aql is an Ofcom-regulated telecommunications operator. We provide wholesale integrated communications services ranging from mobile messaging, IP telephony, fibre and wireless leased lines, and secure datacentre hosting to machine-to-machine (M2M) services for the growing demand of the internet of things (IoT) marketplace.
Our wholesale focus means that we usually service the end customer in partnership with other technology suppliers, such as systems integrators, specialist telecommunications operators and internet service providers.
We also supply direct to larger enterprise who manage the integration function in-house. We have almost 20 years' experience in the integration of our services to help streamline B2B and B2C communications. We strive to serve the accelerated digital needs of global businesses.
Our goal is to help businesses and cities keep pace with the latest technological changes by leveraging the power of high bandwidth, secure storage, mobile connectivity and innovation. We are at the heart of smart city initiatives, from the secure SIM cards embedded in remote devices, through to providing the datacentre space for e-health, logistics and security sectors.
We have an experienced board with a strong emphasis on security and an understanding of how the internet has evolved into a critical delivery platform for all businesses with a digital need.
Professor Adam Beaumont - aql CEO and founder
As an ex-lecturer at the University of Leeds and also a communications specialist within the MoD, Adam is a consistent innovator and technologist with a strong cyber security background. In 1998, he created telecommunications platform company, aql, identifying a need for software systems to be able to communicate with customers seamlessly.
His focus is on building scalable, automated systems, with aql now hosting many tens of millions of phone numbers and providing messaging and communication services to leading banks, retail, logistics, healthcare and education. He’s created enabling services which are used by some of San Francisco’s biggest tech success stories.
Over the past decade, he has also built and deployed the main datacentres in the region and created the main internet exchange for the North of the UK, putting the region on the global “internet map” and allowing the region to become digitally resilient, providing the main hub for Northern global connectivity.
He's a patron, trustee and governor - focusing on supporting organisations which involving inspiring the next generation to be passionate about science and technology.
Adam is a strong advocate of the Northern Powerhouse and the opportunities it creates through collaboration and communication. Adam has hosted and supported key events in the evolution of the Northern Powerhouse at aql’s restored Grade II listed historic city centre venue. He’s a tireless connector and collaborator.
His support also extends to investments – an active angel investor with a portfolio spanning healthcare, education, collaboration tools, and technology for social change. He also founded the not-for-profit investment platform NorthInvest which drives co-investment in startups across the North of the UK.
Data and data security
Skills and investment
Internet of things
Corporate social responsibility
On Twitter: @adam_beau
Adam is also Regional Chair of GCHQ's NCSC CiSP programme (Cyber Information Sharing Partnership), and a Regional Chair of Digital Leaders.
Lesley Cowley OBE - Non-Executive Director
As well as being a Non-Executive Director of aql, Lesley is the first ever Chair of DVLA, the Chair of Companies House and Lead Non-Executive Director at The National Archives.
She was previously CEO of Nominet, a role that she held from 2002-2014, after joining the organisation in 1999 as Operations Director. Under her leadership, Nominet became the trusted guardian of a vital part of the UK internet, providing services relied upon by millions of businesses and consumers. This success enabled £25m to be donated to its charitable foundation, the Nominet Trust, of which Lesley was a founding Trustee.
She has an MBA (with distinction) and an Honorary Doctorate in Technology. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors, Institute of Credit Management and the British Computer Society. Lesley was made OBE for services to the internet and e-commerce in 2011. In 2013, she was the recipient of the inaugural ICANN Leadership award and in 2014, she was named by the Sunday Times & Debretts as one of the 500 most influential people in the UK.
On Twitter: @LesleyCowley
Ben Carter - Chief Technical Officer
Ben Carter joined aql as Technical Officer in June 2015.
He started in the chemical industry on ICI Hillhouse as a Junior Network Technician, then worked for Ellis & Everard as a Senior Network Technician, working throughout UK, Europe and the US at a time when they were just starting to link together sites.
