Activ moves offices and starts recruiting

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Ian Gillespie’s new dealer and distributor firm eyes unified communications grounding

Activ Telecom is to treble its staff numbers in the next 12 months as it looks to compete with established B2B dealers in the UK market.

Activ Telecom last week relocated from a two-room office in Cramlington to a 6,000 square foot building in Newcastle as it prepares to expand the business and be a “significant player in the B2B dealer market”.

Activ Telecom director Ian Gillespie (pictured) told Mobile News he is to increase staff numbers from six to around 21 by the end of the year, having partnered with recruitment company TDA in the local area.

The company has recently appointed Katie Denny as its new marketing manager. Denny joins from recently wound-up Vodafone B2B dealer Fone Solutions.

Gillespie said he was targeting staff with a background and experience in IT and B2B sales rather than dealer sales, apparently ruling out a direct raid on his old Fone Logistics business, which he sold to Daisy Communications for £3.6 million in June.

He said the company is being set to run as a reseller of convergence  products such as O2 Joined Up, Vodafone OneNet, and Microsoft OCS products.

Activ Telecom has a direct relationship with Vodafone through Yes Telecom and will continue to connect Orange and O2 via Fone Logistics for another two years under restricted covenants.

Gillespie said: “In the short time we have been here we have done a lot of work. We have moved premises from a facility which is too small and bought  one that is too big, but we will grow in to it.

“We are on a recruitment drive to increase our sales team. We have plans to recruit between 10 and 15 sales people in the next months.”

He said: “Activ has been selling voice and data for four years – such as BlackBerrys and mobile broadband. But technology is moving fast and we are looking to sell unified communications, and products like Microsoft OCS. We are moving away from minutes and voice.

“We have a big base on O2 which we will need to maintain and it’s a good business because of revenue share. But we are totally independent; we will give the customer the choice and offer them the right solution for their business.”

Gillespie confirmed he was aiming to redevelop its website before Christmas and grow his Three distribution business alongside, which he brought with him from Fone Logistics.

Activ Telecom can currently only distribute Three products to the business market but is in talks to distribute to consumers also.

Activ Telecom distributes Three airtime and products to around 20 B2B dealers at present, it said, and is putting through 1,500-2,000 connections for it per month.

Gillespie said: “We are a small dealership and just wanting to develop and become a prominent player in the market. As a distributor of Three we are only operating in the B2B space but we believe it has some great products like MiFi (pictured) that should be more broadly distributed.

“Activ has direct and indirect selling arms, and it will look at all of Three’s product ranges.”

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