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OrangePartnerCampWatch: The Pow Wow with a wow wow

Orange’s keynote, of sorts, came in what they called a ‘Pow Wow’ – which fitted nicely into the whole camp theme they have going on at the event.

It’s not an event geared to announce major amounts of news, it’s really for developers and partners of Orange just to get together.

We’re just here to sit in on the briefings and really get an insight to the inside of what goes on between Orange and the people they interact with. These are the people that are responsible for the applications, their delivery to and with Orange all for the handsets.

Kicking things off, and was really the only one announcement from the event was Yves Tyrode, the executive vice president of their new venue Technocentr.

Who made the bold claim that Orange ‘aims to delivering 15% of their turnover from innovation in 2010′. This is from a new process where their R&D and marketing work hand in hand on new ventures, with the delivery people too. All to solidify the complete process and make everything much easier for all involved in terms of getting new technology to market.

They’ve set up centres for this all around the world, from Beijing to London. With the latter being the news of the day. This new Technocentre now represents a big investment by Orange, and will expand on the work on products and services for over 170 million France Telecom customers on 115 Orange brands. Here, all those key departments are in the same place, at the same time, helping and aiding each other for the best possible concept.

Stéphane Gruber, the head of applications & services delivery for Orange speech ran with the concept of ‘mobile multimedia delivering a personal customer experience’.

Where the phrase ‘mobile multimedia’ kept cropping up in various briefings we attended that morning, and subsequently too – just stamping a theme on the event for us.

His main focus was just to highlight to developers that they’re aware mobiles are moving more and more towards delivering a complete multimedia experience, and that they really need address this.

He went on to produce some interesting stats that we hadn’t seen before; over 3.5 billion people have a mobile phone and only around 11% of customers are consuming 71% of data.

Where they’re going next to is to grab the remaining 89%, with new services and get better at offering up ‘smart’ relevant content to engage their customers. Which all seems fine and is what this event is all about.

They’re aiming all this at what Orange called the ‘signature portfolio’, which in our terms is their flagship range of devices that really standout.

These began with a single HTC device they offered back in 2002 running Windows Mobile, to more than 50 devices in 2006 from all major handsets manufactures and with all known platforms onboard.

This reach a ceiling in their books just a year later, where they were turfing out a new mobile launch every 5 days in those key 10 countries, out of the 28 they are currently in. Whoa!

Controversially, they showed Android as one of the partners in the keynote presentation. When the PowerPoint presentation came back to us, the logo was missing.

The question mark in the image below was where it was in the speech, just for your amusement and bemusement too.

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** UPDATE: We’ve been subsequently told, the image was taken out to move the focus on the people at the event. Hmmmm … :UPDATE **

Patrice Slupowski, the director web 2.0 product marketing had some interesting things to say.

There was another frequently used topic we picked up upon at the Orange event, the idea of ‘3 screens’.

Orange have in their mind they work across trios screens, mobile, TV and the web.

On the internet they have 55 million unique visitors monthly worldwide, they said they hold the number 3 spot in France the 5th in Spain and are number 2 in Poland.

In terms of mobile phone customers, they said they have 117 million mobile customers worldwide, 23 million with mobile broadband. Most of which we were aware of the size of, but seeing it all laid out like that just emphased Orange’s position.

What we didn’t know was just how successful their IP TV taking up was, they’re in 1.7 million households in European. This is a feat in itself with all the completion around. Also, needed is around 4mbit/s to deliver this service, which isn’t really everywhere.

They do offer however, in areas of France and Poland satellite IP TV where they cannot receive decent DSL coverage. This is where the request for data is made of a normal dial-up connection, and the Orange IP TV data is pulled down via the satellite dish. Ingenious!

We’ve fired off some emails to their competitors, just to get a more rounded and fair picture – we’ll report back on our findings.

We’ll bring you more from the event when more relevant topics arise .