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Riley hints Daisy will fuel Channel M&A

Matt Riley, Founder and Chairman of Daisy Group spoke to editor David Dungay at the recent Channel Live exhibition.

“It’s brilliant here with a lot of people from early doors queuing in front of me to get in. The first thing I noticed was the diversity of the people and the exhibition stands here – the different technologies and backgrounds they are from. There’s more IT guys here than I have ever seen. Sky are here as well as many other big brand names – it’s just a brilliant show.”

Asked about his M&A strategy Riley said, “I think if you look at the channel today it is being fuelled by M&A. There’s been a lot of talk about the bigger players consolidating, for example, talk about whether Vodafone is going to buy Virgin in the UK, we’ve seen it with BT buying EE. There’s further consolidation to happen at that level over the next five years and I believe consolidation will filter down the channel. The channel is gaining loads of vibrant new entrants that want to make some money and will at some point want to make an exit.”
With the channel seemingly in a state of transition how would Riley characterise its position today?
“It’s difficult. I always look at it from a customer perspective; what do they think we have to offer them? I would say we offer users the ability to communicate with their customers. So that’s anything; a mobile phone, a telephone systems of some type, telephone lines, SIP or some other sort – they don’t really need to know what technology is used do they?”

Illustrating the point Riley said, “My mate has a car dealership; all he wants to do is sell cars, well sell finance and service packs actually. He doesn’t really care about the technology he uses to get people in but he wants to pay as little as possible for it and probably have just one throat to choke in terms of supplier.
The channel needs to think about what the customer wants and what I hear is they want to deal with one or two suppliers and not five or six and that you need to keep everything really simple for them so they can actually understand it. We are in danger of over complicating things ourselves for the customer.”

Riley says that the channel is getting the Opex model for supplying services far better today although the sales person and the tin leasing companies have taken a lot of persuading. See the full interview below.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine