ONdigital to create 1500 jobs

24th July 2000

Jobs boost as ONdigital launches second customer contact centre in partnership with 7C.

ONdigital, the digital terrestrial TV and interactive services company, in partnership with 7C, a customer relationship management specialist, plans to create around 1,100 new jobs at a new customer contact centre in Pembroke, West Wales. The centre will complement ONdigital's existing Plymouth-based facility, where a further 400 jobs are to be created.

Opening on 31 July, the state-of-the-art Pembroke centre will initially be staffed by more than 350 fully trained operators. Subject to discussions with the Welsh Assembly, ONdigital plans to increase the number to 600 by the end of the year, with plans for a further 500 new staff to be taken on over the following year.

The Pembroke centre is sited in Pembroke Dock's "Cyber Bay" business park at Cleddau Bridge. Earlier this year 7C and employment services company, Manpower, joined forces to develop the park as a home for technologically advanced businesses. ONdigital, has signed a three-year contract with 7C, who will act as its strategic customer relationship management partner.

ONdigital's Chief Executive, Stuart Prebble, says:

This marks another step change in ONdigital's development. The rapid growth of ONdigital's customer base and the roll-out of new services such as ONnet, our internet through the TV service, means we need to expand rapidly to handle the expected volume of demand.
We selected 7C because of its proven track record in supporting fast-growth businesses and its unique ability to support customers across all channels - traditional and electronic. ONdigital is committed to providing advanced communication services to customers via TV and the internet; 7C is committed to supporting that. Outstanding customer services are critical to our business; its an area in which we have excelled so far and 7C will make sure we stay ahead of the curve in new services and technologies.
Our first customer contact centre in Plymouth is a huge success and has expanded rapidly over the last two years to become one of the largest employers in the area. Today's news of our further expansion there confirms that Plymouth continues to have a key role in our plans for the future.

7C's managing director, Juan Sotolongo, says:

We believe ONdigital are the ideal client for the unique concept 7C and Manpower have created at Cyber Bay. While 7C support ONdigital's customer service objectives with leading edge CRM consultancy, technology and direction, Manpower will provide the operational and people resources to meet their rapid growth plans.

Rhodri Morgan, First Secretary of the National Assembly for Wales, said ONdigital was a key player in the rapidly developing digital TV sector:

We now have a winning team in Pembrokeshire with three major international companies - 7C, ONdigital and Manpower - creating a wide range of quality jobs.
This is only the beginning of what promises to be an exciting new era for the area - all the essential ingredients are now in place to see Cyber Bay develop into a centre of excellence. The local workforce on both sides of the Haven will have the opportunity to take a leading role in the technological revolution of electronic business and communications.

ONdigital's Plymouth contact centre is also to be expanded this autumn by taking on an additional floor of office space to create 400 new jobs and improved facilities for staff. This will bring the total of ONdigital Customer Services Representatives to over 2,350.

Commenting on the Pembroke development, Sir David Rowe-Beddoe, Chairman of the Welsh Development Agency, says:

I'm delighted that a contract has been signed between 7C and ONdigital - two companies at the forefront of technological developments in their fields.
It opens up superb and secure employment opportunities for the people of Pembrokeshire. They will be trained in the technologies of tomorrow to work in a high tech sector within the quality working environment that has been developed in Cyber Bay.
This development is the result of a successful public and private sector partnership working to bring economic benefits to south west Wales. It also illustrates the success of the Agency's campaign to target the top end of the customer contact market to create quality employment opportunities in rural Wales.

Chris Raybould, Director of Client Solutions at Manpower says:

The Pembroke Bay centre is creating massive job opportunities for local people. Manpower's experience in building and supporting customer contact centres and providing high-level training and staff, will ensure success for ONdigital.

About ONdigital

ONdigital is the world's first digital terrestrial TV platform, received through a conventional TV aerial, with no need for a satellite dish or cable installation. It provides over 50 channels of free, pay and pay-per-view TV to its customers as well as a range of interactive services, including email, interactive advertising and, from this autumn, ONnet, full internet access (some services require connection to a phone line).

ONdigital launched its service in November 1998. By June 2000 it had 774,000 customers, with plans to reach one million by the end of 2000 and two million by the end of 2002.

About 7C

7C is Europe's leading provider of e-CRM managed services. Created in July 1998 the company now has more than 1,250 people under management at its facilities in London, Swindon and Pembrokeshire, and revenues in excess of £25 million. It provides multilingual services to consumers in more than 60 countries.

7C's e-CRM platform integrates best of breed applications in the fields of network information management, e-business applications and intelligent decision making, including Cisco, Kana and E.piphany.

7C is unique in offering access to this technology in combination with consultancy services to design and build e-CRM solutions and an operational infrastructure to execute them and manage their lifecycle. The company has four fully internet architected customer contact centres in the UK.

7C's current clients include: Vodafone, Virgin, Dun & Bradstreet, Confetti, Clicksure, UPS, AT&T and the RAC. Visit the new 7C web site at www.7c.net

About Manpower

Manpower is a leading recruiter of specialist, flexible and contract workforces, employing over 100,000 people each year. An advocate of skills training and assessment, Manpower provides full HR solutions management for many of its customers - from Thurso on the northernmost point of Scotland, to Pembroke in West Wales.

Manpower's modern approach to employment services includes on-line web-enabled training and job searching. Through its website: Manpoweronline.net, the company offers its 100,000 staff access to over 1,500 training courses in its Global Learning Centre, in subjects as diverse as leadership and communication to becoming a webmaster. A sponsor of the Millenium Dome's Work Zone, Manpower offers access to seven free training programmes to the public, via the Internet. With over 350 locations throughout the UK, the company most recently expanded its IT and driving divisions. It has also taken a significant stake in Jobsite, the top UK job search website.