Ben was then asked to join a startup telecommunications provider “OnCue telecommunications” who were one of the first providers to unbundle copper lines in the UK. So called LLU. Acquired by Business Serve, who subsequently acquired a number of businesses and renamed to Legend Communications.
He then worked for Thus plc as Network Design Manager, who were acquired by Cable and Wireless, where he was Head of Network Design for the Broadband Access business and later Design Manager for IP&Data, then acquired by Vodafone.
Sarah Tulip - Chief Operating Officer
Passionate about empowering women in technology and business; always eager to speak to the wider community about improvement and change in our sector.
Since October 2016, Sarah Tulip has served as chief operating officer of Leeds tech and data firm, aql, where she oversees operations, people, talent and strategy across the organisation to support its growth.
aql is an Ofcom-regulated, market-leading supplier of integrated communications and data services to businesses in the UK and beyond. Founded by Professor Adam Beaumont in 1998, it is a key driver of innovation, telecommunications and enterprise in Leeds and across the North of England.
aql is also a key player in the Northern Powerhouse Proposal. The first Northern Powerhouse report was launched at aql’s head office on Hunslet Road, at an event attended by former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Northern Powerhouse Minister Andrew Percy MP.
Sarah is a key influencer as part of the Northern Powerhouse Proposal, and was named in 2017 on the Northern Power Women Future 100 list, which recognises the influencers and change-makers of the future who are already making a difference to their environments and communities.
With an award-winning background stretching more than 15 years in talent acquisition, Sarah has worked with companies throughout the UK to advise, transform and improve their current staff and recruitment processes, delivery and strategies.
Prior to her role with aql, Sarah was the Managing Director of &Then Consulting, where she worked with a variety of organisations to help build, improve and support change programmes within the organisations.
Sarah has a huge passion for companies operating within the technology sector and has provided guidance and expertise to key decision-makers in the field in areas including direct hiring capability, development of graduate hiring programmes, change programmes, social media, recruitment technology, full business rebranding, testing, strategy, on-boarding, vendor selection, process and documentation, training and development of existing teams, and creation of new teams.
Some of Sarah’s recent accolades include:
• Northern Power Women Future 100 List 2017
• FIRM In-house Recruitment Team of the Year 2016
• Recruiter Magazine Shortlisted – In-house Recruitment Leader of the Year 2016
Northern Powerhouse Proposal
Women in business and tech
On Twitter: @SarahinTalent
Chris Langrick - Chief Financial Officer
Chris is a Chartered Accountant and has extensive experience in the finance sector.
Chris has previously worked in the Transactions Services team of KPMG, where he was heavily involved in the flotation of moneysupermarket.com. On leaving KPMG, he spent time in Monaco as Head of Finance of Thalassa Holdings, where he played a key role in the listing on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange.
In 2009, Chris founded his own accountancy and advisory business and now spends a large part of his time advising businesses how to implement and develop growth strategies, assisting with company acquisitions and disposals and representing finance teams at board-level.
Chris is married with two children. Outside of work, he is a keen runner and skier and has a passion for sailing.
Andy Fisk - Sales Director
Andy joined aql in April 2017 as Sales Director.
Prior to taking up his post with aql, Andy held sales director roles within Virgin Media Business, Cable and Wireless Worldwide and BT. He has worked successfully in both enterprise and public sector environments, latterly leading Virgin Media business engagement in voice services, including mobile, SIP, contact centres, unified communications and managed services.
Andy has a passion for sales and business transformation, embedding coaching and development cultures into organisations to get the best out of people. He believes in customer focus and advocacy at all times, and that people work best when they understand and are understood.
As a Leeds lad, Andy has a particular interest in the Northern Powerhouse and how aql can work in partnership with other organisations in the region for the betterment of all.
Key areas of experience:
Senior leadership, marketing, sales transformation, coaching, business development, health and social care, government procurement solutions