Back in the Wild

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In this interview, Editor David Dungay sat down with channel veteran
Andy Tow to discuss his new role as Managing Director of reseller Redsquid.

Comms Business Magazine (CBM): Andy, you have been supplying partners in the UK for many years… what attracted you to actually dive over the fence and run one?

Andy Tow (AT): It depends upon your point of view, but some would say I’m a poacher-turned-gamekeeper, and others: a gamekeeper-turned-poacher. However, I have spent over 7 years leading direct to customer technology companies, so I am very aware of the challenges involved – and the advantages offered – by dealing direct with end user businesses.

The reality is that by running an organisation that has direct relationships with its end-users, we’re able to influence, control and manage the level of service delivered to a customer more effectively.

When I’ve been involved with distributors or network operators reselling through other third-parties, it’s always been much harder to manage to maintain the exceptional level of service we’re looking to
provide here.

I’d much rather be in direct control of that and ensure a world class service to our customers, which you can only bring by being as close to the customer as you can possibly be.

CBM: Where is Redsquid heading in terms of your offering, ambitions, and customer base?

AT: We’re looking to provide a complete and full service to our customers. A purely unified communications operating service, that will encapsulate; mobile, fixed, connectivity software, app development, IT support managed services, print managed services. Redsquid will be a completely unified one-stop-shop. So a customer is completely clear on support and service they’ll receive by taking their IT and telecoms with Redsquid.

CBM: What would you say is Redsquid’s differentiator is then? There are a lot of companies out there that will promise the same thing.

AT: I don’t think there are any companies able to do that today. I’m not saying that there aren’t any companies looking to do it, but they aren’t actually providing a unified service.

My utopia is to have a single “per seat” commercial pricing policy; for example, we would charge a fixed amount per person, per month, for complete telecoms support. That would include all hardware, all software, support, and running costs (including maintenance, telephone calls etc…).It’s as simple as that. And for that the customer benefits from all services, as well as the very valuable benefit of having just one supplier, rather than multiple invoices or different roaming costs for mobiles etc.
It also means that when you sign an account, and several months down the line they’ve got another office that needs broadband, it’s a simple process of just adding that on and not costing them any additional money beyond monthly “per seat” costs.

CBM: What are the major challenges for Redsquid at the moment? How are you planning to overcome them?

AT: Our challenges are mainly related to growth. We can grow organically; which is just fine, we’ve done that from scratch over the last ten years, and have reached over 500 customers. But now we really want to kick on from here, and organic growth is a bit too slow for our current ambitions.

To speed things up we’re looking at acquisition; finding the right partnerships that fit, not just in terms of products and services, but also culturally as well.

CBM: Where are your biggest growth segments in the business?

AT: Well we come from a traditional mobile heartland, so we’re very strong there. Having developed some excellent partnerships; such as our Vodafone Total Communications Partner status, which is the top tier of their expertise level: something that all our staff are trained to.

Much of our work will be in strengthening product-sets where we haven’t historically been as strong; predominantly areas that aren’t mobile.

Fixed line, broadband, phone systems, cloud, cyber security and IT support services are all areas we’re involved with, but it will probably be these where the greatest future growth comes from.

We’re still in the early days of M2M applications. We’ve had an amount of success; it’s comparatively small, but we’re looking to actively grow that.

For example, providing sim-card data collecting applications for taxi companies, in an Uber-like way. Or providing ways for local businesses to give their customers better service with the use of small applications.