Mike Ridgway, Qualitel, managing director

Mike Ridgway, Qualitel, managing director

Under the spotlight this month is Mike Ridgway, managing director at Qualitel. Qualitel is a totally independent company providing solutions for all areas of business telecoms, from business mobile phones through to innovative fixed line solutions. It has recently begun offering its partners Vodafone One Net Express, for which it is a Gold Partner.

MB: Qualitel offers a partner programme to mobile dealers. What does that programme involve, how does it work, and what are the USP’s of it, compared to your competitors?

MR: As a company, we currently offer five key products, all of which are available for on-sell through our partner channel. These are business mobile, mobile applications, vehicle tracking, lone worker solutions and fixed line systems.

The Qualitel Partner Programme allows our partner companies to utilise our expertise, contacts and market presence (we are one of the top 20 dealers in the UK) to on-sell this range of products. Essentially, our partners can supply additional products to add value to their service, whilst also earning commission from ourselves from each sale.

We open our Partner programme to any company, and aim to provide a forum for reciprocal business where this is possible. Currently Qualitel has around 35 partners on our books, and this number is expanding all the time.


Our unique promise to partners is that we will be as involved in the on-selling as they feel is required. Our USP is that we will not cut ties with our partners as soon as we have them on board. We will analyse their prospective customers current situation for them, we will attend any appointments where required and even help to close the sale. We will also create the written proposal, connect the solution and despatch the order if this is needed. This allows our partners to concentrate on one thing; gaining new prospects and ultimately new sales opportunities, rather than getting lost in the detail.

Our partner support is unrivalled in the UK; as well as being involved in the sale, we will also provide creative and marketing support and even training and development if this is required. Ongoing technical support is always just a phone call away and we will always give the most independent and impartial advice based on the requirements of our partner’s customer.

The key to our successful relationships with our partners is largely down to the fact that we have helped to grow the companies that we partner with, as well as giving them confidence to deal with products that they may not be overly familiar with.

MB: Qualitel offers its partners Vodafone One Net Express, for which it is a Gold Partner. What are the benefits of using FMC for business customers? How does FMC from a mobile perspective differ from FMC offerings that come out of the fixed side of the telecoms industry? Is this the future of mobile comms for business?

MR: The FMC provided by Qualitel through Vodafone One Net Express is beneficial to businesses in the current climate, where every sales lead or customer call is vital. It enables businesses to have access to their phone line at all times, which will not only help to capture sales leads but also improve customer service via a constant point of contact.

The One Net Express product is particularly beneficial to SME’s as it eliminates the requirement of a fixed landline, and all lines will be supplied by one network to keep things very simple, essentially providing all the benefits of a mobile to a fixed line market. The FMC system provided by One Net Express is a simple one-off monthly payment, which encompasses the cost of all internal and external calls and thus has the potential to save businesses a lot of money in the long run.

Another key benefit of the system is that the ‘landline’ numbers supplied can be flexible and local to the area in which the business wishes to target business, providing a trusted local landline number rather than unknown mobile numbers.

The FMC solution’s main difference from a mobile perspective as opposed to a landline perspective is the ability to work wirelessly, irrespective of whether people are at their office or not. The nature of fixed line is that there still needs to be a fixed line in place, whereas continual mobile access can make this redundant.

Mobile FMC solutions also provide a much cheaper solution to the traditional call divert systems, which often incur extortionate charges for diversion to mobiles.

Additionally, fixed lines work on a ‘charge per call’ basis, whereas because the One Net express solution is a one-off payment package it does not allow for the potential for unexpected (and unwanted) bills at the end of each month.

The future of mobile comms for business is very much to be ‘working in the clouds’, which is exactly what One Net attempts to replicate. The added flexibility that this system can offer, alongside the potential dramatic reduction in costs can only be beneficial to the future of mobile communications.

The ‘mobile office’ allows people to work and interact with customers from wherever they are without losing their links with the local community through the use of local numbers.

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