Stand First: Director of iFace Group and Selective Networks, Jonathan Rutter, spoke to Comms Business recently regarding their position in the market and how they plan to scale the business to overcome industry challenges.
Comms Business Magazine (CBM): Can you tell readers a little about your growth strategy?
Jonathan Rutter (JR): Our aim remains strong yet simple; we want to have an effective, hassle free model that can be distributed through our channels. We plan to do this by utilising IT strategies that are not currently in the market place. To achieve this, we are focusing on three key areas; Our current acquisitions, our customers and what new products and services we can introduce. Through this, we will pay close attention to upselling telephony products and IT not currently seen in the market place to existing customers within the group. A range of products are currently in development across the group, we are using our team and their diverse skill sets in technical areas and processing. This will enable our channel partners to easily resell these products with no hassle. Our channel partners are fundamental to our growth along with our team. This fluidity of business will mean greater sales and satisfied customers.
CBM: Explain your roadmap to future business and success?
JR: The group wants to grow organically through our existing customers as previously mentioned. Our timeline facilitates the rollout of the new products towards the end of July and we are looking to make a third acquisition in the IT, Telecommunications or Tech market by the end of the year. With our current offices in Leeds, Manchester and Drayton, we will be solidifying our stance as a northern powerhouse in these sectors.
Our plan is to eventually gain a London presence, either via another acquisition or gaining a space in the capital’s market. We are already working closely with partners who are based towards the south, so it is only natural that we will grow towards a national level.
CBM Why do you believe this approach will be successful?
JR: We offer a unique product to the market that has been tried and tested in the corporate space, however this is not something that is currently being delivered to SME. We also aim to branch into IT that encompasses AI, which is where the future market lies. AI (artificial intelligence) – machine learning is the next stage in the progress world we live in. It will help customer car agents focus on higher complexity customer issues and improving engagement. Integrating with all the major platforms in the world. With greater numbers also comes greater strength and skills, adding new team members with advanced skills will help us achieve this.
CBM: What market challenges are you currently facing?
JR: The margins in telecoms is obviously dwindling now, the hosted arena presents vast competition which is why it’s even more important to offer unique service opportunities. No business on the market is bringing together: Comms, IT and connectivity at a single price point for the customer, utilising AI and the IBM product suite for fluidity.
With our overall growth it is important that we source our staff correctly. We have built our team comprising of the existing staff from our mergers as this was very important to us. We believe in developing individuals and understanding where their roles could help in our growth. Unfortunately, our challenge is in the external recruitment, whereby we must source individuals to our standard who are motivated and positively impact the dynamic of the team. We don’t believe in high turnover when it comes to our staff and most of our team have been with us from the very beginning. The core foundations have been set and we will have to be incredibly strategic in the way we build upon them. Expanding our already driven sales team and experienced account managers will be our first challenge in this area but no doubt the key to our future success.