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O2’s Developing Partner of the Year – Meet Cellular Solutions

We recently announced the winners of our annual Partner of the Year Awards – recognising organisations who provide a consistently outstanding, world-class customer support and service as well a high level of digital knowledge and expertise.

This year we awarded Developing Partner of the Year to Cellular Solutions, one of the country’s leading providers of business solutions and communications, based in Hove, in Sussex.

Following the announcement of their award win, we spoke with Managing Director, Dan Gardner.

Tell us a bit about the business …

So the business was formed in 1999, which meant that we celebrated our 20th anniversary last year. Our relationship with O2 goes back to the early 2000s, so we’ve been a partner for nearly 20 years.

We provide high value business solutions to help businesses to improve their communications and effectiveness. We’ve grown the business organically, rather than through acquisition, by targeting high quality customers that are proven to remain with us, and the network, for many years. It’s why we have an exceptional customer retention rate of 95% for our mobile business, and as high as 98.6% for our fixed services business.

As a business, we’ve always been proudly independent. Along with my business partner, Damian Mottram, we have built the business to a headcount of 40 – and in such a way that it feels very like a family business, with our relationships with partners, customers and staff as its foundation.


What’s the best thing about working at Cellular Solutions?

Our business is heavily focused around giving back to the local community, which is a big cultural aspect of what we do. We have a Charitable Trust, supporting local hospices and homeless charities in Brighton. We also have a charity bike ride, which a dozen or more of us take part in, cycling in stages down through France, with each leg raising £30-40,000 for charity. It began back in 2011, and we’ve raised about £250,000 so far.

I believe we are regarded as a fair and equitable employer, and wherever we can we try to progress people internally. I can’t think of the last time we took on someone from outside the organisation into a senior role.

This year has given us the opportunity to try out different ways of working, and earlier in the summer we introduced a reduced working week. We wanted to measure the impact on productivity of allowing people to leave early on alternate Friday afternoons, effectively creating a four and a half day week. So we have assessed the impact for our customers, and we haven’t seen any detrimental impact.


What does it mean to be part of the O2 Partner network?

It feels like an elite community of partners, and the network feels like one of the most consistent, reliable and stable in existence. It’s that consistency and reliability that is so important to us, because these are the same values that we strive to offer our own customers.

We value the fact that the management team at O2 want to engage with partners on a one-to-one level. They welcome our advice, and have the same customer focus that we do. It feels like exactly that – a genuine partnership.


So Cellular Solutions won the award for Developing Partner of the Year. How does that feel?

For us, it feels like one of the most meaningful, credible and perhaps objective awards that we’ve won. Everyone in our business, as well as our customers, know that this is something really significant. It represents something entirely quantifiable, measured against performance over a period of time. So it’s really significant – and we feel that it’s a proper recognition of our achievements in 2019, in what was a really successful year for us.


What are you most excited about that the future will bring?

What fills me with optimism, at this incredibly uncertain time, is that we’re moving into a world where mobile services are being used more widely, and perhaps with greater depth and diversity, than ever before.

We see our future flourishing by providing the long-term view to businesses and organisations, helping them navigate through what lies ahead and supporting them to transition from a fundamentally set, fixed workplace environment into a much more fluid and dynamic way of working.

The consistency and reliability of the mobile network, combined with 5G and other emerging technologies, will enable the opportunity to deliver services that we haven’t even defined yet, but that will emerge further along the digital journey that we are all going through. And that’s really exciting.


If you’d like to find out more about our Partners, or are interested in becoming one, speak to Sean Vijars, O2’s Business Development Manager.

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