I’ve worked for Virgin Media Business (VMB) since April 2017. I joined because I felt that there was a real opportunity with Liberty Global (our parent company) to accelerate investment and speed of development of the business.
Peter Kelly, our Managing Director, has a fairly small leadership team who are determined to really drive growth as a challenger brand. I think the opportunity to really influence growth and have an impact on the market is an attractive proposition.
As Product Director, it’s my responsibility to manage the product strategy and lifecycle of the products we sell. This covers the largest systems integrated business partner through public sector organisations – large enterprise. Then more recently, our focus has been growth on SME (small-medium size enterprise) and small office customers. My team is responsible for making sure we are driving the growth of our products and portfolio in line with the long-range plan and budget for the business.
I believe part of achieving this and being successful is to ensure that my team trained to do so. Training for me is incredibly important. The product team sits right in the middle of the business, they touch everything from Sales, Commercial, Operations, Finance, and Delivery, so need to be able to operate as CEOs of their product managing all elements of their business within our large business
My first plan when I joined was to take the team on a skills and development journey so that they can elevate themselves to really define what their plan is to grow a product to a portfolio and them to define and prioritise what actions are needed to deliver that. So they have been on a variety of training courses focused on product planning. The teams have good experience already but it’s great to refresh those skills to ensure their communication is aligned.
The best thing about up-skilling and training is that this then opens up more progression opportunities. We are constantly evolving, providing the team with more skills to develop on growth areas and portfolio, for example, we are moving into areas like Cloud, Software Defined Networks and Mobility so as we evolve into these markets we are also developing the skills in the team so there is always opportunity to progress to the next level which is an exciting thing.
Working here has been a little crazy so far – in a good way. There are lots of very friendly helpful people and the culture is extremely positive. No large complex business is perfect and we sometimes lack some basic processes to get things done. On occasion, I also think we could do with slowing down a little bit to improve clarity. However, there are lots of helpful and bright people.
I firmly believe that people and brand are our two biggest assets.
There is still a lot we want to accomplish and it’s in our plan to do so. There is a real determination to move us from being an occasional challenger to a more consistent disrupter where more of products really live up to the expectation of the brand and we are moving in the right direction.
We are an energized, challenging and ambitious organisation and if I could give one piece of advice to someone interested in working in my team it would be to understand the impact you think we can have with a customer agenda or within the market and help us to improve our brand and our people to deliver it. If you stay true to that you will have a great impact.