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CEO of Network Telecom, Duncan Ward, speaks about how his company has supported SMEs throughout the coronavirus pandemic

on Friday, 17 July 2020. Posted in Scaling up, Technology, Interviews

Using their state-of-the-art technology, Network Telecom has helped SMEs across the UK to stay connected during the coronavirus pandemic.

CEO of Network Telecom, Duncan Ward, speaks about how his company has supported SMEs throughout the coronavirus pandemic

Using their state-of-the-art technology, Network Telecom has helped SMEs across the UK to stay connected during the coronavirus pandemic

Duncan Ward joined Network Telecom in April this year as their new CEO, moving from his role as Chief Operating Officer at Toople, just days after the UK plunged into a nationwide lockdown in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Despite the overwhelming challenges that came with taking on a role during a worldwide pandemic, Duncan was able to overcome the odds and helped his team rise above the challenge. At the same time, his company helped launched several initiatives to help hundreds of businesses in the same boat as them. 

Network Telecom aims to continue to grow and expand despite the pandemic

With more than 25 years of experience in IT and the telecommunications industry, Duncan has his vision set on bringing Network Telecom to an international market and to build the brand’s portfolio to a wider audience. Part of Enreach, Network Telecom provides UK businesses with the latest technology and innovative solutions they need to communicate, including state-of-the-art telephone systems, lines and calls, broadband and IT services, serving businesses of all levels on multiple platforms. As one of the country’s leaders in network communication services, Network Telecom have risen above the coronavirus pandemic. With a team of 120 people working across the UK, Network Telecom has increased staff numbers by more than 20% and has seen a 21% increase in turnover in the last year.” They continue to expand their portfolio and provide solutions to thousands of businesses across the UK despite the challenges faced during the worldwide outbreak.

“I joined Network Telecom during the COVID-19 crisis which has presented its own set of challenges,” Duncan said. “Our focus has been on helping our customers throughout the pandemic, ensuring they have the right technology to keep their teams connected, wherever their business is working from. In the last 12 months, our staff numbers have increased by more than 20% and our profits have grown by over 30%. Our aim is to continue to grow and expand our product portfolio to offer the best solutions for businesses, especially now that we are part of the European unified communications group, Enreach.”

“As with any company, we faced a multitude of challenges during the Coronavirus pandemic,” he added. “We moved our entire team of 120 people to a remote workforce in March, with many now starting to return to our offices. Thanks to the technology that we provide to our customers and utilise ourselves, we found it easy to keep in touch and it has largely been business as usual. Our main challenge has been helping our customers to set up for remote working and making sure they have everything they need to keep their teams connected – from cloud phone systems and business mobiles to broadband and IT support.”

Enreach Meetings, Network Telecom’s premium video conferencing platform, is now free for new and existing customers

With their expertise in the field, Network Telecom has used its innovative technology to help SMEs struggling to communicate efficiently and stay connected with staff as thousands of UK employees are currently working home as a result of the pandemic. Network Telecom has now made their premium video conferencing platform, Enreach Meetings, free for all new and existing customers to help support businesses during this difficult time. The programme does not require downloading and can be used for both private and group video calls, allowing up to 25 participants at one time along with several unique features that can facilitate team meetings and allow members of staff to communicate much more easily.

Network Telecom is also offering three months free on all new cloud phone systems, which includes full Google play store access and built in video conferencing capabilities, to help provide communication solutions for businesses during the pandemic. “Helping SMEs throughout this difficult time has been our priority. Many SMEs turned to quick fixes in the rush to work remotely, such as call diverts and voicemail, but these were not sustainable,” Duncan said. “Unfortunately, this meant that businesses struggled to stay connected, were missing calls and found it difficult to communicate the same as they would in the office. Our cloud phone systems answered the need for flexibility and so we’ve put a number of offers together to help SMEs get set up as quickly as possible, with a phone system that works the same at home as it does in the office. For example, we are currently offering three months free on all new business phone systems.

“To help SMEs working remotely, we’ve recognised the need for simple solutions that keep teams connected and have a number of video conferencing solutions available,” he added. "Allowing both private and group video calls for up to 25 participants, Enreach Meetings focuses on flexibility and usability. One of the most unique features of Enreach Meetings is that users are able to drag and drop participants within the screen, choosing who they wish to see and in which order. In addition, we are offering three months free on all new cloud phone systems.

These include plug and play handsets that connect over WiFi, allowing businesses to install the system themselves and use the handsets from wherever they’re working. Our NT Multimedia desk phones have been a huge hit as they combine a smartphone and a desk phone, making life that much easier. Not only do they have full Google play store access, but they have built-in video conferencing capabilities which means keeping in contact with your teams is available at the touch of a button.”


Duncan advised SMEs to adapt and think out of the box to drive their business forward for continued growth

Duncan has urged businesses to rethink their current ways of working and adapt to new forms of technology to maximise efficiency and stay productive. In this way, businesses can stay versatile and operate smoothly during and after the coronavirus outbreak, allowing them to bounce back quickly from the pandemic. “Our biggest opportunity is to educate SMEs on the adaptable technology we offer and how it can benefit their businesses going forward,” Duncan said. “Through our internal technology and the technology we provide to our customers, we have been able to keep operating efficiently throughout this time. For example, each member of staff has an NT Multimedia desk phone, so calls are taken and transferred as though they were in the office.

This means we have avoided any disruption to our 24/7 customer service. I do think businesses will be able to bounce back quickly, as long as they have the right technology to support them. Many businesses are now looking at the ‘new normal’ and whether this means bringing in a flexible work policy. So, if businesses have a setup that works the same from anywhere, they’ll be able to continue communicating both internally and externally from anywhere. I think the end of lockdown will be a learning curve for every business.

My main piece of advice would be to stay open to new ways of doing things. The business world as we know it has changed and I think SMEs need to think to a more flexible landscape. It’s crucial to have, not only the right technology, but a robust business continuity plan and disaster recovery plan. It’s a new world with new way of thinking! Be versatile and think laterally about all the opportunities that are now in front of you.”

This interview is from Network Telecom, one of the UKs leading business communications providers, offering everything a business needs to keep talking wherever it’s working from.

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