Eurobites: BT tops the takeover target pile, says Bloomberg survey

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: BT opens new lab, hires customer experience boffins; Vodafone sets up software apprenticeships; T-Systems wants a slice of EV charging action.

  • BT tops a list of likely UK takeover targets compiled by Bloomberg (paywall applies) from an "informal" survey of fund managers and analysts. In fact, UK companies represent seven of the top ten potential takeover targets, according to the Bloomberg poll. Looking at the European telecom sector more broadly, the poll also identified Vodafone, Telecom Italia and Telenet as looking vulnerable. (See Drahi off the hook over 18% BT stake and Drahi becomes biggest BT shareholder and bothers Boris.)

    (Photo by Paul Rainford)
    (Photo by Paul Rainford)

  • In other BT news, its Digital unit has launched the first of at least two User Research labs at its London headquarters. The hope is that the assembled brains will, in the words of a BT press release, provide "deep insight into customer experience and inform customer centric design and product thinking." The boffins will look to provide faster and more uniform delivery of design across BT's brands, with the focus on the user interface. Those hired by BT to staff the lab include: Julianna Ferreira, who previously held roles at Universal Credit and Microsoft Studios; Marco Huerta-Riviera, previously at Dropbox and Visa; Nikki Barton, previously at Lloyds and British Airways; and Sharan Gandhi, previously at Deliveroo and Aviva. The lab will be led by Conor Ward, ex-British Gas and Centrica.

  • Vodafone has teamed up with Multiverse, an education company founded by Euan Blair, son of former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, for a pilot program aimed at offering apprentices – rather than university graduates – the chance to become junior software engineers within 15 months. This, says Vodafone, reduces the time it normally takes to train a software engineer by 68%. The training kicks off with a three-month "bootcamp" followed by a 12-month work placement.

  • Deutsche Telekom's IT services unit, T-Systems, has launched a digital platform to manage electric vehicle charging stations. Called Ambika, the cloud-based platform controls the billing and payment process, as well as the maintenance of the stations. The platform is aimed at operators of charging stations, parking areas, vehicle manufacturers, real estate companies, energy suppliers, supermarkets, airports, hotels and the public sector.

  • The UK's Information Commissioner's Office has issued Virgin Media with an official reprimand for failing to deal with customers' requests for personal data quickly enough. Over a six-month period in 2021, the cable operator received 9,500 such requests, 19% of which were not responded to within the statutory three-month timeframe.

  • Ericsson has integrated Seattle-based Hiya's call management system into its IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), creating a new joint offering dubbed Call Qualification. The system, says Ericsson, will enable communications service providers to identify incoming spam and fraud calls attempting to connect to any of its subscriber base at the network level – and block the call before it reaches the subscriber.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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