Welcomm to the future of B2B

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After starting life 20 years ago as a business based in a bedroom equipped with a fixed line telephone and a directory, Welcomm Communications has grown in to one of O2’s biggest B2B mobile dealers.

Welcomm, based in Market Harborough, Leicestershire was founded by current chairman Chris Stanton (pictured) almost 20 years ago.

Since then, the company has expanded significantly, now employing more than 30 staff and managing a customer base of around 23,000 connections. It measures its annual profits to be in excess of £1 million.

Stanton formed an early relationship with then service provider Securicor in the late 1980s, which at the time owned a 40 per cent stake in Cellnet, which later become BT Cellnet and finally O2.

The relationship has remained solid since. O2 now represents the majority of Welcomm’s business, and it is averaging around 1,000 connections a month in new and upgrades.

“It was a great relationship to have,” says Stanton. “It was a great selling point, because Securicor owned nearly half the network and we have stuck by ever since.”

In the 20 years he has been in mobile, Stanton jokes that he doesn’t know much else outside the field – funny considering he almost got a job doing double glazing when he came out of the navy.

“I came out of the navy and got a job as an electronic design engineer, but I really wanted to do sales, and although my technical background was ideal, in those days it was all about track records and I was told to go out and sell double glazing,” he recalls.

“It was during a time when mobile phone sales started, so I applied to an advertisement at EBS and took to it like a duck to water. Eighteen months later, I had the opportunity to set up a business myself. It was a gamble but it paid off.”

Welcomm is one of only a handful of B2B dealers enlisted in O2’s Centre of Excellence scheme, as well as the O2 ‘Enterprise’ Centre of Excellence which means the company has access to 24-hour customer service.

This month it was even declared an exclusive O2 reseller, as part of its Centre of Excellence (COE) commitments to the network, which says all COE partners were admitted 18 month ago on their ability to become exclusive.

O2 has even ranked Welcomm as its fourth most productive dealer in the country, based on its KPI success with the network. “We are very good at keeping customers,” says Stanton.

Full article in Mobile News issue 441 (June 15, 2009).

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