O2 Distribution Partner of the Year 2021
It’s that time of year again when O2 announces the winners of our annual Partner of the Year Awards, recognising organisations that consistently provide world-class customer service and support in what has been increasingly challenging times.
We are delighted to announce that Digital Wholesale Solutions are winners of O2’s Distribution Partner of the Year for the third year in succession.
We spoke online with Jamie Macrae, Director of Distribution at Digital Wholesale Solutions, shortly after the announcement of the award.
Q: Firstly, tell us a little about Digital Wholesale Solutions …
Our goal is to be the largest Channel business in the UK for IT and communications products. We offer an evolving digital infrastructure portfolio that enables our partners to supply their customers with relevant and effective digital solutions.
Q: How have you had to pivot your business to survive & thrive in 2021?
It has been an interesting year, to say the least. By March of 2021, we had just about completed the work to establish Digital Wholesale Solutions as a standalone business, separate from the Daisy Group. While COVID has presented its challenges, it hasn’t slowed us down. We’ve actually acquired two other businesses during 2020, Union Street, the UK’s leading provider of telecoms billing, and Giacom, a channel-only cloud services provider.
We were also incredibly fortunate (call it hindsight!) in that we had just completed a programme to refresh the company’s IT following migration to Windows 10. As the pandemic started to bite, we only had around thirty people across the whole business who were still using a desktop computer.
Nevertheless, the biggest impact from COVID came during the first lockdown. We watched the impact that it had on our partners’ end-user customers, and for a couple of months, it was a very stressful time for our partners and us.
We had to switch quickly from our normal sales lead function to a support function, even helping some of our partners with accessing some of the available COVID support packages. I’m pleased to say that O2 reacted very quickly and provided additional support through flexible commercial terms, which enabled us to pass them on to partners and their customers.
Q: What does it mean for your business to be part of the O2 Partner network?
For a company that relies heavily on partnerships, being part of the O2 Partner network is extremely valuable and important. I am particularly excited about the O2 merger with Virgin Media because from the network build perspective, it’s important to recommend and supply as broad a range of mobility solutions as possible, whether it’s mobile devices, broadband, networks, all from a single, trusted supplier.
We have two relationships with O2, because we also sell on a wholesale model, which is accelerating rapidly at the moment. So I hope we will be in the running for a second O2 award before too long!
Being an O2 partner also gives us access to some incredible data via the Insights Portal, which helps us provide better information for our partners to manage their own end-user customers.
Q: How does it feel to be crowned O2’s Distribution Partner of the Year (for the third year running)?
It feels really, really good – and I can’t thank our sales team enough.
As a business focused on mobility products, we’ve inevitably seen sales increase as a result of COVID. Companies have been equipping employees to work from home, many of whom would not have been provided with so much as a mobile phone before 2020.
I am confident that this will continue, and there will be an ongoing need for the full range of mobile products. I think the days when businesses recruit for office-based employees are over, and instead, we’ll see hybrid recruitment based on what people want and how they prefer to work.
Q: What are you most excited about that the future will bring?
I am excited to be meeting up with the board and leadership team again. We recently had our first face to face meeting for over a year in London. It was a big change and felt like a long day, commuting back into town after so long, but it felt absolutely great.
Beyond that, we have recently committed to a multi-year agreement with O2, and I’m excited about what we can do going forward with that. We’ve taken over management of the Chess distributor base as well, and I’m looking forward to the hard work of getting their performance aligned to ours.
O2 is now a really significant part of our business, and with the integration of the Insights Portal, we have been able to access, in real-time, the sort of customer data that helps our partners to work more effectively for their end-user customers.
If you’d like to find out more about our partners or are interested in becoming one, you can find out more here.