BT shakes up structure in services drive

Two new business units have been formed to make it easier and quicker to roll out Web-based services.

BT has announced a major internal reorganization aimed at making it easier for the company to develop and roll out Web-based services.

Two new business units have been formed in the reorganization. BT Design will be responsible for designing and developing new services that can be deployed over the 21st Century Network (21CN)--the new national broadband infrastructure that BT is implementing. BT Operate will be responsible for the testing, deployment and operation of the services themselves.

Around 20,000 employees will be moved from other departments into the new business units. According to a BT spokesperson, the reorganization will entail no job losses.

"This is the second phase of BT's transformation," said BT's chief executive, Ben Verwaayen, on Tuesday. "The first phase saw BT shift its focus from narrowband to broadband. This next stage is equally important. It will see BT advance from a 20th century hardware-based company to a 21st century software-based services company."

In a software-driven world, said Verwaayen, services would be "available in real time and around the globe, harnessing the potential of BT's 21st Century Network".

Andy Green has become the chief executive of group strategy and operations, and is effectively now in charge of overseeing both BT Design and BT Operate. Previously the chief executive of BT Global Services, Green has been replaced in that capacity by Francois Barrault, formerly president of BT International.

BT's spokesperson told ZDNet UK on Tuesday that the reorganization would not affect BT's customers in the sense of who they deal with. "All the customer-facing lines of business stay exactly where they are, keeping all the accountability and responsibility for their customers," the spokesperson said, adding that the move had been designed to make BT "nimbler and speedier".

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