Andy's Blog

Andy Wainwright, MD of aql.

Whether you are a customer of aql’s services, a channel partner, or just work in the communications industry and are interested in what aql are up to, I hope you enjoy reading our new company newsletter. We’ll be sharing updates on new products and features we’re launching, update you on general aql news, as well as share industry related blogs, white papers and videos we’ll be publishing across the year and beyond.

I re-joined aql as Managing Director in October last year with a focus on improving the service we provide to our customers, and I’m really pleased that we’re making great progress. I hired Charli Land as Customer Success Director at the start of the year and she leads our efforts to improve our service to customers and channel partners. She’s implemented a wide range of measures aimed at improving the quality of service we provide. Whether it be our responsiveness to issues, the quality and proactiveness of our communications, to sales support and advice to support channel partners in selling our solutions, we’re improving things week-by-week. You can read more about the changes Charli has introduced and her plans for the year here.

Since becoming Managing Director, it’s freed up time for our founder and CEO, Adam Beaumont, to focus on his key strengths around strategy and innovation, for which he was recently recognised as a ‘top 100’ innovator in the UK by Maserati, and also International Director of the Year by the IoD. Adam’s leading on our R&D initiatives and is focussed on building out our next generation products so we’re well placed in the medium/long term. It’s a bit too early for us to reveal what we're working on right now, but needless to say, it’s exciting stuff and continues aql’s heritage of innovation and ingenuity.

Alongside Charli, there are a number of other new members of our senior leadership team, and we’ve updated the about us section of our website so you can read more about the team here. Matt Sweeney joined us early in the year as Sales & Marketing Director with responsibilities for our Sales, Marketing & Product Management functions, alongside Jo Penkert who’s joined as Finance Director. The SLT is completed by Ben Carter, our CTO, Oliver Ware, our Facilities and Security Director, and Gill Brabham, our HR & Business Services Director.

It’s been busy times at aql over the last few months. Our product and development teams have been working hard to complete our new client portal, which will provide our messaging customers with a cleaner and more intuitive UI, and a more functional way to review SMS activity, create and manage campaigns, purchase numbers and more. We’ll be continuing to add extra features over the coming months and will be extending it to our voice channel partners too at a later date.

Besides that, we’ve recently received notification that we’ve been accepted on the G-Cloud framework, providing an easy and friction-free way for public sector organisations to purchase our Messaging, Broadband and LoRaWAN network services. We’re also making good progress in expanding our data centre colocation capacity with a new floor. Our colocation service has been incredibly popular since we launched it, as customers value the security and resilience our data centres provide, alongside the wide choice of carriers with presence in our data centres, and we look forward to supporting more customers over the coming year.

A key development in communications this year will be the proper launch of RCS, the next generation of SMS. RCS has been hyped in the industry for a number of years but with Google keen to stop the march of Instagram and WhatsApp as they gobble up messaging market share, Android phones will be RCS enabled imminently.

SMS is still more effective than email, and with RCS, businesses will be able to unlock the potential of powerful new tools to engage with customers, including branching logic for conversations, image sharing, mobile payments and more. We’re working on RCS solutions to support businesses who want to take advantage of this new technology. Our Product Manager, Arthur Howie, has written a blog about RCS and the benefits it will bring to customers here.

Last but not least, we are currently on the front cover of CommsBusiness, the industry magazine for the B2B ICT market. The Channel is a key market for aql and in a 2-page interview, I provide an overview of our ambitions and offerings in this space.

It's exciting times at aql, and I look forward to sharing further updates with you over the coming months.

Andy Wainwright