How Magnet+ plans to disrupt the Irish business connectivity marketplace

MD John Delves, says Magnet+ is not just focused on transforming its proposition as a business, but also the industry in which it operates
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John Delves, managing director, Magnet+

21 January 2022

In association with Magnet Networks

While the name might be new, Magnet+, a telecommunication, data connectivity and security service provider, draws from a rich history in the Irish telecommunications space.

Following the acquisition of Magnet Networks by Speed Fibre Group, the owner of AirSpeed Telecom, in December 2020, a decision was made to combine the wealth of expertise, talent and skill sets across the two longstanding businesses to form one unified brand. And so, after operating in Ireland for over 15 years separately, Magnet Networks and its sister company AirSpeed Telecom joined forces in September of this year to create Magnet+.

 

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Now that they have combined their unique assets, Magnet Networks (Ireland’s largest independent connectivity network) and AirSpeed Telecom (market leader in the provision of fibre and wireless connectivity services across the country) have set their sights on disrupting the entire Irish business connectivity marketplace.

“We decided that bringing these two strong brands together would create a credible alternative to the big five telcos in the market today,” said John Delves, managing director of Magnet+. “I often call us a Goldilocks’ business in that we’re not too big, we’re not too small, we’re just the right size. We also understand the Irish market. Unlike our competitors, we don’t have to go to get permission from a head office in the UK or Singapore. We’re fully owned and managed here in Ireland.”

Magnet+ offers a full suite of telecommunications solutions including dedicated connectivity, telecommunications, Wi-Fi, and security as well as cloud services. In combining network-neutrality with world-class technical knowledge, Magnet+ can devise integrated telecommunications solutions utilising its fibre, wireless, 4G and 5G infrastructure to meet the exact needs of each client, ensuring connectivity that no other provider in Ireland can deliver.

Connectivity

With up to 100Gb of uninterrupted connectivity available, Magnet+ can deliver to every corner of every county in Ireland. “We’re Ireland’s largest connectivity provider,” says Delves. “We have access to virtually every network in the country, across our 18 partner networks, 185 air exchanges, 88 metropolitan area networks and 235 wireless high sites. That breadth and depth of network means we can reach the entirety of Ireland. Wherever a customer needs connectivity, whether it be fibre or wireless, we can provide for them.”

Throughout the pandemic, the absolute criticality of connectivity to businesses has become all the more evident. “Connectivity has enabled us to adapt to the new ways of working,” says Delves. “It’s been crucial in allowing people to seamlessly transfer from the office to the home and back again. On top of that, we’ve integrated all these great tools for communication and collaboration into the way we work now, again enhancing our reliance on connectivity.”

Dedicated internet access

As such, Delves warns against relying on a mid-range consumer connection to meet your business’ connectivity needs. “In today’s world, businesses need something much more robust, and much more resilient than a consumer connection. Our dedicated internet access (DIA) products have garnered a lot of interest in recent months. With DIA products, the bandwidth you purchase is for your use only, no other users can share the connection. In most fibre-to-the-premise products, you could be sharing with 64 other people. A DIA product provides greater speeds and more reliable service.”

Looking towards the future, Delves says the importance of connectivity will continue to grow: “There’s a lot of exciting things on the horizon. As technologies and collaborative tools evolve and Metaverses are created, having high-capacity, super-efficient connectivity will be integral for businesses. The exciting part for us as a core telecoms company is that we can see ourselves expanding quite rapidly, especially on the security side, to provide the level of service our customers need.”

Security

Many businesses have been in a state of flux over the last two years, which has left them increasingly vulnerable to attack. “Businesses need to enhance their security offerings to match the greater risk level that we’re looking at today,” says Delves. “Connectivity should be a core part of a business’ security strategy. The last thing you want is for critical members of your team to lose access to the tools they need to do their job. We can guarantee total reach and complete resiliency, meaning our customers can remain connected, whatever happens.

“We will be announcing some new solutions on the security side in the coming weeks. As well as building on what we’ve created through our partnerships with companies like Fortinet, we are working on a simple one-stop solution that should enhance our customer’s awareness of the threats they are up against.”

Hybrid work

As year three of the pandemic approaches, many companies see the hybrid work model as the best solution going forward. “Whether they’re looking at working for two or three days in the office, I think the vast majority of companies want to move to hybrid in one former the other. From our perspective, we want to make sure that the technology is there to support it.”

In terms of its own hybrid policy, Magnet+ outlines that team members can work from home for up to four days a week. There is just one mandatory in-office day required per week for employees, when it is safe to do so.  

Disrupting the sector

As Magnet+ carves out its own niche in a highly competitive sector, the company is focused on transforming the industry from the inside. The business is committed to disrupting the Irish telecommunications sector by flinging the traditional telecommunications rule book out the window.

Delves says Magnet+ is especially keen to differentiate itself from the big five telcos in Ireland. “They’re huge businesses that operate with multiple layers of bureaucracy. Meanwhile, we’re structured to be very accessible to our customers. In general, I think the Irish telecoms market is quite vanilla. The big five all pretty much offer the same product, at the same price and the same message. We want to change that.”

Customer experience

One of the ways it plans to differentiate itself is by providing an enhanced level of customer service. The company has invested ample time and resources in identifying ways in which it can improve its customer service offering. “We talked to all 82 members of our team to better understand what they felt was working, and what could be improved upon. As well as getting feedback from our customers themselves, we conducted research into the industry as a whole to determine where we stood and how we could improve.”

Using The Net Promoter Score, which measures the loyalty of customers to a company on a scale that runs from -100 to 100, it learned that the metric for the telecommunications industry was -58. “At 68, we performed better than average, but there was still room for improvement.

“We’re looking to launch a brand-new Net Promoter Score program, which would allow us to track our customer feedback live. Should a customer give us a low mark, we’d immediately contact them to determine how we could improve our service.”

People powered

‘People Powered Connectivity’ is another core strands of the company’s unique customer service philosophy. Essentially, it guarantees that if a customer contacts the company, they will be put through to a person, not a bot. “Really, we’re customer centric,” says Delves. “We want our customers to be able to reach us when they need us. Technology is great, but if I have a query, I would certainly rather turn to the emotional intelligence of a person than artificial intelligence of a bot.”

Contract freedom

Magnet+ is also offering contract freedom on business broadband for all new customers. The offer is the first of its kind in Ireland as most operators require a 12-month contract. If a customer wants to leave, they give 30 days’ notice.

“When we launched, there was a lot of insecurity in the market,” says Delves. “We thought it was unfair to tie businesses into a 12- or 14-month contract when a lot of them were tentatively starting back up. So we devised a rolling contract for customers, that’s renewed each month. It gives them freedom, and it keeps us on our toes. We’re always earning our customers’ loyalty. That’s how confident we are in our offering.”

It is also offering its customers free VOIP voice service for six months. This offer includes 1,000 Irish landline and 1,000 Irish mobile calling minutes per company per month. This service is now available to all new customers and equates to a saving of nearly €800 over six months for a company with 10 employees, or €3,500 for a company with 50 employees.

“We’re constantly looking for new ways to provide for our customers,” adds Delves. “I think our customer centric approach helps us stand out. We’re relatively small, but we’re hungry, we’re very ambitious and we’re determined to shake up the sector.”

For more information and regular updates visit www.magnetplus.ie or follow them on LinkedIn @Magnet+ and Twitter @MagnetPlus


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