DWS Festive Market: Reflections on 2020

There’s no denying that 2020 has been a challenging year for us all, but at Digital Wholesale Solutions, we want to focus on the positive events of the past 12 months and shine a light on the successes that would not have been possible were it not for you, our partners.

From new product launches to multiple award wins, 2020 has been full of accomplishments that may have been somewhat overshadowed during these chaotic months. As the year draws to a close, we’re sharing our highlights from this year and looking forward to what 2021 will bring.

New products

This year we launched two exciting new products that will play a huge role in the digital transformation of your business and your customers’.

In July, we introduced our very own Teams Direct Routing product, SIP2teams, helping partners to embrace the huge opportunity presented by Microsoft’s UC solution. With many businesses already utilising Teams for internal communications, the national lockdown fuelled an even bigger uptake as Teams became the fastest growing tool for collaboration and communication.

With more people than ever before working remotely, Teams became an essential tool for many, but it still had its limitations. While Teams enables effective communication within the app, it doesn’t offer any native functionality to dial into the PSTN, meaning you can’t use Teams to communicate with non-Teams users.

SIP2teams addresses that need and makes it easy to integrate SIP trunks into Microsoft Teams and keep all your communications in one place. The launch of this product came at a critical time for businesses and we are delighted with the uptake and feedback we have received.

Our second big product launch this year was SOGEA, in August. The Single Order broadband product was introduced to help your customers move away from the PSTN and future-proof their connectivity.

Currently available to 28 million premises across the UK, SOGEA is the ideal solution for customers looking to prepare for the 2025 switch off. Openreach have been making huge progress in the PSTN and ISDN withdrawal and the launch of SOGEA has been a significant step forward in enabling customers to start their journey.

SOGEA has created a fantastic market opportunity and the response to our launch has been incredible. As one of the first providers to offer SOGEA, we have opened up the market for our partners to seize this opportunity and win new business, securing their position as the future-proof broadband provider for their customers.

If you would like to find out more about these new products or start selling them today, get in touch with our team.

Awards

At Digital Wholesale Solutions, we value industry recognition, which is why we are so pleased to have won five awards this year, despite the challenges we have all faced.

Back in March, we attended the Mobile News Awards where we were named Best Airtime Distributor. We were delighted to win the award which is a testament to the continued efforts that our teams put in to ensure our partners are receiving the best service.

Of course, not long after the Mobile News Awards, live events were put on hold and it all went virtual. In July, O2 held their Partner of the Year Awards online, recognising the first-class support and service that O2 partners provide. For the second year in a row, Digital Wholesale Solutions was crowned Best Distribution Partner.

Our Network Mobile teams work tirelessly with O2 to ensure we are giving our partners the best possible experience, so we were thrilled to win the award once again.

To find out just how much this award means to our teams, watch the video below.

Not long after the O2 awards, we were just as excited to be named Vodafone’s Reseller of the Year, cementing us as the leading provider for Network Mobile. Having worked with the network for over 25 years, we really value our relationship with Vodafone and were absolutely thrilled to receive the award. We expect our partnership to continue to go from strength to strength, with some exciting plans to come in the next year.

The Comms National Awards in October are usually a magnificent affair where the entire Channel can gather to celebrate another year of success. This year they took the event online with a live stream from the hotel in London, hosted by sports presenter Colin Murray. Our very own Garry Growns, Sales Director, was able to attend in person and managed to encapsulate the joy of the entire DWS team when we won two awards on the night.

Watching from home, our teams were ecstatic to see DWS announced as the winner Best Hosted Telephony Platform followed by Best Wholesale Service Provider (above £10m turnover), scooping this accolade for the sixth consecutive year!

In a tough year for everyone, these awards have brought so much joy to all our teams and we would like to take this opportunity to thank you, our partners, for your business as we understand that we would not be able to win without you.

Events

Although we weren’t able to run our large scale networking events this year as planned, that didn’t stop us connecting with our partners in new ways.

We embraced the UC&C tools available to us and took our Product Forums online, using Teams to facilitate these sessions that are integral to our product strategy. This year, we’ve held these forums for Connectivity, Mobile and HV.Select, enabling us to gain valuable feedback from our partners to help shape our products and propositions and meet their needs.

When restrictions across the UK were relaxed in July, we held a partner event with a difference, inviting partners to join us at the Big Tee for Two, a golf tournament taking place simultaneously on multiple prestigious golf courses across the country.

Meeting in small, socially distanced groups at a club local to them, partners and members of the DWS team were able to meet for a round of golf before everyone logged in to the virtual pub, The Big Night Inn, for a catch up on the day and to find out who would be crowned the Tiger Woods of the Channel.

Connecting with our partners has always been a priority for us at DWS so we are committed to continuing nurturing our partner relationships over the next year, whether that’s in person or online.

DWS Enable Webinar Series

In addition to the partner engagement and fun events, we also pride ourselves on offering the best training in the Channel, holding regular sessions with our product and sales experts. So, in the wake of the first national lockdown, we took that training online, offering more than 150 webinars over 3 months.

What began as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, providing business support to our partners during unprecedented times, turned into a much larger entity offering training across a host of topics. Our sales, product and marketing experts came together to create a series of webinars covering everything from ordering and provisioning journeys to sales and marketing tips to the Great Switch Off; even our compliance team got involved to provide regulatory guidance on ISOs.

If you missed any of these sessions, head to our YouTube channel to catch up.

What’s next?

We expect 2021 to be a fantastic year for the Channel, especially for DWS and our partners. With huge changes and market drivers such as the PSTN Switch Off, FTTP, 5G and IoT/M2M gaining traction in the Channel, we’re looking forward to another year working in this incredible industry.

At DWS, we also have some exciting changes in the pipeline, starting with our recent acquisition of cloud services provider, Giacom.

Check back soon to find out more about our predictions for 2021 at the penultimate stop at the DWS Festive Market.

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