Well kept secret

Well kept secret

Don McQueen
Don McQueen

A reasonably well kept secret until now, GCI has in the last five years grown in to a £40m plus midmarket to corporate reseller based upon both organic growth and self funded acquisition. CEO Don McQueen explains how and what his plans are for the future.

CEO Don McQueen describes GCI Com as a fast growing, profitable organisation offering innovative telecom solutions to UK SME and corporate customers.

Since its formation in 2005 the business has grown as a result of acquisition and through organic sales employing, says McQueen, the following strategy:

• Building a comprehensive suite of low cost, flexible telecom services for UK corporate customers :

• Moving from a voice reseller to a national IP network operator, creating a ‘next generation’ IP network for combined voice and data services for UK corporate customers.

 

• Investing in local loop unbundling (LLU) capability for high-margin data and voice services in selected geographical areas by taking over part of the BT local exchanges.

• Acquire strategic assets and businesses to complement the Group’s strategy, fully integrating them as required.

• Cross and up-sell group-wide products across all newly acquired customers.

• Focus on customer needs and develop efficient and responsive customer service systems.

The Group is privately owned by Wayne Martin, Chairman and majority shareholder, Don McQueen, Group CEO and James Keay, a non-executive director. The Board and management team have many years of experience growing and developing innovative and profitable telecoms companies. The Group’s revenue in 2009 was £18m with £2m after tax profits. In 2010 this will jump to over £40m turnover and £6m earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation. The Group’s balance sheet is very strong with significant funding lines to continue its acquisition and investment strategy.

McQueen notes that the Group has made seven strategic acquisitions in the last three years.

“These acquisitions have all been fully integrated into one functioning organisation for efficiency and service quality. I don’t see how you can successfully run a company with many acquisitions and keep their identity separate. All our subsidiary operations are integrated into a single management structure. There are several trading brands currently within the Group (Edge Telecom, IPI, Invomo and NetServices) but the process of migrating to the single GCI Com brand is well under way.

There are three main strands to our business, inbound telephony, outbound and data communications. We also have a network of resellers selling our products and services as well as three data centres which provide SaaS and cloud-based applications.

 

Partnerships:

Invomo is Hewlett Packard’s hosting partner of choice in the UK & Ireland. HP and their software development partners have developed a suite of applications, the ‘HP OpenCall Services Supermarket,’ that are delivered via their OCMP IVR platform. Invomo provides the telephony switching infrastructure, hosting services, 24/7 support and joint sales and marketing activities. Invomo has a 2500-port platform available and strategic partnerships with both BT Wholesale and BTagilemedia. BT Wholesale provides interconnection to their network and is Invomo’s primary trading partner for non geographic numbers.

By using BTagilemedia’s network, Invomo can ensure that sufficient capacity is available for any level of call traffic, whilst it maintains the technical implementation.

 

Training & Accreditation

IPI is a Managed Telecommunications Service Provider with an excellent reputation for service, delivery and support. IPI uses CCIE accredited engineers. All IPI solutions are delivered and supported 24/7 by Cisco qualified engineers utilising state-of-the-art delivery, monitoring and fault diagnostic tools including Cisco’s IP Solutions Centre and MPLS Diagnostic expert. This ensures unparalleled delivery and support standards. Netservices has the Master Managed Services Certification from Cisco.

 

Business Outlook & Plans

GCI Telecoms Group is investing in its own national IP network and LLU connectivity to be able to offer integrated voice and data over the ‘last mile’ local loop for UK corporate customers in over 85 city-centre locations.

Don McQueen, “Other LLU operators are focusing on building their product portfolio on residential ADSL and as a result their IP networks are unsuited to corporate low/zero contented data/voice services. GCI Telecoms Group has the opportunity to pick off BT high cost local data tails in the big city centres for corporate customers moving to higher speed uncontested data circuits for next generation voice and data services.

“The Vision For GCI Telecoms Group is to be the flexible, responsive telecommunication services provider to UK SMEs and corporate organisations – enabling customers to access the highest quality flexible telecom technology, empowering customers’ communications.

We anticipate reaching a turnover of £100m, in 2011 based on further acquisitions.”

 
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