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with Darren Szukalski

​For the first episode of The WNTD podcast, we were joined by Darren Szukalski, Sales Director at 1823 Group, a company that ‘manages communications for the real world of work.’ They are a small but fully formed communications offering, providing all three main mobile networks, network connectivity, and unified communications to small and medium enterprises. 

Having developed a varied career working with leading corporations along the likes of Apple, AT&T, and Virgin Media, he shares his perspective on why all companies need to rethink their focus on their connectivity infrastructure.

Where do you see the telecommunications sector heading? 

​It depends on how you look at the market. Most of the time, headlines feature topics like AI, Cloud transformations, security is an increasingly hot topic, and a small company will have a different view of technology than a big company; they’re impacted by these developments in a different way and they’re viewing the tech world through a different lens. 

​A small organisation of ten people, for example, might be more interested in advances in how they can best collaborate through telephony and how they’re using some of their software and applications. Yet, a big organisation will all be talking about AI and ESG, because that’s relevant to them.

​In fact, ESG is a buzzword at the moment; it stands for Environmental Social Governance. Some of the biggest companies are really focused on becoming more environmentally friendly, both in their business processes, the infrastructure, how they travel, how they can be more carbon efficient. And the emphasis is really on the governance supporting the business activities they’re undertaking. Whereas that’s understandably, not a priority to the same extent in smaller businesses – they have a different set of challenges 

What would you say to organisations thinking about ways to improve their connectivity infrastructure? 

​We’re seeing a change in people’s habits. Direct outreach is becoming increasingly difficult because people are becoming harder to get hold of. A few years ago, office hours used to be our peak; salespeople worked to catch people when they knew they’d be in the office or travelling at certain times. That’s all been thrown up in the air in recent times with people not going to the office as much or doing so on flexible schedules. 

​So, it’s become especially important to present your brand and services well online through blogs, good reviews, referrals, or recommendations. Video is increasingly becoming more prevalent now that people are consuming on their mobile devices.

​Ultimately, technology exists to create efficiencies in the ways in which people work and collaborate. The Internet of Things, for example, another buzzword, involves trying to use mobile technology to improve what might otherwise have been a manual process; whether that be in manufacturing or travel, for example, technology should be used to make things more efficient. Every company ought to question: “How can technology make my life easier? How can we sell more? How can we improve the customer experience?”

​On that last point, when we talk about the role of technology within customer experience, it has to be coupled with an understanding that people still buy from people. It doesn’t matter what we buy, what we consume, it feels good when someone goes that extra bit further to ensure we’re without purchase.    

​You can listen to the full episode, here. 

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