Barclay is now banking on B2B

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In 1997, Barclay Communications started life as a simple consumer-connecting mobile retailer in Northern Ireland.

Eleven years on, it’s one of the biggest B2B connectors in the UK, with a customer base expected to reach 140,000 by the end of its financial year in October, and a turnover of more than £11 million.

Barclay Communications moved away from retail and into B2B in 1999, supplying mobiles to businesses in Northern Ireland.

In 2002 it extended its reach across to the mainland, which now accounts for 40 per cent of its business; first to Scotland and then into England, giving it an international presence whilst still conducting everything from its head office in Belfast.

“We saw a gap in the market with B2B sales in Northern Ireland so we decided that was the future,” says Barclay Communications managing director Britt Megahey (pictured, right, with Telecoms director Adrian McCourt)).

“We expanded into Scotland to get ourselves on the ladder, and have seen year-on-year growth ever since, with sales increasing on a monthly basis.”

The company, which has 145 staff, currently connects customer with anywhere from two to 3,500 handsets and to all major networks except Vodafone.

Most connections go to O2 and Orange – it is an O2 Advance member and an Orange Business Specialist.

It also has direct relationships with T-Mobile and 3, as well as BT Mobile, although only a small percentage of business goes to these.

“We tend to connect more customers to Orange and O2. Not through bias, but because we feel the offering is better suited for our customers,” says Megahey.

“O2 and Orange are both fair and supportive and we have a great working relationship with them. O2 perhaps leads the way with its offerings, but Orange has improved greatly since Tom Alexander took charge, and the offerings are now much better.”

Full article in Mobile News issue 423 (September 22, 2008).

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