Well Connected

2 min read

Well Connected

Formed in 1992 as a voice and unified messaging services business, Connect Communications Group has transformed itself into a convergence specialist with unified communication applications integration skills and exceptional service delivery capability.

With close to sixty permanent staff and offices across Europe and in Asia, Connect Communications Group is now growing quickly and on target to achieve €9m revenue this year. Connect is an Avaya-accredited partner for its Unified Communications portfolio, such as Unified Messaging and Speech-Access products, and for Nortel is accredited across their traditional PBX and IP PBX, Call Centre and SIP-based Multimedia Communication product ranges.

According to CEO, Andy Thomas, “ Since taking over as CEO in June 2004 we've

invested heavily to broaden our skills base and portfolio to be able to offer our target multi-national client base a comprehensive converged voice solution. Connect's business is now built around its strong relationships with both Nortel and Avaya and supplemented with specialist products from partners such as Telephonetics, Fenestrae and those which we've developed ourselves. With a heritage in voice applications Connect is well positioned to address convergence where it matters - delivering business advantage through integrated applications.”

Connect is not a typical reseller. Headquartered in London with offices in Paris, Frankfurt, Stockholm and Kuala Lumpur its focus is on meeting the needs of mid- to upper-tier multi-nationals companies. To achieve this it has a multi-lingual help desk at its London-based 24x7 service centre and a network of partnerships around the world. The business delivers services to over 130 clients across 33 countries. Whilst the core focus is Europe the business has also recently enjoyed success in the USA delivering a Nortel solution on behalf of a Paris-based global services business.

“Having addressed this type of multi-national client-base whilst with other larger companies, I was well aware of the need to ensure local P&L's and ‘fiefdoms' didn't impact our ability to service our clients by providing a co-ordinated offer and seamless multi-country delivery. We've achieved this through establishing a strong team, effective processes, getting the incentives aligned and ensuring that all staff identify with group level success. We've aligned the business to our target verticals of Finance, HiTech, Pharmaceuticals, Petro-Chem, Professional Services and Manufacturing and are building solutions and relationships critical to our success in these sectors,” said Thomas.

Connect operates both direct and indirect models. In the indirect model, partners select Connect for its specialist application skills or to leverage its impressive geographic footprint. Connect is used to working in this type of engagement and is practiced at easing the difficulties which can arise in such a model and operates in a very open manner with its clients and partners to ensure success for all. A testimony to Connect's success in this area, it has established relationships with leading integrators and telecoms OEMs across Europe and is providing ‘white label' services for a number of these.

The company has recently consolidated its recent success through concluding an MBO providing Andy Thomas and fellow directors with a majority equity position. “We have been working towards this for the past year and now with a strengthening balance sheet we are well positioned to accelerate our growth over the course of the next 18 months” said Thomas.

Connect is finding the market strong for its business-savvy convergence offering. In particular enjoying an unprecedented number of major wins clocked up in the first half of this year. “We're finding that clients are ready to embrace convergence and the post Y2K investment cycle has freed up budgets to enable this to happen. With great products and support available from our key OEM partners we have been leading with a business-driven technology-sell backed by our comprehensive services. In this first wave of convergence clients are opting for a single technology and a single partner, in the shape of Connect, for core voice services and we're seeing great opportunity to flow in a single solution which cuts across geographic boundaries replacing country-by-country dominant technologies,” said Thomas.