What direction is the UK channel heading in? And where are the big opportunities? Comms Business finds out at the Gamma Roadshow 2021.
For two weeks in September, Gamma toured the UK for the 2021 Gamma Roadshow, and it was clear the events were back with a bang. This year’s roadshow was be movie themed, with ‘Gamma at the Movies – presents a Love Story’ held at three cinemas in Manchester, Glasgow and London.
The agenda included an overview of the market and direction for the channel, plus key insights into Gamma’s products and end-to-end proposition. The team also took the time to dive into unified communications, enabling third party UCaaS, and Gamma’s new mobile offering.
Darryl Pile, managing director for the Channel, Gamma, opened the event with an overview of Gamma’s performance and product updates. He discussed the lasting impact the pandemic will have on customer behaviours, and what this means for Gamma’s channel partners.
Pile then touched on the company’s interim H1 2021 results, “Our half year results came out just yesterday, and I wanted to say a huge thank you for you deciding to keep placing business with Gamma. That’s something we’ll never take for granted. We really do appreciate that. And that’s the basis of our life at Gamma, that we’re a choice and why we keep driving so hard to make this a place for you.”
Andy Smethurst, channel sales director, Gamma, was next up. Smethurst spotlighted the company’s evolving mobile offering. He said, “For over 50 per cent of you in the room, [mobile] remains an opportunity that currently doesn’t exist in your portfolio. Mobile is an enormous opportunity for everybody. For those of you that are selling it, our unlimited tariffs have become the tariff of choice. It’s one that clearly reduces a lot of risk but therein lies another opportunity. Without stealing the thunder of the guys later in the day… we’ve got a wonderful feature called Tariff Optimiser that you’ll be hearing more about.” 08:40
Pile then returned to the stage to emphasise Gamma’s commitment to its partners. He said, “How do we stay relevant to you? I remember when I was selling CPS, making a ten per cent margin, knowing that I was trudging slowly towards doom. We were never going to survive, and SIP trunking saved us. At Gamma we’ve always been taught to look over the next 5-10 years, not just the next 1-2 years.”
Pile pointed to CCaaS, SMBs and microbusinesses, and mobile as three segments that represent exciting opportunities for partners in the years ahead.
Chris Wade, chief product officer, Gamma, then discussed his role in listening to customer needs, then “translating” them into products. Wade then recapped on the mobile opportunity. “Things have changed over the past 18 months. I don’t think a fixed solution, or a mobile solution is enough on its own. Everybody needs a little bit of both: a mobile phone for data and a fixed line broadband connection at home. I think we’ll begin to see those two pieces coming together.”
Wade reflected on his role in ensuring partner and customer feedback is incorporated into Gamma’s product roadmap. He said, “What is it those conversations are telling you? And how can we realise value from that? How can we identify opportunities for our customers to do things differently?” Those questions, he explained, inform how products and offerings evolve.
Specialists from different product teams then took to the stage to dive into updated and new offerings, and the opportunities for partners around: collaboration and meetings, insights and automation, cloud telephony, conversation management, mobile and fixed broadband.
The event closed with a keynote from guest speaker Dr. Kevin Fong. Fong is an anaesthetist at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and was seconded to NHS England’s emergency preparedness resilience and response team early in the pandemic. He drew parallels between his own experiences tackling the pandemic, and the decision-making that every leader needs to make.
He explained, “If you’re facing a fast moving, complex threat, you have to be prepared to make decisions in the face of uncertainty. That sounds obvious, but it’s difficult to do. If you’re in a big organisation, your first instinct is to ask for more information, but you often don’t have the time. You have to have the discipline to make a decision knowing that it may be wrong initially, but you’re prepared to go again.
“You have to have the courage to make decisions, to delegate, defer to expertise, and go again and again and again until you’re out the other side.”