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Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG is a provider of broadband, landline and mobile telecommunications in Germany. The company trades as O2 and Alice. Previously Viag Interkom, it was acquired by Telefónica in 2006. The company was renamed from Telefónica O2 Germany to Telefónica Germany on April 1, 2011 following the completion of a merger with HanseNet. Telefónica Germany purchased E-Plus on 1 October 2014. As part of the purchase, Telefónica reduced its stake in its subsidiary to 62.1%.Telefónica Germany's main competitors are Telekom Deutschland and Vodafone. Wikipedia.


News Article | December 4, 2015
Site: www.fastcompany.com

Corporate empathy. It’s tough to imagine two words that could relate to each other less, yet Belinda Parmar, CEO of the U.K.-based consultancy Lady Geek, insists that it’s not an oxymoron. Rather, Parmar writes in Harvard Business Review, not only can large consumer-facing organizations be empathetic, but it "is a hard skill that should be required from the boardroom to the shop floor." Empathy—the ability to have a cognitive and emotional understanding of others’ experiences—has long been relegated to the domain of less tangible tools that are as difficult to define as they are to quantify. Parmar contends that not only can empathy be measured, but a company’s empathy quotient can be used to reveal strengths and weaknesses, as well as where they stand among competitors. A company’s empathy quotient can be used to reveal strengths and weaknesses, as well as where they stand among competitors. As such, Lady Geek compiles an annual list of the most and least empathetic companies in their Global Empathy Index. To determine the rankings, Lady Geek’s research team uses a combination of publicly available financial information from the S&P Capital IQ, social media interactions from Twitter and Reddit, and proprietary data from the Lady Geek Opinion Leaders panel survey. With the increasing importance placed on authenticity in brand interactions with consumers, the researchers analyzed about half a million tweets over the course of several weeks this October for complaints or use of repetitive language. They also analyzed the impact of controversies such as ethical lapses, scandals, and fines. The most empathetic companies include Microsoft (with a score of 100%), Facebook, Tesla Motor, Alphabet (Google), and Procter & Gamble. Others in the top 20 include Audi, France’s luxury house LVMH, Alibaba Group, and Wells Fargo. The bottom five are TalkTalk Telecom, Keurig Green Mountain, Hargreaves Lansdown, Abercrombie & Fitch, and JD Sports Fashion. Parmar also notes that while Audi ranked No. 10 overall, its parent company Volkswagen came in close to the bottom at No. 95 due to the emissions controversy that prompted CEO Martin Winterkorn to step down. Audi’s rank did suffer a bit, as it fell from the No. 3 spot it held in 2014. Given their recent announcements to extend paid parental leave, it will be interesting to see how Netflix (No. 22) and Amazon (this year at No. 61 versus No. 21 in 2014) will fare in next year’s ranking. The flap over Amazon’s punishing work culture may have had an impact in its fall this year. On the flip side, Intel’s much publicized diversity initiatives didn’t push it any further than No. 45. Parmar points out that five of the top 10 most empathetic are technology companies that are also the fastest growing. "Their market capitalization has grown this year by 23.3% compared to a weighted average of 5.2% of all the companies in the index," according to Parmar. The Index also makes a case for empathy boosting the bottom line as the top 10 generated 50% more earnings than those ranking least. "Average earnings among the top 10 were up 6% this year, while the average earnings of the bottom 10 dropped 9%," she writes. Among those with a surprising lack of empathy is Twitter, which came in this year at a middling No. 41. That reflects an improvement from No. 91 last year, when Parmar explained, "[Twitter’s] primary empathy failure [is] its inability to engage with its own customers on its own platform." Empathy can be taught, says Parmar, and in doing so, companies can reap the rewards of an investment made in training. Rene Schuster, former CEO of Telefonica Germany, implemented a countrywide training program that led to an increase in customer satisfaction of 6% within six weeks, she reports. And the organization doesn’t have to be small to implement such measures and realize a return, says Parmar. "There is absolutely no evidence that being big automatically makes you unempathetic," she writes. "Empathy is most definitely not a problem of scale, but more an indication of management priorities."


