Feeds

BT to announce death of Concert

About time. But will it take time?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

BT is to announce it will finally scrap its loss-making joint venture with AT&T, Concert, according to numerous reports. Concert has been a thorn in the side of BT for years and current estimates are that the company - which supplies long-distance telephony to business customers - is losing £20 million a week.

The announcement doesn't come as much as a shock since new chairman Sir Christopher Bland stated a fortnight ago that sorting Concert out was his main priority. The BT board has said this before but Bland's fast-acting no-nonsense approach may mean that something is finally done about it.

It will be a difficult challenge, however, since BT and AT&T will have to decide who gets which customers - which is bound to start arguments. But when £20 million is lost for every five days they deliberate, there is a fair amount of impetus in getting an agreement sorted.

No one seems to be sure why Concert has been such a grand failure, with the most obvious reasons - heavy competition and poor management - repeatedly rolled out with little or no evidence to back them up. To our mind, the most likely reason is that the two grand former monopolies have had heavy ego and culture clashes, promoting argument over action.

If Bland manages to pull it off - and fast - he may finally have earned the title of Saviour of BT. Since starting the job, he has cut the behemoth's huge £30 billion debt in half by selling off minority stakes, real estate and announcing a £5.9 billion rights issue. He has also cut out ambiguity in BT's previous business strategy and tied up loose ends, removing some of the City's jitters.

Sorting out the Concert debacle will be a final feather in his cap. Of course from there he only has to come up with a viable plan for the future of BT's dwindling monopoly in the UK. Something that has eluded Bonfield, Vallance and Brace for five years - although they only knew it 12 months ago. ®

Related Stories

So what's the future of Future BT?
Why BT is unbelievably Net stupid
OFT rules on BT's Yellow Pages business
BT shake-up to save business (touch wood)
BT unveils first-ever loss
What's in BT's bargain bin?
'I'm not a quitter and I love my critics' - BT's Bonfield

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.