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View from the Channel

With Jamie Lake, Managing Director of Pure Cloud Solutions

Pure Cloud Solutions, a telecoms and cloud provider with offices in Tamworth and Clydebank in Scotland, is on course to grow turnover by 20% to £5.4 million, following increased demand from clients needing to support remote working in the wake of Covid-19, as well as those requiring a fully managed service, incorporating telephony, cloud, IT networks, security solutions and disaster recovery. Managing Director Jamie Lake said: “We are taking on companies ten times our size and winning new contracts because clients want bespoke solutions and not an ‘off-the-shelf’ option. Investment in the latest software and infrastructure means we can deliver exactly what businesses need and this has been evident during the pandemic when our expertise in ‘mobile-first solutions’ has really come into its own. Companies now need to be able to facilitate more home working and our Unified Communications Anywhere (UCA) app allows them to have all of their landline calls securely directed to mobiles anywhere in the world.”
The company, which was founded in 2012 by brothers Darren and Martin Lake, is now planning to expand into complementary services and new geographic areas through an acquisition programme. Here, Jamie Lake, who started at the company as an Apprentice Engineer in 2012, offers his view from the channel.

Technology Reseller (TR): How’s business; better or worse than 12 months ago? And how confident are you about the future?
Jamie Lake (JL): Different! We’ve experienced another year of substantial growth. However, doing business has been completely different to anything I’ve ever experienced, with face-to-face meetings being non-existent! I’m confident that normality will resume and that we will continue to grow by staying at the forefront of technology.

TR:  In what areas are you experiencing strongest demand?
JL:  Mobility. Whether through virtualised IT, hosted telephony or Fixed to Mobile Convergence (FMC), our clients want to be able to work flexibly from anywhere at any time.

TR: Where is business proving most difficult?
JL: Getting clients to upgrade (or commit to upgrade) their services has been fairly difficult over the past 12 months, due to the uncertainty that we’ve all experienced. Thankfully, with the roadmap to normality now laid out, businesses are starting to get their confidence back and make those commitments.

TR:  How have you changed/are you changing business operations to exploit new opportunities?
JL:  We rolled out EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) in 2019 to clearly define accountability, culture and values within the business, including having ‘the right people in the right seat’. Our senior management team also agreed a 1, 3 and 10-year plan that details our growth strategy and targets that everyone in the business is aware of and has bought into, meaning that our entire workforce is pulling in the same direction.

TR:  What do you see as the biggest challenges facing channel businesses today?
JL:  I think one of the biggest challenges facing businesses is the ability to stand out in a crowded market. With that in mind, it is key that businesses identify their differentiator and use that against the competition.

TR:  Could vendors and distributors do more to help overcome them? And if so, what?
JL: Vendors and distributors giving everyone a level playing field in terms of price would make the industry more competitive and help SMEs win a fairer share of opportunities. With the current setup, in which discount levels are dependent on partner status, SMEs will never be able to compete with the larger enterprises and will always be on the back foot when it comes to price. It would be nice to see that change and for vendors and distributors to support the SME market.

TR:  Are customers becoming more demanding, and if so, in what ways?
JL:  I wouldn’t say customers are becoming more demanding. However, they have definitely changed their way of thinking and are increasingly looking at the bigger picture and investing in technology that will drive their business forward and improve operations, as opposed to thinking short-term and fixing a problem as and when it arises. It’s great to see and really allows us to utilise our expertise to deliver tailored solutions based on our clients’ needs.

TR:  If you could change one aspect of your job, what would it be and why?
JL:  Being completely honest, there’s nothing I would change. I’m in an enviable position where I get to deal with all aspects of the business and can utilise my skillset to mentor my team and help them grow.

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TechnologyReseller: 2021