Apple is finally starting to allow customers to pay for their App Store and iTunes purchases through carrier billing - at least in Germany. The company has been reluctant so far in offering this option, although both carriers and customers have long been requesting it. Carriers, for their part, tried to come up with various workarounds, but official support is always better. Carrier billing comes particularly in handy in markets where a large number of people don't own credit or debit cards, as it makes it easier for them to buy apps or other paid content directly. Otherwise, customers often have to rely on gift cards to make their purchases. It now seems that Apple is finally taking steps to remedy this situation, as the company finally started supporting carrier billing in Germany through Telefonica's O2. This adds a simple and convenient way to pay for iTunes and App Store purchases beyond credit or debit cards, allowing customers to link their phone number and charge the content to their mobile bills. O2 customers in Germany can now enter their phone number instead of a credit or debit card number into their iTunes account information and take advantage of this new payment method. Once they have entered their phone number, all of their subsequent purchases from iTunes, App Store, Apple Music or iBooks will automatically be charged directly to their phone bill. Customers who are not on contract, meanwhile, can select to have purchases debited from a prepaid amount they add to their phone. Apple has yet to make an official announcement in this regards, but Telefonica has confirmed to TechCrunch that O2 has indeed started to quietly roll out this feature across Germany. The option should become available to all users within the next week or two. "Telefónica Germany is working with Apple related to carrier billing," a company spokesperson told TechCrunch in an emailed statement. "Payment via the O2 phone bill is now available for Apple Music, iTunes, App Store and iBooks Store Purchases. The service is gradually being rolled out and will be available for all O2 customers (prepaid and postpaid) in Germany by the beginning of November 2015." This initial rollout in Germany sparks hopes that Apple could soon to offer carrier billing to a wider extent and more markets are expected to get the feature soon. If the implementation in Germany proves successful, Apple should extend the courtesy to users in the U.S. and other markets worldwide as well, allowing them to pay for their iPurchases through their phone bills. For now carrier billing is still not an option in the U.S., as the only current solutions are credit cards, iTunes gift cards and PayPal, but it could become available soon.


News Article | October 27, 2015
Site: www.businessinsider.com.au

For most customers, Apple charges iTunes or App Store purchases to a credit or debit card tied to your Apple ID. But in Germany, Apple is working with the carrier Telefónica to let iPhone owners make iTunes Store purchases through their carrier bill. That means instead of Apple processing the charges, Telefónica adds the charges to the customer’s monthly bill. “Telefónica Germany is working with Apple related to carrier billing,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch after the change was first spotted. “Payment via the O2 phone bill is now available for Apple Music, iTunes, App Store and iBooks Store Purchases. The service is gradually being rolled out and will be available for all O2 customers (prepaid and postpaid) in Germany by the beginning of November 2015.” The addition of carrier billing may not seem revolutionary for more developed countries like the US. But in large parts of Asia and other emerging markets, “credit card ownership is low while access to internet grows rapidly,” according to mobile payments company Fortumo. “This creates a challenge for merchants who have a large user base in the region as those users are unable to make payments,”Mattias Liivak, Fortumo’s head of marketing, said in a blog post in August. “Carrier billing solves this challenge by enabling payments for any phone owner, regardless of whether they have a bank account or not.” Apple hasn’t provided any information about the feature and its possible availability outside of Germany. Tech Insider reached out to Apple for comment and will update this story if we hear back. Get THE MID-YEAR SMARTPHONE MARKET REPORT now! A comprehensive look at the global smartphone market from BI Intelligence by platform, vendor, country and more. Insights into the power struggles between the biggest platforms and the underdogs. Get the Report Here »


Apple has just rolled out a new way for people to pay for their iTunes purchases in the form of carrier billing, starting with O2/Telefonica in Germany. According to TechCrunch, users can now pay for apps and other iTunes purchases by linking up their phone numbers to charge the items to their mobile bills, bypassing the need for a credit or debit card. As you can see in the above screenshot, O2 users in Germany now have the option to enter their phone numbers instead of a credit or debit card number into their iTunes’ account information. Once done, any purchases from Apple Music, iTunes, the App Store and iBooks will then be charged directly to a user’s phone bill, or debited from a prepaid amount that the user may have added to an out of contract phone. O2, owned by Telefonica, has confirmed that the feature has started to get quietly rolled out across Germany and will be available to all users by next month. “Telefónica Germany is working with Apple related to carrier billing,” a spokesperson told us in an email. “Payment via the O2 phone bill is now available for Apple Music, iTunes, App Store and iBooks Store Purchases. The service is gradually being rolled out and will be available for all O2 customers (prepaid and postpaid) in Germany by the beginning of November 2015.” In regions like Canada however, carrier billing may not seem like a big deal to a lot of iPhone users since credit / debit cards and bank account penetration are both very high.


News Article | October 27, 2015
Site: www.imore.com

Apple is slowing beginning to support carrier billing for items purchased from iTunes, the iOS App Store and more. O2/Telefónica in Germany has confirmed it has begun adding carrier billing for those purchases from Apple's services in addition to the traditional credit or debit card. "Telefónica Germany is working with Apple related to carrier billing," a spokesperson told us in an email. "Payment via the O2 phone bill is now available for Apple Music, iTunes, App Store and iBooks Store Purchases. The service is gradually being rolled out and will be available for all O2 customers (prepaid and postpaid) in Germany by the beginning of November 2015." Apple has not yet commented officially on this new feature, and it's not currently known when or if carrier billing will be expanded to other markets around the world.

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