Commercial real estate telecommunications market has dramatically changed since 2008. This process turned to reexamination of business-processes by providers presented in the segment. Gars Telecom has conducted root and branch changes implementing the strategy of increasing its market share. Rebranding has become the proper finale of this reinvigoration process.

If in the previous ten years the main corporate telecom development driver had been the growth of commercial real estate market, economic turbulence of 2008-2009 changed the model of owner-operator communication. Exclusive forms of partnership vanished while the privilege of operator choice passed to tenants.

“Challenging times” resulted in clients’ bankruptcies (5% of $5000+ monthly bill clients and 20% of middle-size premium service clients), reduction of personnel (78% of big-name corporations and 81% of middle-size companies), cancellation of some services and decrease in total service consumption (66% an 38% respectively). More than 90% of clients in each segment reviewed tariffs for basic services. As a recent years result carriers’ tariffs have decreased by 20-40%, average market ARPU has fallen by 28%, clients’ migration amounted 37%.

This situation became a serious challenge for third-wave telecom operator. Business of many caplive carriers became unprofitable. The processes of assets consolidation held by “Big Three” operators accompanied by these companies’ internal problems played significant role in redistribution of power balance in corporate telecommunications segment as well.

Gars Telecom has completely reviewed its strategy of “B+” and “A” classes commercial real estate segment orientation. “Getting cream of the crop” from premium offices strategy was changed by a different one — to increase the company presence in all classes of real estate, — says Evgeniy Pickersgill, Commercial Director, Gars Telecom. — While implementing new strategy the company has obtained federal operator status, revised its tariff policy, increased the staff by 40% and as a result we have already more than doubled the number of served offices by the end of 2009.

“The crisis made all corporate telecommunications operators seriously cave in, — says Pavel Gorenkov, CEO, Gars Telecom. — This was not only a reason for us to reconsider or goals and methods of achieving them, but also it was an impetus for development. We concluded that new times not only required the changes in business-processes but they were also favorable for strengthening our positions. Now the company, having in fact matured inside for the last two years, is finalizing ‘cosmetic’ part of its rebranding by introducing new visualization.”

The new image on the one hand demonstrates the company’s core values — quality and reliability, comfortable communication, “difference” and audacity, on the other hand it shows broadbrow and emotions, orienting it on IT specialists rather than developers. Gars Telecom now positions itself as a high quality telecom operator for all market segments. The task of renewed brand is to send the message that premium quality services based on the same Gars Telecom intellectual and resource potential as before are available for all market.

“We spent a great deal of time, money and efforts for building the company reputation as premium service operator, — believes Michael Sergeev, Communications Director, — and cardinal changes in image risked to be misunderstood by both existing and prospective clients. That is why among the tasks we set for our branding agency there were to create the image reflecting strong and reliable partner, to put an emphasis on selling the ‘sense’ of premium service available for reasonable prices and to stress our skill of communicating with clients in terms of business rather than technicalities.”

The effectiveness of new strategy has already been evaluated by telecom analytics — Gars Telecom was recognized TOP-5 of the most strategic Russian telecommunication companies by Institute of Economic Strategies of Russian Academy of Science. How Clients will “accept” new image — future research will show. For the next few months Gars Telecom is going to continue acquainting the market with its renewed brand.

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Gars Telecom profile: telecommunication management, integration projects realization and telecommunication services rendering. Company is oriented at cooperation with big-sized corporate clients and telecom-carriers. Along with tradition telecom-services company renders services in telecom-consulting, outsourcing of the communication services and telecom-infrastructure, and also telecom-budget management.

Since 2003 Gars Telecom has become the only Russian Virtual Mobile Network Operator for corporate sector. Host provider is Megafon.

Company exclusively realizes in Russia specialized telecom-solutions for commercial real estate market that fit international BLEC standard (Building Local Exchange Carrier), and develop telecom-consulting practice in Russian development market. Total amount of the serviced area overpasses 4’800’000 square meters.