Orange to open UK development centre

Orange is championing innovation in the UK by building a new research and development (R&D) hub that will open its doors for business in early January.

The so-called 'technocentre' will be focused on identifying, creating and developing new products and services for customers not unlike the future-thinking lab Orange already has in operation in France.

"At Orange, we believe innovation drives sustainable growth. It is at the heart of how we operate as a company and how we create new products for our customers," said Didier Lombard, chief executive and chairman of France Telecom Group, in a statement. "We are pleased to bring this successful approach to Britain, establishing the second major Technocentre hub which can draw on the Orange Labs network and meet the Group's innovation needs globally and locally."

Fruits of the new centre populated by 80 boffins from the areas of marketing, engineering and research - will targeted at helping some 170 million France Telecom (Orange's parent) customers, of which a large percentage fall under the Orange banner, with some projects focused exclusively on UK users' requirements.

Tom Alexander, chief executive of Orange UK, added: "We're now harnessing that potential and making sure that it works directly for the business and ultimately our customers These are the guys who are moving quickly, in small teams to develop new and exciting services for our customers before any one else does."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.