aql on front cover of CommsBusiness

aql are featured as the cover story in the current July edition of CommsBusiness.

In the issue, our Managing Director Andy Wainwright provides details on aql’s new customer-success programme and growing product portfolio, and expands on aql’s ambitions in the channel market. You can read the article below, or alternatively via this link to the CommsBusiness July edition (pages 22-23).

aql: Powering a Connected Society

Comms Business Magazine visited Leeds based Communications Services Provider aql, who have delivered two decades of innovative communication solutions that enable partners to truly differentiate and add value for their own clients. Today aql has big ambitions, armed with a broad suite of quality products and the introduction of a new customer success programme designed to accelerate channel growth.

aql was founded at the beginning of the internet boom in 1998 by Professor Adam Beaumont, an ex-lecturer at the University of Leeds and former communications specialist at the MoD. Beaumont had a passion for creating scalable communications services which could be integrated with 3rd party software solutions.

Beaumont’s focus on building innovative, automated systems led to early success by providing an engine to power customers’ go-to-market products, with aql now hosting many tens of millions of phone numbers and providing messaging and communication services to leading banks, retail, logistics, healthcare, education and the channel market. The company’s services are embedded in the systems used by some of Silicon Valley’s biggest tech success stories.

Today, aql remains solidly mission driven, with their products and business focused on supporting opportunities where technologies can enable communities, businesses and people to communicate and connect better.

Managing Director Andy Wainwright stated
“aql has evolved beyond our early specialisms in cyber security, to an organisation that is a key member of the Northern Powerhouse and a founding member of the IXLeeds internet exchange. With three data centres and expanding, aql are one of just two JISC approved suppliers for university colocation. As aql are in the position of operating our own data centres, and running our own IP and voice networks, we are able to control our service delivery end-to-end, which in turn allows us to ensure the best service to customers”.

“When you add to this our heritage in two-way mobile SMS text messaging and in secure IoT, supplying innovative solutions to organisations of all sizes, it is obvious that aql is perfectly suited to partners seeking to differentiate their offerings from the crowd.”

Portfolio & Network

aql has an extensive channel ready portfolio of products including voice services, data connectivity, messaging and co-location.

Managing Director Andy Wainwright sees channel benefits across each of these four key sectors.

“We provide SIP trunking, numbering and porting services to the channel market and currently handle millions of minutes per day with a core focus around simplicity and reliability.

aql’s SIP offering is billed on a per second basis with no setup fees and no monthly channel fees – customers simply pay for what they use. If you add to this to our high-quality, reliable and scalable geographically-resilient network it means customers can rely on our service to work. Backing this up, we have an account management and support ethos that makes aql very responsive to queries and issues.

We already provide our SIP trunk solution to over 200 channel partners, but we’re now ready to accelerate and ramp up our support for more channel partners.”

“When it comes to Messaging, aql provides wholesale SMS to channel partners and businesses with over a million SMS sent a day over our network, and we are at the forefront of the movement towards RCS messaging.

Alongside our rich APIs we’ve recently developed a new portal for our messaging customers, allowing them to manage usage and billing, view traffic, analyse activity and more.”

Colocation services based upon aql’s three Leeds based data centres represent a significant market for the company and Andy Wainwright comments that customers, such as Coventry University, are delighted with the service and responsiveness they’ve received and are really pleased with the peace of mind they’ve got that their servers are being stored in secure conditions.

“Connectivity is also a growing channel market for aql and we provide super-fast fibre and line of sight connectivity as well as data SIM solutions. Our data SIM solutions use L2TP (Layer 2 Tunnelling Protocol) to provide customers with extra control of their data, supporting the growing requirement of strong security in the IoT arena. We offer a choice of either single-net or multi-net SIM cards, the latter of which will connect to any UK mobile phone network to get the best signal. These too can be provided on a wholesale basis to enable backup connectivity, remote or temporary locations, or to enable pure M2M and IoT device to device communications deployments.”

Next Steps

Adam’s founding vision to build technology to automate business processes was borne from passion for and commitment to improving society and business through technology. The appointment of Andy Wainwright in 2018 as Managing Director has allowed Adam to spend more time on research and development for aql’s future technology, whilst Andy focuses on using aql’s existing portfolio of great products to drive expansion in the channel market.

Says Andy, “My focus for aql lies in increasing the product and market knowledge of our customer facing teams so we can provide expert advice and support; increasing responsiveness; providing sales collateral and support – all themed around the ethos that our partner’s success is our success. In short, we want to be that perfect partner for the channel market.”

aql are expanding and now is the perfect time for channel partners to benefit from their leading offerings. For more information please visit aql.com/channel, or call the team on 0113 320 3040.