IN THE NEWS

Q&A: Damien McCann Director of Sales & Marketing, Viatel & Board Member at Guaranteed Irish.
26 May 2020|News, Q&A Series

‘As we settled down to our ‘new normal’, it is important to share who is behind the scenes in Guaranteed Irish. It might surprise you that the organisation is a not for profit and all Directors, thought leaders in their own field, are voluntary. They give their time freely and each week, I hope to introduce you to them, asking them some questions that might help you and your business return to work and overcome this pandemic.

Allow me introduce you to Damien McCann Director of Sales & Marketing, Viatel who represents the tech sector on the Board,’ Brid O’Connell CEO, Guaranteed Irish.

Q&A with Damien McCann, Director of Sales & Marketing, Viatel.

Firm name and address: Viatel Ireland Limited., Unit 1 College business and Technology Park, Dublin 15

How many are employed there? Viatel employ 110 staff in Ireland, these roles include Sales, Marketing, Support, Engineering, Software Developers and Finance.

What is the USP of the firm? Viatel are Ireland leading provider of business broadband, cloud and telecoms solutions. Our core strength is our people who deliver exceptional service and support to our customers across Ireland, our team go the extra mile to ensure service is delivered to our clients in both metropolitan and rural areas.

As our tag line says we are, ‘Big enough to be credible and small enough to care.’

How to you engage with your local community? We are working with the community on many fronts, examples include:

Our work with the graduate program in Technological University Dublin, each year we welcome new graduates from the University into roles with Viatel, today many of our senior engineers have developed from that program.

Other examples include our work with charitable organisations such as Barnardos, Laura Lynn Foundation and Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association, our team are always delighted and innovative in supporting these fantastic organisations.

Finally, nothing represents our value of community more that the work we do with the Guaranteed Irish organisation, I am passionate about supporting the Irish business community and in particular the Technology Sector in Ireland. I know first-hand the benefits these companies bring to local community whilst creating sustainable employment across Ireland.

What are the challenges that your business has had to face as a result of Covid-19? Like all companies in Ireland and across the globe we have all felt the direct impact of Covid on our businesses. We have seen some clients sectors impacted more than others such as hospitality and retail who have effectively shut down. We have supported our impacted customers during this period, we have been working with these customers for many years and we see them bouncing back quickly post Covid.

Other challenges we have seen around how we communicate with our clients, traditionally our business is done face to face in boardrooms, lunch meetings and attending industry events, as this business model has been turned on its head we quickly turned to the tools we have in the business using online webinars to discuss important technology developments, Solution design sessions and sales sessions are now all conducted on our Microsoft Teams platform.

What are you doing in your business to overcome these challenges in relation to (a) staff and (b) clients? For the past 24 months Viatel had started to change how we work, we embraced remote working and started to hire positions across the business that worked remotely. We rolled out solutions to promote a remote working culture such as Office 365, Microsoft Teams and other cloud base software solutions. These changes put our team in a very strong position to adapt to the changes Covid presented.

From a client perspective we have seen both challenges and opportunities present, early on we help many companies scale services to cope with the increased demands from remote working, clients seeking to double and treble bandwidth requirements. We deployed a number of critical connectivity and cloud services to frontline sites including the connectivity service to the specialist Covid site at City West Hotel. Our product development team have also been busy designing connectivity solutions for a post Covid world this include our Office 365 cloud backup and Voice4Teams (outbound calling add on to Microsoft Teams) services.

Are you confident that the technology sector can resume services as normal post Covid? I am 100% confident that the Technology sector in Ireland will bounce back to a new normal post Covid. This is a sector which includes the most innovative people around, these people will lead the way in a post Covid world designing new solutions that shape the way we all communicate and work post Covid.

Are you prepared to have your staff ‘return to work’ post Covid-19 or has is working from home become the new normal? We will very much have a hybrid working environment post Covid-19. It will not be a big switch to everyone back to the office. We are exploring ways of making the office environment as safe as possible to enable some team members return. Other functions will continue to thrive in a remote working from home capacity.

How would you advise others in your sector to act during this pandemic? Companies need to quickly move to the acceptance stage, encourage your team to take a step back and look at the business in the new environment. Challenge your teams to seek out opportunities that are being presented, challenge your teams to be disruptive in your market, if you are not doing this you can guarantee your competitors are.

What made you decide to become a member of Guaranteed Irish? Viatel’s values closely mirror those of the Guaranteed Irish organisation, we believe in supporting Irish companies working together to create sustainable jobs across the country, we also value giving back and supporting our local community. We feel that the Guaranteed Irish organisation helps differentiate us from our competitors in the market, in a post Covid world we believe this is more important than ever before.

Has being a member of Guaranteed Irish helped during Covid-19? No doubt our membership has helped in a number of ways, such as educational perspective we have learned from our fellow member webinars. From a business development perspective we can see that the Guaranteed Irish have help drive awareness and attention to companies like Viatel, the Guaranteed Irish logo really resonates with customers who want to support us for that reason.