Orange multiplies its innovations in Africa and the Middle East

With the boom in usage of mobile data, the launch of 4G, the development of smartphones, and the diversification of digital content, Orange wishes to accelerate the digital transformation in Africa and the Middle East. The operator thus means to meet the increasing demand for innovative services in these areas.

With a high level of satisfaction among users, the My Orange mobile application has become indispensable in the MEA region.

“Digital is changing our customers’ behaviour and their experience: their ways of consuming, of communicating, of interacting amongst themselves and with their operator have evolved deeply”, says Arnauld Blondet, Director of innovation of the MEA (Middle East Africa) region at Orange. The innovative services developed by Orange are at people’s service to improve their everyday lives.

My Orange

With a high level of satisfaction among users, the My Orange mobile application has become indispensable in the MEA region. A good example of successful customer experience. Deployed as early as 2013 in Mali, this application is now available in 18 countries of the Africa-Middle-East region. With over 6 million downloads and 46% of active users, the application offers a range of services that are highly appreciated by African consumers. Completely free, My Orange enables customers to both track and manage their mobile account easily, but also to optimise their usage, to access orange products and services rapidly without having to remember short codes (USSD codes), or even to easily find contacts and useful numbers for the Orange boutiques. “It is the ultimate customer service application, a pillar of Orange’s digital strategy in this area where the smartphone ownership rate is rising fast”, describes Noëlle Limoux, Digital & Applications Manager at Orange. “This application reflects the core of our strategy in MEA, which is to stand out and become the multiservice digital operator”, adds Gilles Boyer of Orange. It is a success: a survey revealed that 90% of active consumers declared to be very satisfied with the functionalities offered, the interface design, and the consumption check at a glance.

Orange Telephone

Thanks to a dedicated call button, Orange Telephone brings new functionalities so as to better protect and inform users before and during their calls. An embedded default call application in Orange mobiles for the last three years, this free service for the operator’s customers is also available for download from the Play Store of over 20 countries, of which 18 are in the MEA area. “The Orange Telephone application downloaded to recent Android smartphones replaces the green button, providing easy access to a multitude of functionalities, including the possibility to give back control of their calls to the users”, specifies Jean-Denis Poullain, Orange Technocentre Manager of Amman. The aim of Orange Telephone is to inform and protect users. How? By enabling customers to detect and block unwanted calls, but also to directly identify professional numbers, and lastly, to avoid the nasty surprises of premium-rate numbers. In addition, the user has the possibility to access the MyOrange application directly, to easily retrieve the access codes (USSD) to the most frequently used operator services (balance check, Orange Money, emergency credit, etc.), but also to search for local professionals. Ever closer to each user, Orange Telephone customises experiences by suggesting calls according to users’ consumption habits, with a call planning function, and finally with possible personalisation of the mobile interface with a choice of different themes and colours. Orange Telephone seems to meet users’ expectations perfectly.

Messaging Pro

Launched three years ago, Messaging Pro is a bespoke direct marketing tool available in Cameroon, Niger, Madagascar, the Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Botswana, and shortly in Mali. It enables enterprises (both private and public) to send personalised message (text or voice) campaigns to all of their customers from a single web platform. It has only one requirement: to have internet access. It also analyses the results of each campaign and helps to improve customer service (by easing response to customers). With Messaging Pro, businesses (micro, SMEs, LEs), NGOs (for medical, health, agriculture, or weather), ministries and governments (education, agriculture) benefit from a service that is personalised (campaigns on three types of channel: text, voice, or USSD), easy (campaign programming and selection of contacts from list saved previously in the platform), but also fast (sending the campaign out, analysis of its sending and response). For the enterprise it couldn’t be easier: to send out a campaign they need only to connect to Messaging Pro, an interactive platform, then create a Quizz campaign of questions and answers in real time, and finally send out the campaign. All they then have to do is instantly analyse the replies to the Quizz and Surveys campaign, for example. The tool is used notably by UNICEF in Niger or by the ministry of National Education in Madagascar to send out their campaigns. “One of the particularities of this solution is that it provides the possibility to send out voice messages, which enable illiterate populations to understand the message and also to reply using the voice channel”, explains Thomas Bonnet, B2B manager at the Orange Technocentre of Amman.

Good Deal

In the MEA region, and in particular in Africa, the mobile market operates essentially around prepaid offers. The Orange boutiques do not cover the whole territory so Orange customers buy their telephone credits directly from vendors in the streets. Since June 2018, Orange has offered a service that is revolutionising this market. Thanks to this connected service, called “Good Deal” and available in Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire, all of the street vendors for Orange can now offer a wider range of packages via their mobile by validating options on their screen. In effect, on top of e-recharging, these vendors can also sell data, voice, or SMS packages. There are currently 5,000 street vendors using this service. For their part, the buyers benefit from more offers in a more simplified manner and that are accessible straight onto their mobile. These vendors can earn extra commissions after each sale and easily check these on their mobile so as to track and drive their revenue. “Good Deal simplifies customer experience and enables vendors to ‘sell more to earn more’”, states Bruno Drouet, Project manager at Orange.

Poke Call

Active in six countries (Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, and Jordan), Poke Call is a service offered by Orange that is particularly useful for boosting call-backs. Indeed, the operator wished to innovate for this continent where the large majority of mobile accounts are prepaid. It’s true that when they have no credits left, Orange customers can no longer make calls. However, to help them in this particular case, instead of sending a traditional SMS-type notification message, it is a “missed call” message that is sent to the person who could not be reached. More discrete and less embarrassing for the person who has no credit left, this service increases their chance of being called back. Completely free, it will be deployed in other African and Middle Eastern countries over the coming months. This ingenious strategy was set up by Orange so as to go further still in customer service. “It is a means of extending customer experience, of not penalising our creditless customers, and of boosting call-back rate”, explains Jean-Denis Poullain.

Read also on Hello Future

GettyImages - RCS Apple

RCS — Rich, Interoperable Messaging: Apple On Board


Max it: An All-in-One Application for Smartphone Users in the Middle East and Africa

Shafi Goldwasser

Great names of innovation: Shafi Goldwasser


Great names of innovation: Tim Berners-Lee