Taking control of the remote

Enreach is the new name of Network Telecom which was acquired by the firm in 2019. CEO Duncan Ward tells us updates us on the rebrand and how its product suite has been front and centre in the remote working revolution.

Taking control of the remote

Enreach is the new name of Network Telecom which was acquired by the firm in 2019. CEO Duncan Ward updates us on the rebrand and how its product suite has been front and centre in the remote working revolution.

In these continually difficult and challenging times, a tendency towards hyperbole tells us that life as we all experienced it may have changed course for good; that covid has altered everything.

There’s no denying the impact of the pandemic in the short term and of course, in the most terrible and permanent of ways, but second guessing the longer term effects seems to be a hit and miss game played by media commentators.

To add to that gameplay, if there is a significant change it is likely to be in our approach to work. Remote working has been the norm for nearly all office-based staff across the globe for the last 12 months, much to the delight of those behind Zoom, Teams and for a short while even Houseparty. Remember that? Now residing the same file as MySpace and Friends Reunited. 

Opportunity knocks for Enreach

For business telecoms specialist Enreach,  the potentially permanent shift in attitudes towards working practices presents a genuine opportunity.

The firm has recently rebranded from Network Telecom, after being acquired by Enreach in 2019.

The process went really well, explains Enreach CEO, Duncan Ward. I’m incredibly proud of the team but of course, there were challenges along the way.

Rebranding while still in lockdown was a challenge in itself but being able to utilise our own cloud technology made a big difference. We had regular video calls, as well as many instant chat groups to ensure each and every employee was in the loop and on board.

Since being acquired by Enreach in late 2019 we knew that rebranding was on the cards and then around five months ago we decided to make it happen. We did this to truly align with Enreach and to give us an added stamp of approval in our industry thanks to the backing of the group.

This rebrand will enable us to continue to develop our direct-to-business customer base and accelerate the support we’re able to offer our customers as they migrate from outdated traditional phone systems to future-proof cloud solutions.

Stirring up the telecoms market

Ward brings with him quite a CV in the industry, stretching back over 20 years and including stints at Toople and Orange Business before that.

It was his time at Orange that really established him in the industry.

While at Orange, myself and the team managed to increase our market share from one per cent to 23 per cent in three years, setting us up as one of the most successful providers in the sector. This is something I am extremely proud of.

His current role as CEO of Enreach UK enables him to lead the UK arm of the Enreach group which aims to become the ‘go to’ provider for SMEs in the ‘new normal’. 

We’re newly established in the UK so it’s a hugely exciting time for me and the team to truly put our stamp on things and stir up the market, he says.

During the pandemic the Enreach team has been working closely with SMEs to ensure they have everything they need to work efficiently throughout the pandemic and beyond. 

We’ve upgraded many current customers to cloud phone systems to ensure their solutions are fit for purpose in the changing world of work explains Ward. We’ve also taken on many new customers and have become the provider they can rely on throughout these challenging times. We’ve equipped them with every product they need to work their magic, from new cloud solutions to business-grade broadband, mobile and IT solutions.

The unplanned nature of the pandemic (pandemics are like that) saw a lot of firms quite unprepared for the shift towards remote working and the technology, safeguards and protocols that needed to be out in place to ensure that it worked in the best way for their organisation.

Many SMEs had never considered remote working prior to the global pandemic and weren’t sure what they needed. Unfortunately, at the beginning of the pandemic we encountered a lot of SMEs scrambling to put together short-term solutions, such as call diverts, so they could carry on working from home. As a result, SMEs require longer term solutions that will ensure they meet their goals regardless of what the future holds.

A lot of SMEs required additional extras to help with remote and hybrid working, whether that be additional business mobiles or WiFi boosters and business-grade broadband. In stark contrast, larger companies with many more staff needed full unified communications solutions to replicate their multi-site systems at home. This meant a complete move to the cloud, connecting their phones, computers and mobiles to one, unified, system. 

More so than ever, cost is a big factor for SMEs which is why cloud solutions have been so favourable for them. They reduce the need for hardware, creating cost efficiencies, and make calls over existing internet connections to reduce monthly bills even further.

The situation led to unplanned changes for Enreach too, which had to accelerate the roll out of its cloud solution, Enreach Contact, with features including a built-in softphone, that allows users to make calls through their laptops and a mobile app that comes part and parcel of Enreach Contact to make talking on the go easier. 

We’ve also increased our mobile offering and begun to offer business-grade broadband for home workers. Of course, we’ve also focused on our video conferencing platform offering, Enreach Meetings, to ensure our customers have a reliable platform for those daily video calls.

Moving to the cloud has been the choice made by many business owners over the past 12 months as it has made remote and hybrid working a lot easier. Future-proof features such as built-in softphone and the easy to user online portal allow the customer to make instant changes to things like their voicemail or on-hold marketing.

It essentially takes your office setup and moves it to your home office, giving employees access to everything they need in the same way as normal. This has meant that home workers got set up a lot quicker than those without cloud solutions.

Ironically, even Enreach itself had to make quick adjustments to its normal working practices as part of the shift to remote working.

At the beginning, having to do everything by video call was strange, says Ward. After all, we so enjoyed face-to-face interactions with our customers. 

Our Account Managers had to change from discussing upgrades in face-to-face meetings to chatting on video calls. Similarly, our UC Specialists who would visit prospective customers to run through their requirements, had to move to video meetings too. Perhaps even more of a challenge, our communications engineers could no longer attend customer sites to install our systems, they had to learn to do this virtually wherever possible. 

But, that being said, we adapted quickly and moved to virtual meetings for everything including our installs and those all-important team catchups.

 The rapid adoption what you might call ‘Zoom culture’ has shown just how easy and low-cost comms solutions can be, which has been a huge boost to Enreach and other such solutions providers. And it’s something Ward believes is here to stay now.

Remote working isn’t going anywhere and neither are the cost efficient comms solutions that SMEs are currently utilising. 

For those that aren’t already making the move to the cloud, we strongly recommend it. Not only will it make remote, hybrid and office-based working that much easier but it will put you ahead of the ISDN switch-off that is fast approaching.

With the UK gradually moving out of lockdown and back to (here comes that hideous phrase again) ‘the new normal’, Enreach can push forward with a whole suite of business telecoms solutions for a new office culture that has remote contact if not at the heart of it then certainly as an integral component.

We’ve got some fantastic new products on the horizon that we plan to bring to the UK market this year. This includes Contact Centre as a service (CCaaS), Chat artificial intelligence (AI), electronic point of sale (EPOS) as well as upgrade to Enreach Contact.

This article comes courtesy of Enreach, one of the UK’s leading business telecoms providers.


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