VEON: the experience
by Christopher Schlaeffer, Chief Digital Officer
Creating a revolutionary personal internet platform to deliver a new experience to hundreds of millions of customers in the markets of tomorrow
Yesterday, VimpelCom became VEON. VEON is the new name of our company and at the same time our new personal internet platform. VEON integrates communication, messaging and everything the internet has to offer with powerful data analytics and artificial intelligence, to finally put the user in control.
VEON is where people can depend on one true source, one reliable platform, a place to go as a first stop, a place to begin. VEON is designed to help us leapfrog from serving customers in the declining telco industry, to being a new kind of global technology company in thriving markets; a tenth of the world’s population.
We are ready. VEON, our new personal internet platform, is live in Italy. With ’My Account’ you stay in control of your identity and spend. You enjoy totally free messaging, chat and voice calls — even when you are out of credit. The latest news, music, video, entertainment, offers and relevant services will be personalised just for you.
Creating a personal marketplace for the next generation of internet services
VEON is an open platform for partners built on the principle of value sharing. We are working with anyone from global internet players to local start-ups and developers in our markets. We will be opening up APIs to enable partnerships to grow quickly and at scale. Our ambition is to use VEON to grow our business, but in doing so, we hope to grow local economies too; the neighbourhood cinema or corner shop can increase their sales thanks to location-based contextual advertising; the local food delivery company can use VEON to reduce average delivery times; local businesses will now be able to receive e-payments from previously financially-excluded consumers.
The first of many partnerships
Consumers are accessing more video on their mobile phones than ever before. To help satisfy the desire for mobile video, VEON and STUDIO+ have struck a global distribution partnership that will bring feature film quality short form video to VEON’s customer base of over 235 million people across the globe. Vivendi’s new service, STUDIO+, is an innovative new format which provides customers with a series of 10 minute episodes of compelling long-form narrative. Designed for bite-sized, snackable consumption, VEON’s customers will be able to access beautifully produced cinematic short form video across a range of genres.
Today, we are pleased to unveil a global partnership with Deezer, the world’s most diverse and dynamic music streaming service which boasts one of the biggest global music libraries. VEON will link mobile customers across the globe with Deezer’s extensive music library of over 43 million tracks and over 40,000 pieces of broader audio content. VEON users will have access to tracks, featured artists and custom playlists directly from the VEON platform. Tracks and music news will be customized to each VEON user, making the experience personal, relevant and meaningful. This partnership spans all our markets and provides a clear path for migration from free to paying users with local pricing and content.
We are announcing a partnership with Mastercard, the world’s leading processor of card transactions, for their Masterpass solution. By integrating Masterpass into our VEON platform, our users will now enjoy fast and secure payments. With just one click, VEON users will be able to purchase mobile airtime and make all of their digital transactions. VEON users will also have access to all digital merchants onboarded by Masterpass today and in the future.
VEON is also partnering with innovator and global music artist will.i.am and his technology company i.am+. VEON will integrate AneedA, a device-agnostic virtual assistant with a conversational interface to the internet, apps, streaming music and other services on the platform.
Investing in digital talent
In the past we switched from being a financial holding company to an operational holding company; now we have transformed into an integrated global technology company. We have in place the talent we need across our business, and are proud of our all global team members who have embraced the transformation. More than 200 colleagues joined our customer experience teams in 2016, and we expect many more to join the VEON family in 2017.
Upholding the highest standards in privacy & data protection
Privacy to us is a right and not a privilege. Up until today, the internet has been built on and funded by the ability of platforms and advertisers to exploit and manipulate customer data. With the contextual artificial intelligence on VEON, our approach is to provide choice and control, rather than the exploitation of data. Our approach is consent-based, meaning that those users who have agreed to participate will benefit. We will not share data about individual users with our partners without permission. Our partners will, however, benefit from insights based on aggregated and anonymised data, enabling them to ultimately improve the customer experience. A taxi app partner, for example, will receive aggregated live data on demand “hot-spots” to help them respond to spikes in demand.
A contextual internet
The online advertising world was built to profit from customers’ data. We are building a contextual web to enable consumers to be the main beneficiaries of their own information.
VEON is the re-birth of our company, and a realisation of a whole new way of experiencing the internet.