Rainbow Communications dials in a new era after 20 years of growth and expansion
When it comes to challenge, competition and change, few industry sectors are as fast-moving and dynamic as the telecommunications sector, where a booming digital transformation is powering new growth, new opportunities and a remarkable product choice for tech-savvy local businesses.
And in an industry where many companies can struggle to adapt with the speed of change with business models that may be too inflexible to adapt, one company – Rainbow Communications – continues to retain its leading position as Northern Ireland’s largest independent telecoms company by the strength of its team, its solid family connections and its unique to approach to delivering cutting edge business solutions.
More than two decades since the business was established by founders Eric Carson and Martin Hamill, Rainbow Communications has evolved as a major force in telecoms innovation, providing single multiple solutions and services to more than 10,000 customers across Northern Ireland every day – more than half of which are included in Northern Ireland’s Top 200 companies.
With a specialist team of more than 100 and an annual turnover exceeding £14 million, Rainbow specialises in the delivery, implementation, maintenance and service provision of mobiles, broadband systems, cloud telephony, IT and network security services, vehicle tracking and more – and the rapid speed of change in the sector means that its services have never been more in demand or more critical for the survival and growth of thousands of local businesses.
“The most important component in our business is our people and we work hard to make sure that we are remembered not only for the positive impact we make delivering business solutions and technology at the cutting edge of communications but for how we recruit, train and treat everyone in our experienced team,” Rainbow’s Sales & Marketing Director, Stuart Carson, told Business Eye.
“For more than two decades, we’ve worked in partnership with businesses large and small, developing solutions which meet their specific needs and which allow them to work smarter, be more efficient, save money and grow.
“The increasing, rapid digitisation of the telecommunications sector – and indeed the wider world – is reshaping the way everyone does business and while this can present challenges for some companies, we have built our success by having the right experience and the know-how to provide cut-through, innovative solutions that can quickly transform how a business performs to ensuring it captures its full potential.”
Helping businesses ensure that they can excel in delivering the best customer experience is a key part of the job.
“Today’s consumers engage with multiple channels during their customer journey and digital communication now plays a pivotal role in not only winning business, but keeping it coming in,” Stuart said.
“From mobile websites, social media outlets and email, most customers now prefer to do their business online and for those customers that prefer not too, it’s important that that they have a strong integrated solution that can best manage everyone’s expectations well. Winning customers can sometimes be easy – keeping them continually happy is where many businesses actually fall down.”
Recent research by management experts McKinsey & Company confirmed that where customers experienced a more digital journey, satisfaction rates were highest, with e-chats and automated responses ranking highly in a survey that analysed traditional and digital channels, including phone, email and social media.
“What’s really important to remember,” said Stuart, “is that companies who are embracing new technologies are not only generating more satisfied customers, they are significantly reducing their operating costs – reducing in and outbound call volumes, creating data and insights which can be used to strengthen performance and, ultimately, treating customers the way want to be treated.”
With solid private and public sector experience, the company also works closely with the Northern Ireland Civil Service where its specialist teams are dramatically modernising and improving its communication network across 185 locations. Awarded the key contract following a comprehensive tendering process, Rainbow is spearheading a major upgrade programme which will unify, underpin and strengthen this key network for a generation.
Rainbow Communications’ experience and no-nonsense approach is also working well for Northern Ireland’s largest locally-owned weekly news group, Alpha Media, which partnered with the Belfast-based company to roll out a major, multi-year investment programme designed to revolutionise its telecommunications systems and network with round-the-clock technical support.
Alpha Media Group, which has a weekly circulation of almost 60,000 across 13 key paid-for regional titles, said the additional investment would provide greater efficiencies, reliability and security to support its ambitious Northern Ireland-wide editorial, advertising and management teams.
Stuart said that by investing in the right communications solutions, Alpha Media Group can continue to successfully innovate its entire operation, properly optimising and improving the experience for customers and staff thanks to a speedier, more agile network with greater security and capacity.
“The technology which is available right now provides companies large and small with better flexibility, better value for money and a future-proofed system that leaves little to worry about – and that means businesses can focus on sustaining growth and achieving their ambitions.”
After recently investing more than £1 million across its own customer service and engineering teams, Rainbow continues to expand and develop its produce and service offering to its loyal customer base throughout the island of Ireland and the UK.
With an annual turnover of more than £14 million and established as one of Northern Ireland’s best growth companies, Rainbow aims to increase that to £15.5 million by 2020 and adding up to 12 more staff at its Glasgow and Dublin operations.
“The next 20 years will be very exciting for the communications industry and we look forward to maintaining our position as the vanguard and building our brand so that it is even more recognisable,” said Rainbow founder and chair, Eric Carson, who also marked 50 years in business in 2015.
Remaining firmly family-owned and committed to Northern Ireland, Rainbow is a major supporter of Northern Ireland’s leading business support organisations including the Institute of Directors and the CBI.
A keen advocate of mainstream and grassroots sport, Rainbow continues to partner with Down Royal Racecourse, Loughgall Motor Rally, Mid-Ulster Ladies Football Club, NI Polo and Belfast Primary Schools’ Football Association Cross Community annual 5-a-side shield as part of a community-focused programme which directly supports hundreds of sporting enthusiasts.