‘Gamma does Downton’

Editor Ian Hunter reports from the Ragley Hall leg of the four-stop ‘Downton’ Gamma Reseller Roadshow

Gamma’s stated objective is to ‘get innovative products in front of channel partners ahead of the big boys’ and their focus is on integrated voice, data and mobile communications.

It must work as their latest set of accounts shows revenue up 10.7%, profit up 21.7% EBITDA up a whopping 67%.
Gamma Roadshows are legend. Great venues and a massive turn out from their reseller channel all keen to find out what is coming their way next.

The ‘Gamma does Downton’ tour was no exception to this rule with four stops throughout March at Hopetoun House in Edinburgh, Crewe Hall in Cheshire, Ragley Hall in Warwickshire and 8 Northumberland Avenue in London.

Richard Bligh, Chief Operating Officer at Gamma commented, “As the Gamma brand and our partner base continues to grow, it remains a priority for us not to lose sight of what’s important – giving partners access to products that meet the needs of their customers, are easy to sell and provision, offer a winning proposition and are underpinned by a first-class service. We’re always looking at ways we can improve what we do and our annual roadshow plays a vital part in making this happen. Feedback from our partners is fundamental to shaping our roadmap, helping us come up with innovative ideas and staying ahead of the curve. Last year we welcomed over 600 channel partners to our roadshow and this year we’re expecting even more.”

For me there were two very key announcements on the tour; the Gamma SIP trunk call manager and their Multinet mobile proposition.

Gamma has extended its SIP Trunk service with inbound call control. With the uptake of SIP Trunking continuing to grow at 25% per year (Illume), the market is now looking for more than just cost savings from SIP. Gamma believes SIP Trunk Call Manager will enable channel partners to offer customers a smarter and more compelling SIP trunk service to differentiate their proposition and open up new areas in the market. Business continuity will be at its heart, enabling feature-rich call control in the network and giving users full access and control of the service through a mobile app.

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 10.00.30Nick Ward, Senior Product Manager at reseller Intercity Technology told us, “We were pleased to be invited to trial Gamma’s new SIP Trunk Call Manager service. It’s great to see Gamma finding a way to put value and margin back into SIP Trunking rather than joining the race to the bottom (on price) that’s favoured by other providers. This is just the kind of innovation that make Gamma a worthy leader in the UK SIP market. We’re confident that SIP Trunk Call Manager will really help differentiate our proposition and enable our customers to benefit from a more effective use of SIP Trunking.”

Gamma had earlier announced its plans to launch a new business mobile service in the first half of 2016 using the core mobile network infrastructure that it acquired in 2014 and has been expanding upon since.

More meat was added to the bone at the roadshow.

This core contains all the functionality of a mobile network and is based on the latest Ericsson software build, including 4G, and is capable of supporting emerging technologies such as ‘Voice over Wi-Fi’ and VoLTE. This new service will give channel partners the same levels of customer ownership and control they have over fixed-line services, combined with a compelling mobile service designed exclusively for business use.

Gamma has selected Three, based on independent performance results, to provide the primary radio access in the UK, with separate roaming agreements also now in place.

The new service will include 4G as standard on all tariffs, as well as improved data monitoring with near real-time mediation and billing and more flexible data usage alerts. With this new capability Gamma believes it is well placed to help the channel provide increasing converged fixed and mobile services to the UK business market.

Rob Davis, Head of Converged Products at Gamma told delegates, “We’ve been working hard to build a unique new service that addresses the needs and challenges of today’s business market.

This gives us full control of the mobile service, in addition to the control we already have over our fixed voice and data network. With the ability to work with multiple large carriers coupled with the flexibility and care of being a channel focussed provider, we believe the new Gamma Mobile proposition gives our channel partners the best of both worlds.”

Ed Says… I was about time a major channel player took hold of a mobile proposition and gave us the same kind of roving service we get when we are overseas – the ability for the handset to work on the best available signal – and cost effectively. Gamma Continues to come up with the ideas that seem so obvious when they announce them.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine