Catherine Amran is Director of Small and Medium Business (SMB) at Virgin Media O2 Business.
Her role focuses on delivering value, flexibility and secure connectivity to support the UK’s 5.5 million SMBs. Catherine, who has more than 15 years’ experience in roles across commercial, strategic delivery and consultancy, previously led the UK SMB division at Worldpay. Here, she picks five things she couldn’t do her job without.
1 Private life ‘infrastructure’
I’ve got really young kids – a toddler and a baby – so I need a very strong support infrastructure in my private life to enable me to do the job that I do, and even to leave the house in the morning.
For me, it’s about having a kickass childcare arrangement, an incredibly supportive husband and friends and family who I can rely on.
To do my best at work and at home, the mechanics of the day must run like clockwork – getting to the station, getting to the office, meeting all my timings and deadlines. In this context, the Elizabeth Line has changed my life! Being able to cut across London in next to no time is a game-changer.
2 Laptop, iPad and two phones
My job means I need to be in permanent touch, through text, WhatsApp and emails, with everything that’s happening across the business – and with everything that’s going on with the kids.
I’m quite old-fashioned in that I still consider ringing someone to be the best way to work through complexity and check mutual understanding. People often lean away from doing that now, but I find having a conversation to be a really powerful way to get to the heart of what’s happening.
3 Microsoft Teams
Love it or hate it, it’s such an important part of what we do now.
I’m a massive fan of hybrid working and for that to work it’s essential to be able to run meetings effectively and keep in touch with people while working remotely.
Pre-pandemic we weren’t using the platform as we do now – we used to do hosted conference calls and take Q&As. Teams gives me a chance to see people, read how things land and invite them into the conversation in a way that isn’t possible if you don’t know they’re there.
Using it internally also allows us to understand how it shapes our customers’ ability to transact and interact within their businesses.
4 The people I work with
I moved into the telco sector in May, and the team around me has been fantastic in helping me along the learning curve of our business and what, for me, is a new industry. The richness of the product set we have means there is an awful lot to learn.
The team I lead is just stuffed with brilliant people who deliver for our customers every day. Knowing you have a support network of people you can rely on to do what we believe is the right thing is extremely powerful.
Having worked with SMBs for so long, I can help lead the business with the customer in mind. It is a complementary two-way relationship.
A skinny cappuccino is my beverage of choice. I sometimes leave the house with one – but always pick one up on the way to work.
Drinking coffee is like putting on a pair of glasses. Everything becomes crisper and sharper. Every time I try to give up caffeine it ends up creeping back in. It definitely has to be part of my routine. In a world where I can’t always exercise, coffee helps to start the engines and get the day going.
My mobile, broadband and software platforms enable me not just to do my job but also to achieve more in my day. In the exact same way, so do the people and support structures in my life.
This is the same ethos behind Virgin Media O2 Business’s Get More Fund, which gives organisations with 11 to 249 employees access to valuable tech to support their digital transformation journeys, while also bringing together the best of our mobile and broadband networks.
Virgin Media O2 Business customers who take both an O2 Business mobile service and Virgin Media Business broadband or leased line connectivity will receive 10% of the value of their plan in a Get More Fund to spend on new tech, including the latest smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops and printers.
Get More is all about equipping customers with the tech they need to work smarter in a hybrid working world – from the office, from home or on the go.
In a survey for the Virgin Media O2 Business report Medium businesses: Fuelling the UK’s economic engine, 65% of companies with 11-249 employees cited tech as their biggest growth driver. On the flip side, 33% believe their existing tech provision is negatively impacting their bottom line. With workers now spending on average one quarter of their time in the office, 87% of respondents noticed an improvement in productivity when providing employees with new technology.