In a year dominated by the doom and gloom of the global financial crisis, telecommunications was the one sector that came out relatively unscathed. We talk with Peter Tate, the CEO of Freephone Corporate, one of Telstra’s top resellers, to see how things are tracking.
Can we start with a bit of background on your company?
FreePhone Corporate is a Telstra Enterprise Partner. We service the large corporate market with mobility management solutions. We work with Telstra and their clients on niche projects or when client requirements exceed Telstra’s scope. Sale of devices, device rollouts and replacements and day to day management of fleets.
What prompted you to start the company?
I started the company 19 years ago. I was selling “cheap “electronics at a local Central Coast Market on weekends. Mobile Phones had just hit the market and the local tradesman wanted them. My first sale was a Uniden CP1000 in car phone. The guy had to lease it. It was never really what I intended to do but here I am nineteen years later and I have made a solid business out of it.
What is that you enjoy the most about what you do?
Running a small business naturally has it moments, good and bad. I think the work flexibility I have been able to achieve is what I like best. Most of my customers too are great to deal with.
What’s the biggest challenge for the company at the moment? How do you seek to address that?
Keeping up with rapid changes in technology and products. We are currently looking at appointing a dedicated resource to manage this.
What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
Look after your customers, because they will look after you.
The telecommunications sector has been relatively robust during the GFC. Do you see that continuing?
I do. The corporate market can see value in our products and the benefits they provide. Clients telecommuncation spends are ever increasing so naturally we benefit from that. Telstra also continues to invest heavily in its networks and products so future growth and market differentiation will help us grow.
How is the telecommunications market evolving?
It’s changing rapidly. Clients are seeking new ways to operate their business, workforce, etc. There is an expectation on us to always be providing new products.