Strategic talk...

Maintel CEO Ioan MacRae shows strategic insight and displays leadership acumen in his planning.

Last financial year Maintel grew its revenue by one per cent and EBITDA by nine per cent (on a like-for-like basis on FY20) after the sale of its document solutions business to Corona Corporate Solutions in April 2021. The main revenue growth came from the Technology and Professional services divisions following the launch and customer contract wins on the Cisco SD-WAN portfolio. Further growth was seen in Maintel’s public and private contracted cloud seats with a 30 per cent increase to around 150,000 seats.
“Revenue growth this year will be challenging in light of the hardware supply issues around chips, which is a key component for our SD-WAN project deployments,” said MacRae. “The Maintel team continue to contract new SD-WAN solutions to ensure our customers are on the supply orders, but we envisage much of the hardware supply issues to remain until the very latter part of this year.

“We work closely with our manufacturers’ revised timescales and have launched a number of initiatives on new solution offerings to our customers that are non-hardware dependant with the aim of bridging any revenue gaps. In terms of headcount, we expect a marginal increase towards the end of FY22 as we upskill our workforce and prepare for 2023.”

Maintel is investing in its people, not only for their wellbeing but on development and career opportunities within the group. “The pandemic has ensured our internal communication to staff has been improved, not only on regularity but also around the content of the messaging and key topics that the team wanted updates on,” noted MacRae. “We have also focused on team wellbeing as this was a major concern during the pandemic with nearly everyone working remotely and the pressures that this can bring on staff wellbeing and mental health. Further to this, we established our Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) team last year and will be looking to continually enhance and further our ESG strategy as part of our responsibility for a sustainable future.”

The key trends that interest MacRae most right now include cyber security, 5G, IoT, CPaaS and the wider integration between on premise and cloud-based solutions. Maintel also continues to invest in its own IP capability (Callmedia CX Now CCaaS, ICON Portal and CPaaS integrations), and has expanded its portfolio of solutions and services over the past two years. “We are looking to expand our cyber security capability, our Microsoft solutions and integration offerings, expand our multi-cloud portfolio and build out our IoT and 5G services,” added MacRae. “This will enhance our existing managed services around our UCaaS, CCaaS, LAN and Wifi offering.”

According to MacRae, today’s leadership priorities are understanding customers while supporting and investing in your teams. “I enjoy spending time with our customers and key vendors to ensure they understand our key plans,” he added. “It is also important that the team knows that I am here and readily available to support them. I find this time, especially with customers, absolutely critical to understanding their organisation and future requirements.

“We must ensure we understand where the customer is – as a business, where they plan to go, and how and in what timescales as well as their pain points. We can then best advise them on how technology can support their business objectives. It is about truly understanding our customers and aligning our portfolio of solutions and services.”

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