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Virgin Media Business adds to picture of post-Covid boom

Comms player adds its own research into the debate about the prospects for the channel as the economy starts to recover after the pandemic

It is starting to become clear that as the UK economy bounces back from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, there will be opportunities for the channel.

Last week, Microsoft said it thought the size of the prize for those partners that could help customers with technology and services needs would be in the region of £9bn.

Following on from that, research from Virgin Media Business and CEBR yesterday talked about a longer-term pot of money, with GDP potentially increasing to £74bn by 2025 as a result of investment in digital transformation.

That momentum could continue, with sustained digital investment set to lift UK GDP by £127bn by 2030 and, a decade later in 2040, the figure could be even higher at £232bn.

Peter Kelly, managing director of Virgin Media Business, said that as the country emerges from the shadow of the virus, there are signs that spending on digital transformation will accelerate.

“After the toughest of years, the UK has a £232bn opportunity ahead of it, which we must now grasp with both hands,” he said.“ By continuing to invest in new digital ways of working, we can seize this moment and help UK businesses to bounce back better.

“Moves to accelerate digital adoption are driving extraordinary outcomes across private and public sector organisations, helping them to revolutionise how they work, deliver for customers, and provide vital services for our communities. Through investing in our digital future, we will support new growth, drive the UK economy forward and help the country to rebound stronger.”

Cristian Niculescu-Marcu CFA, director of economic analysis at Cebr, added: “History shows us that periods of economic hardship can help to catalyse technological progress and adoption, as businesses and other stakeholders seek to adapt to new realities.”

Barney Taylor, managing director for Europe at Ensono, spoke for many in the channel when he commented on the role that IT had played during the pandemic and its chances to continue to drive change in the future.

“As daily life ground to a halt, technology was the solution that allowed us all to carry on – it changed the way we live our lives, connect with one another and the way we do business,” he said.

“Unprecedented uptake of video-conferencing and virtual collaboration tools allowed life to go on, smart contactless payments surged to offer Covid-safe transactions and it triggered large-scale, permanent digital transformation in healthcare – from virtual appointments to remote medical monitoring devices.”

Meanwhile, Talk Talk Business has also been generating research and has pointed its partners towards the ongoing opportunity around supporting home workers.

Its main findings revealed that the benefits of investing in business-grade home broadband is clear to users, with many linking it to improved productivity and the chance to access higher levels of support.

TalkTalk Business recently launched a Homeworker Package for its partners to offer business-grade connectivity to those working from home.

Richard Thompson, managing director, wholesale at TalkTalk Business, said it is becoming clear that home working will be a lasting legacy of the pandemic.

“As UK businesses and their employees embrace the ‘new normal’ of hybrid working, our mission to deliver full-fibre has never felt more urgent,” he said. “Our partners are in a great position to shape and leverage this home-working opportunity and help their customers with connectivity and staff wellbeing.”   

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