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Inspired by his family, friends and the team at Nine, James’s foresight and practical outlook have become a model for all aspiring business people in the Telecoms Industry.

James Palmer, Nine Group

James’ entrepreneurial adventure began at the age of just 21, when he established a reseller business, which he then sold three years later before starting Nine in 2001. For two years James was the only employee, but Nine Group now employs over 175 people and the former one-man band now has £100million turnover firmly in his sights.

How did that happen?

Having built a network of dealer partners and a good retail business, James decided to launch a Wholesale channel, which enabled the company to grow from £5million to £8million turnover in 18 months. The pivotal acquisition of Club Communications in 2009 increased group turnover to £18million and organic growth drove revenues to £30million in a further 24-month period. Engineering, software and other businesses, including Dataflow and Comms One have since been acquired, with further acquisitions a certainty.

What’s so special about Nine Group

Nine Group comprises our two trading divisions, Nine Telecom and Nine Wholesale. The former supplies many thousands of retail Business customers. Nine supplies the complete portfolio of voice and data communication products and services, with the absolute focus being to provide solutions that address the typical problems and requirements of business customers – The Nine Drivers in our language.

Nine Group’s Wholesale channel is the larger part of the Group, supplying over 450 resellers. Yes, part of the proposition is to offer an alternative to a carrier, but more importantly, Nine uses its Purple Partner Programme to provide resellers with the support and advice they need to build the value in their business, enabling them to compete on a level playing field for business opportunities.

What happens next?

When Club was purchased, the focus was very much on CPS, WLR and Billing Services, but Nine Group now supplies many thousands of broadband connections and is one of O2’s fastest growing service providers. There are future opportunities to diversify upstream to become a technology supplier, rather than an aggregator for other providers.

The rationalising of Nine’s systems into one master solution that manages the business across all products and both channels is James’ immediate priority. A substantial investment has been made in the development teams and James sees this information ecosystem as the most important part of his organisation. This vision has launched a big beast of a project, but will bring massive upsides for Nine’s Retail customers and Reseller Partners when fully operational during 2015.

 Read James’ full article in the October 2014 issue of Comms Dealer here

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