Ian Hunter talks to Robin Spiers, Network Services Manager at reseller Net-Defence, a division of the Ogilvy Group, about their transition from telecoms to IT reseller.
Robin Spiers, Network Services Manager at Net-Defence, says their relationship with Gamma began around four years ago through being a reseller of their network services products.
“At the time we were a longstanding supplier of traditional PBX systems with Samsung but it was clear that hosted telephony could offer clients a different and more flexible usage model than legacy based systems.
We initially considered having our own Broadsoft platform but, as others have found to their cost, it takes a very long time following acquisition of the platform to get it ready for service and eventually monetise your offering.
Gamma has a ready to go best of breed set of services on their platform which we have developed in to a unique customer offering by including not only the lines and minutes element but also our IT and security services.
Our aim at Net-Defence is to be current and cutting edge; the market has moved on from kit sales tied to long term supply and service contract.
Today the market is demanding licensing of services and a pay as you go model which provides resellers with opportunities to grow their recurring revenue bases. So instead of £250.00 a year PBX maintenance contracts our preferred model is a cost per user per month set of services
Operationally there are many benefits for Net-Defence. We no longer have to carry expensive maintenance stocks nor run a fleet of service vehicles with expensive engineers sitting in them. Instead we just scope out user requirement, sell and provide the solution then bill it ourselves.”
Robin Spiers says that their move to hosted has not been without its challenges.
“This has been a culture change for Net-Defence but it occurred at a time when the company was already undergoing change anyway so we just managed the process through and at the end everything fitted together really well.
Almost immediately we had a big win with Gamma Horizon for an event management company where with help from Gamma we secured a 100-seat hosted telephony solution contract.
It was a defining moment in our transition and unquestionably a proof of concept as we replaced big chunks of plastic stapled to walls.”
This was our first win; Gamma presented the solution to the user and recommended an installation firm. Gamma helped us manage the change with our engineers – we provide first line support, and overall they have made the hosted telephony model easy for us to adopt.”
Looking to the immediate future Net-Defence is facing up to the key issues of the day.
“The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which comes in to force next May is becoming a bigger and bigger issue for firms. For many, getting their processes in place is hard and appointing a Data Processing Officer (DPO) is a big ask. We have noticed the legal profession starting to offer DPO-as-a-Service as the biggest worry for many firms is that companies can be banned from processing their own data.
Net-Defence is offering our customers a 3-day GDPR Gap Analysis consultation and report. From there we can provide the services for them to plug those gaps.
Part of our growth plan involves expanding our hosted telephony sales and to do that we need to employ the right sort of people with the right experience and skill sets. This is a pain point for many companies today and good people are becoming a very expensive commodity.”
Lewis Froud, Business Development Executive at Gamma has been working with Stirling based reseller Net-Defence for just over two years.
As Lewis points out, the reseller company has an interesting background.
“From being a firm steeped in telecoms and PBX heritage Net-Defence has transformed itself in to an IT, Data and Security services business that also provides hosted telephony to its clients.
The company looked beyond the restrictions of being a CPE based telephony supplier and found new success with Gamma’s Horizon hosted telephony solutions and network services portfolio.
Clearly there are many suppliers available in these markets but we have been able to demonstrate Gamma’s ability to not only provide innovative, reliable and cost-effective solutions but to also fully support the sales and technical teams at Net-Defence with product training and assistance with end user presentations.
In a fast moving and dynamic market place Gamma offers Net-Defence a stable and reliable supplier relationship borne of longevity and experience in the market together with a highly functional user interface portal and a comprehensive portfolio of quality network services products for IP
based connectivity solutions such as SIP trunks.”
Lewis Froud says that on-boarding new products and services is a challenge for any reseller.
“However, Gamma’s mix of on-line academy and on-site training eased that pain and smoothed out the process and with Net-Defence being a data and security savvy firm the fact that we have ISO 27000 accreditations was a major factor for them in selecting a hosted telephony supplier.”
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