Very many thanks for clicking through to have a read about our year and our ambitions for 2019. I’ll also give you some insight into what I think makes us different to most other Comms and Internet firms out there. As in my past tradition, I’ll do this through 12 quick points:
  1. This time last year we were in the last weeks of transitioning our responsibilities of our stake in Wessex Internet before completing at the end of January. The business has come out of the other side stronger and with a renewed focus and purpose. Our legacy remains a tremendous service which will last decades in rural North Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire.
  2. The development of our connectivity brand Giganet is now well into its start up phase. We have an unbeatable set of services, both locally in Hampshire as well as a national capability which we’re gaining early success with. It is fantastic to have a price and resilience advantage over most alternatives, particularly with gigabit capable fibre.
  3. What a fantastic long hot summer we had! We were able to celebrate our 15th business birthday on August 1st with a BBQ in a nearby country park. It has been quite a journey and it’s also incredible that 2/3 of our team have been with us for most of our 15 years. I said at the time that I researched what the chances were of a telecoms firm being around after this time and learnt they are in the low percentages. It is very pleasing to be a beacon of quality and continuity in a fast paced sector, in an ever-changing business landscape.
  4. We are securing an increasing amount of new business from partner introductions or their resale of our services. New partners really appreciate how easy we are to work with and how quickly they can serve their customers via our trade portal for Internet and our professional services. We’re keeping up careful growth of this important area and will hopefully double our active partners by this time next year.
  5. Having our own well connected London Internet Core is a huge differentiator. This year we’ve enhanced it, done relocations to secure more tier 1 partners and improved our resilience. It means that our voice customers gets a voice and data service which is completely in our control and our new data only customers can confidently start a secure long term journey with us. Within the business, we understand we can only scale if we take advantage of streamlining processes with these suppliers who have a digital ‘API’ capability. Behind the scenes we have and continue to undertake much development of systems to keep improving our operational effectiveness, our business resilience and our security.
  6. 2018 business statistics are pleasing, apart from the sales number. We have very high client loyalty, staff loyalty and again, continued superb customer service feedback. This only happens because our team care and do an excellent job. This was recognised earlier in the year when we were finalists in top categories of our industry’s awards – being benchmarked as one of the best in the UK for telecoms customer services is something we are very proud of.
  7. So for 2019, we are ambitious and have a strong desire to see the sales momentum build regarding Giganet and DBX, as well as upgrading our Splicecom customers to Cloud and DBX (Our hosted phone system based on Splicecom software). One client who has gone on this journey is Helping Hands of Alcester who updated in-premises ISDN to Cloud Splicecom with our Internet services for their head office and 80+ branches. They have also upgraded to Vision Call Centre recently. This case study became the runner up in The Best Enterprise Cloud solution at the same awards.
  8. In 2018 we’ve attended many Hampshire business networking events with our Giganet team, to help build our brand. One thing we have noticed is that there are few of these who are focussed towards our typical business customer – the 15 to 150 man growing business. So we have decided to organise our own, the first is to be held on the 13th of March and it is being designed to be the best business networking event attendees have ever been involved in. Hampshire contacts, stand by for more information in the new year.
  9. Those of you who have a call centre may be interested to learn that we’re attending the Call & Contact Centre Expo at London’s Excel in March. There we’ll be showcasing the Hermes omni-channel blended hosted system which is providing to be a real success for one of our biggest clients, Harlands of Hayward’s Heath, which was another awards finalist case study.
  10. Next year I am having a go at raising some money for Alzheimer’s research and support. We all know someone close who has or is suffering from this awful illness and next September my wife Jayne and I are going to cycle Lands End to John O Groats with the Ride Across Britain team. There’s nothing like having such a challenge to help focus the mind, your health and well-being.
  11. Something you may not know is a discipline that I have followed for the last 4 years, is getting an e-mail out to all staff on the last day of every month. This is where I provide an update, some acknowledgements, thanks and information on the side projects we are working on. It’s a great way to help ensure that important things get done and that my team feel like they are involved. Hence my annual version to our customers and important contacts.
  12. Perhaps one of the things about running M12 that I get most pleasure from is my meetings with our customers – sometimes held just because I am in the area. We always chat about business generally, as well as our services they buy from us. I am always taken with the candour given about their businesses, their interest in M12 and nice comments about team members here. If there are any common themes, you are all concerned about finding the right quality skills, would love potential clients to make speedier decisions and we’re all looking forward to some certainty regarding the “B” word. What is noticeable though, is that we are very much ‘glass 1/2 full people’ , there is a lot of resilience and determination to make progress in spite of the challenges.
On behalf of all here at M12 and Giganet I wish you a tremendous Christmas and New Year break and hope that you have a prosperous 2019.
Very best wishes,