Ubi celebrates 10 years of helping businesses communicate
The last 10 years have seen huge changes in the working environment, none more so than over the last year.
And telecommunications company Ubi, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, has kept pace, supporting its clients and growing steadily over the decade.
Ubi was established by David Collins and Dennis Hobday in December 2010. Both came from careers in the telecoms industry, but they felt they had more to offer, focusing on customer service and decided to establish their own company – Ubi. They initially worked with Baytek Office Solutions, based in their office, supplying their customers with telecommunications services.
David says although it was a leap from paid employment they felt confident that the business would work. He adds: “I never thought about the business failing, we were fortunate to launch ‘under the wing’ of Baytek and we were very grateful to have that relationship – it was a huge help at the time.”
After a couple of years Dennis decided to leave the partnership, and David continued as the sole partner, building a team around him. The Newton Abbot-based company now has nine employees, and clients in a range of sectors including hospitality, education and B2B professional services, across the south west.
David says the industry has seen many changes over the decade – perhaps the most significant being the move to cloud-based services.
“When we began, cloud-based technology was available, but the broadband was not high enough quality – we have seen that improve and it is now good enough for cloud.
“High quality cloud-based technology has been more important than ever, with people working remotely during the pandemic.”
David adds: “We moved to cloud ourselves in January last year, looking back, it was very timely as it has enabled us to be able to work remotely and to effectively support our clients throughout the pandemic.”
Many of Ubi’s clients are in the hotel and hospitality industry, with Ubi providing services like hotel telephone systems, or guest wi-fi. One of the first things the company did during the first lockdown was to offer support to its clients, reducing their monthly bills wherever possible.
“We knew how hard this would hit our hospitality clients, so we contacted them all and offered to pause any the services that we could, to help them. For us it’s about relationships and the level of customer service and care we offer to our clients – we’re not in it for a quick win.”
Flexibility is key to customer relations for Ubi, with short term contracts and minimal tie-ins for their clients. David adds: “We have never insisted on long contracts, and I believe that we have kept customers because of this approach.”
And how does David feel the workplace will change – post pandemic?
“I think, that where businesses are able, we will see more flexible working, people combining working from home more often with office-based work. Most businesses will retain an office, but I anticipate they will be smaller, more flexible premises.
“We know that lots of people have been able to successfully work from home, but for most, I believe a combination of office-based and home-based work will be the new way of working. There used to be a lot of mistrust around people working from home, but I think this last year has proved that is completely unfounded, with many people actually becoming more productive. I think there is also a lot of ‘Zoom fatigue’ with people craving face-to-face interaction.”
Looking back, what advice would David give to himself? I’d say, “Follow your instincts a bit more and also, from the early days, perhaps don’t be quite so optimistic with budgets!”