Posted on Monday 9 September 2019 by Ulster Business
Clarity Telecom helps businesses of all shapes and sizes develop their communications needs from the ground up, and is now rolling out its fast-growing cloud software across the UK and Ireland. Founder and managing director David Whelan speaks to Ulster Business about a business which boasts the right tools for the job
David Whelan’s vision and mantra for what is now one of the leading telecoms businesses is clear – telecommunications services are only as good as the foundations on which they are built, with engineering front and centre.
He’s the entrepreneur behind Clarity Telecom – a successful Belfast-based full-service telecommunications solutions company with almost 20 years under its belt, helping develop top-end connectivity – including lines, calls, mobile, broadband and cloud software – for businesses across Ireland and the UK.
And for David, telecoms is all about engineering at the core of finding the best comprehensive solution to its customers, having the right tools for the job, and having world class people.
For Clarity Telecom, it’s about developing a bespoke system for companies, focusing on engineering from day one.
Since its inception in 2000, Clarity Telecom has grown to have a greater engineering capability than any other independent telecommunications company in Northern Ireland, and is now rolling out its leading byphone VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) system throughout the UK and Ireland.
David also says through Clarity Telecom and its burgeoning byphone technology, the company could double revenues in the next three years as well as growing its workforce.
“The phone network stops at a plug in the wall and from that point on, you have to provide the infrastructure and management,” David says. “What we do is focus on the engineering. It’s all about how well it works and adapts to your business.
“By focusing on that we are looking at the way things are being built, and we can then get insights on how we can change and improve things.”
Led by engineering, the Clarity team is driving change within the telecoms industry ensuring client infrastructure is fit for purpose and for the future.
That starts with assessing a business’s needs, making sure the network is suitable, reviewing the workforce needs and bandwidth requirements. From there, Clarity Telecom can develop a bespoke solution – from cabling, to switching, cloud services, routing and phone systems.
Clarity Telecom now has a team of 50 staff – a third of whom work directly within the engineering side of the business. But that number could grow further still, as the company expands its business across Northern Ireland, and develops its byphone technology.
The company developed its subsidiary, Voxbit, in 2014 – specifically to design engineering solutions. And through that has come one of its most successful products, byphone. A simple to use VoIP platform, byphone is a drag and drop system that allows users to configure their own phone set up suited to the exact needs of the organisation and enables a range of analysis tools that can help business owners drive up efficiencies.
“In 2006 as VoIP started coming along, I realised that was a significant opportunity,” David says. “Where the communications industry is going is into the cloud. It’s going from traditional storage within buildings, into something in the cloud. The traditional telephone systems are evolving.
“We started making a series of innovations surrounding cloud technology. We realised you can make it simpler – we were asking ourselves, can you make it work without a manual, for example.
“If you can, in the same way as Apple’s iPhone made things easier for users, people will start using the services. It’s about making everyone’s life easier.
“The end user wants to be able to use the system easily, from managing their telephone number, to having access to voicemail. It’s about the ‘power of simple’.
“We now have around 100 resellers for the byphone system in the UK, and we are looking at trebling or quadrupling those sales,” he said.
One of Clarity Telecom’s customers is Mid & East Antrim Borough Council. The firm was tasked with bringing together the complex communication needs of the new ‘super council’ following the amalgamation in 2015.
“With bringing three councils together, one of the main problems was having a single phone number that people could call. If you have numerous sites, spread across three council areas, that would involve a lot of rip and replace,” David says.
“But we gave them one telephone number and then managed the routing to all those bits of equipment across the council areas.”
Hotel giant Andras House – which operates seven hotels and 1,100 rooms in Belfast including the Crowne Plaza at Shaw’s Bridge and the new Hampton Hilton – is also another major customer.
“Businesses trust us to be able to provide the engineering solutions in order for them to run their companies,” David says.
So, why should a business consider Clarity Telecom for its crucial and comprehensive connectivity needs? David says Clarity is all about improving how companies interact with their customers – making it easier, and thus, improving revenue and sales.
“As you manage your telephone connections you become better at dealing with your customers – you become more efficient at dealing with them, and they will have a better experience. It’s about improving customer contact.
“As a business you are able to do a lot more, such as listening to call recordings, access to statistics and using data which will help manage that contact, as well as saving on costs and making your business more efficient.
“What solution depends on your business. That is where we come along. We never put a system in without doing a full engineering visit.”
Some of the connectivity includes the ability to connect landline with mobile phones, call forwarding and being able to access voicemails as digital recordings, by phone or computer.
“When companies deal with us, they can come along and say ‘this is what we are trying to do’, and we are able to work the engineering and infrastructure, before then providing the services,” David says.
“It’s also about fighting against the view that it’s all about price. Yes, you have to be competitive, but you need the right infrastructure. For example, if a shop loses connectivity for two days, then they lose two days of sales, simply because they don’t have the back-up for the credit card payment system.
“It’s about getting businesses to think about the infrastructure and all of the issues. It’s not just about how cheap you can make a call. It’s about how customers can engage with your business – and we are at the heart of making that happen.”
For further information, contact Clarity Telecom on 0800 912 1000 or visit www.claritytele.com