Vodafone says that it has completed the integration of Vizzavi with its existing operations. The British network operator acquired control of the multi-access portal from joint venture partner Vivendi Universal in August.
Vizzavi will become Vodafone’s content brokerage, acting as an acquirer and developer of content from a range of third parties. The content will subsequently be made available to customers through the forthcoming Vodafone Live mobile internet service. The Vizzavi brand, which Vodafone and Vivendi invested tens of millions of pounds in building, will be gradually phased out.
Vodafone will derive cost savings from the integration of Vizzavi’s operations through reduced spending on technology and staff cuts. Guy Laurence, former head of Vizzavi, will become Chief Executive of Global Content Services and report to Thomas Geitner, Chief Executive, Global Products and Services.
Vodafone seems to be moving towards the strategy PMN suggested in its 19/08/2002 piece ‘Vodafone in talks to purchase Vizzavi‘. It has refocused Vizzavi as an entity for sourcing compelling third party content and slashed costs through proper integration with the Vodafone group. The company now looks poised to bring to market a powerful new mobile internet service in the form of Vodafone Live, backed by an advanced network infrastructure (GPRS roaming, LBS etc…), established third party relationships and a global m-payments system.
It is a shame so much time and money was wasted on positioning Vizzavi as a portal in its own right, but Vodafone is wise to abandon the associated negative brand connotations and start with a clean slate. However, it has fallen behing other top tier operators with its mobile data offerings (Vodafone UK doesn’t even have MMS operational yet) and must move quickly to establish a position more becoming of the world’s largest operator.
Originally published by PMN Mobile Industry Intelligence, the subscription-based analysis and insight platform founded by Marek Pawlowski.