objects, it is an example of general ideas around an ‘internet of things’ or ‘spimes’ applied to the world of media. What opportunities would the distribution of RFID-embedded products open up in terms of media, gaming, services and marketing? What does this mean for the future of products?”
Check it out here
Bell has been through some major changes over the past year, actually way too many to start counting. The reason I started writing this is because I walked into a Bell Store today and saw something I did not see before. A clean approach to their advertising.
How did we get to today? Here’s a summary: Bell brought on George Cope, new CEO and President, who completely changed the look and feel of the company and asserted his “100-day plan” that had 5 key objectives: Improve Customer Service, Accelerate Wireless, Leverage Wireline Momentum, Invest in Broadband Networks & Services, and Achieve a Competitive Cost Structure… oh yes, and the not-talked-about 6th objective to streamline the organization. Cope said “Bell’s goal is clear: to be recognized by customers as Canada’s leading communications company. I look forward to leading a unified, re-energized organization focused on attaining that goal by delivering a better customer experience at every level”.
With the new clear focus on a definite deadline for results, news came that his 100-day plan included slashing 2,500 management positions, hopefully saving the re-energized organization $300 million a year. Cope stated: “It is always difficult to see colleagues depart, but these changes are absolutely necessary”. But what does this actually mean though? Losing 6% of your management team is a pretty big chunk. Was it they were not needed or did not produce results? Or was it that the employees who were cut just did not fit in with the direction the new Bell was going?
All we do know is that soon after the 2,500 were cut, Cope said “It’s Been a Blast” to Frank and Gordon and sent them packing also. This came as a shock as most Canadians actually enjoyed hearing the ads and found the animated mascots somewhat entertaining.
However, we found out that there is life after all. Back in August Bell announced a new brand direction with pride and said “The new Bell brand underlines that we are moving forward as a company and as a service provider, with new services, a new strategy and a new goal. It’s a straightforward and customer-focused brand that directly supports the Bell team’s goal: To be recognized by customers as Canada’s leading communications company”.
The new logo and website was cleaner and easier to read. However, some confusion was around the slogan and the now non-existent blue highlighted “er” in the “Today just got Better”. Even Bell’s SVP Brand, Rick Seifeddine, spoke up by saying “We went with a team of the industry’s best, led by an elite trio of creative directors collaborating in a new and innovative client-agency model. We think the team’s work speaks for itself in terms of clarity, emotional connection, boldness – and strong support for our strategy to deliver a better customer experience. The Bell-ements are a fun and constructive way to put the Bell logo to work in every possible way.”
And everyday did get better, new services were offered, phones, rate plans, joint partnership with TELUS to build a 4G network by 2010. Things were really truly looking “better”. However, peaks and valleys… things took a turn for this new “customer-focused” company when the $52 billion takeover bid was officially terminated which had Bell execs saying we’re a “re-energized company” again.
With all this news Bell has certainly been busy rebuilding and taking on their dealers in a $200 million lawsuit against them. More importantly they are creating a brand that people love. One of the ways to get in front of your customers is to be where they are. On March 2nd Bell announced they will be taking over all 765 “The Source by Circuit City” stores… which I believe is an incredibly great move. The Source will operate independently from Bell, but they now have the opportunity to really market effectively and reach a new demographic with an expanded line-up.
According to George Cope the main reason for the acquisition was that it “supports Bell’s strategic imperatives to accelerate wireless and leverage momentum in wireline services like Bell TV, Bell Internet and Bell Home Phone”.
So today, as you can see by the image, Bell is taking the brand to a new clean look. The Bell logo is actually nowhere to be found on this ad and the only resemblance that it’s made by Bell is the cut-off “B” in the corner. Its fresh, fun and most importantly not confusing. I like the direction.
Here are a couple major questions to ask though:
How is the customer service?
Do you see Bell as “Canada’s leading communications company”?
If you have a few minutes to spare and want to watch/waste your time then check out this animated video that was made by Motorola Canada.
It’s 2 minutes that you’ll never get back but it’ll certainly get you thinking in the right direction about the recently launched Fido MOTO W233 Renew. This is the phone that is made from recycled water bottles, the first CarbonFree mobile phone etc…perfect to continue to celebrate Earth Month.
Check it out here
Bell has a new promotion going on targeted to business people. It’s part of the BOGO (Buy One Get One) deal and gives you the option to mix and match select BlackBerry smartphones and the Sanyo Pro lineup.
Eligible devices are the Blackberry 8830, Flip 8230, Sanyo Pro 200 and 700. When you buy 1 or more with a 36 month contract you’ll receive an additional select BlackBerry or Sanyo Pro for free.
Not the biggest news but always good to know what’s happening.
From the chart we posted last week with the new addition of the Rogers Samsung J706 coming soon to Speak Out, we noticed today they’ve removed a clunker from the past… Nokia 6061. No reasons given, perhaps Speak Out finally ran out of stock, or just a website malfunction.
The iPhone has made mobile phones very cool and has connected with majority of the consumer market. However, Ted Schadler of Forrester Research suggests in his latest report that organizations take a second look at Apple’s device and consider offering it to their employees.
In the report, “Making iPhone Work In The Enterprise: Early Lessons Learned”, Schadler states that the big iPhone lessons are: It’s more than just another device; it drives business culture change; it gives employees freedom to choose their own tools; and it changes the support model to self-service.
Amylin Pharmaceutical, Kraft Foods and Oracle all use the iPhone over BlackBerry or Windows Mobile devices. Some examples of the ese of use for the iPhone are its intuitiveness and using the Safari browser. Shadler said that on other devices using the web is a “chore”. Senior IT director Todd Stewart describes iPhones as being easier to support than “other mobile platforms”.
I find it kind of ironic that he states in his report to consider the iPhone, but in closing he basically states stick with your BlackBerry for your e-mails and calendar: “But the real payoff of iPhone and similar mobile Internet devices is that it is a new platform for delivering content and collaboration applications to an increasingly mobile workforce”… “We find the BlackBerry better for email and calendaring and the iPhone better for everything else”
Nokia has released a new beta program called “Easy Meet”. The basis behind this is for easy collaboration from your “mobile device and/or PC to create, conduct, and participate in meetings with your business colleagues as well as your friends and family. The service is about sharing content synchronously and in real-time.”
The video shows a couple examples of this in action, some key features are Slide sharing, Image sharing (JPEG, PNG), Conference chat, Remote content access, Participant awareness, Gestures, File download and Meeting minutes.
TELUS announced today they’ll invest more than $700 million in Alberta, creating more than 2,100 jobs. The focus will be to expand wireless and wireline broadband infrastructure and launch a new anticipated High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) network by early 2010.
Darren Entwistle, President and CEO of TELUS said “Our investment of more than $700 million in leading broadband
technology will create employment opportunities, contribute to the province’s future competitiveness, and support the launch of innovative new services for TELUS customers.”