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O2’s Direct Partner of the Year 2021: Meet Welcomm Communications

In May, O2 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.

Our Direct Partner of the Year 2021 is Welcomm Communications, who take the crown for the fourth year in a row. Based in the Midlands, Welcomm provides managed business communications across mobile, telephony, data connectivity, digital apps and IT support.

We spoke with Aidan Piper, Welcomm’s CEO:

Firstly, tell us a little about Welcomm Communications …

At the heart of it, we’re a communications and technology business offering a suite of managed business communications including Mobile, Telephony, Data Connectivity, Digital Apps, IT Support and Utilities to 3500 customers across the UK.

With over 32 years of experience in the industry, we’ve grown from the first mobile retailer in the Midlands to the large business communications specialists that we are today. Our ethos, right from the start, has been about keeping the customer at the heart of everything we do, and our goal is a simple one: to connect businesses to their customers.

How have you pivoted your business to survive and thrive in 2020?

It’s been a good year for us, although extremely challenging. We took the decision to go into lockdown about 10 days before the official guidelines, and that additional preparation enabled us to focus on keeping our people connected while working remotely.

Maintaining our company culture, centred around teamwork and collaboration was a challenge remotely – as it was with most organisations last year. We’ve got a really strong HR team, and their role in the early weeks was simply to maintain regular contact with our people, making sure that everyone felt involved and part of the team. That involved plenty of online quizzes and baking cakes – all the fun stuff. We aimed for daily, fun activities of one sort or another.

It helped to maintain momentum and most importantly, staff wellbeing. We actually had several customers remark that they were surprised that we were staying in touch with them, providing support – business as usual. A number of their other suppliers had simply gone quiet. But we knew that we had all the tools that could help them remain operational fast, so it was an excellent opportunity for us. In fact, we enabled more than 1000 users in our customer base to work remotely during the very first week of lockdown.

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

Well, we’ve been a partner of O2, and of BT Cellnet before that, for 32 years now. It’s a very strong and important relationship to us, and as you can imagine, with both organisations providing digital workplace and connectivity solutions, being part of the O2 Partner network has been particularly valuable during the past year.

How does it feel to be crowned one of O2’s Direct Partner of the Year?

Partner of the Year means the world to our people – it really does lift them, knowing that they are being compared alongside twenty or more other O2 strategic partners, and coming out on top.

To have won this award four years in a row is unprecedented. But to have won after such a challenging year – to have been there for our customers and help them to continue operating in the face of massive change, makes us feel very proud to be in the industry.

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

I think that the one thing that’s certain is that there’ll be plenty more change to come. Our customers will want to change, and we’ve got to be ready for them. That in itself is exciting.

I’m also excited at many of the emerging technologies and capabilities. We acquired a communications company in 2019 which has completely different capabilities to ours, including a focus on AI, and the ability to deliver private mobile networks. We see both as excellent opportunities for us over the coming years.

As a business we have always kept our eyes open to new and emerging technologies, and right now that seems more important than ever.

If you’d like to find out more about our partners, or are interested in becoming one, you can find out more here.

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