Business Broadband ProviderVirgin Media Business

Virgin Media: A Boost for Small Businesses

Emer Kelly, Head of Sales at Virgin Media Business, on giving small businesses a boost when they needed it, and supporting them to stay connected.

Across its business, Virgin Media reacted to the challenges faced by various sectors, with innovation and agility. One of the most public-facing ways was its ‘Backing Business’ campaign, which showcased hundreds of Irish companies across Virgin Media Television platforms, giving TV advertising exposure to small businesses who would not have otherwise been able to afford it, particularly in such challenging times. As businesses came to terms with their new normal, and reinvented themselves to keep trading, Virgin Media supported them, sharing their inspiring stories of resilience across the Virgin Media Television channels—Virgin Media One, Virgin Media Two and Virgin Media Three and social media platforms. Virgin Media channels reach approx. 2.7 million people every week. All the business owners had to do was send in a short video, of no more than 30 seconds, explaining who they are, what their business does, and the operational changes they had to make in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Testimonials from businesses involved reported back significant increase in sales and engagements across online and social media channels, from the powerful reach of TV advertising. Emer Kelly, Head of Sales at Virgin Media Business, notes that the different business divisions unified with “teamwork and collaboration across the business to support SMEs”. She adds, “We have shone a light on towns across the country through our Backing Business roadshow and delivered webinars and produced white papers to help SME’s on their digital journey. We’re really excited to’ continue our backing business support through 2021.” Behind the scenes, other initiatives answered urgent needs in response to the pandemic. Kelly reveals, “Back in March we had a call to deliver an internet and Wifi solution to an emergency Covid hospital being set up in a remote location. Normally this would require 6-10 weeks to deploy. However through cross-departmental collaboration and a willingness by everyone to get the job done we had the site up and running within four days—that was some achievement.”

FLEXIBLE AND FAST

As a business broadband provider, Virgin Media has reacted to the change in how people are working that the past year has brought about. “Overall, 2020 was challenging. We’re continuing to support our customers—large and small—however we can, to stay connected and stay productive,” says Kelly. “We’ve rolled out a range of solutions to help set up home working as securely and quickly as possible, and will be rolling out new flexible and fast ways for businesses to get connected. “We recognise that now more than ever, we play an essential role in helping our customers to continue trading under challenging conditions, and helping their people collaborate securely and effectively. Our support teams are in place to help, and are constantly keeping an eye on our network and its performance. “We are delighted to be recognised by Chambers Ireland for Best Business Broadband. As broadband has become increasingly important to keep our businesses connected, to be selected for this recognition reflects the hard work that has been put in by the Virgin Media Business team and the focus on building connections that really matter.”

 

DIGITAL JOURNEY

The world of work was already undergoing a huge digital transformation journey and the events of the last year have in many ways accelerated this. The trend for remote working was there, but moving large segments of the workforce to working from home in one go has put the onus on companies to ensure equipment, broadband and security systems are in place across the board. As a broadband supplier, Virgin Media Business was there to support their customers in this. “Our agility allowed us to react to the situation very quickly and meet the demands of our customers, we kept our customer at the centre of all decisions and despite all the challenges we continued to innovate and deliver products to enable our customers on their digital journey,” says Kelly. “The digital transformation for the Irish economy has been fast forwarded in the past 12 months and this trend will continue. We are not only looking at this but also leading the way with our award winning broadband delivering the fastest speeds in Ireland. “We are very excited about 2021; with the vaccines on the horizon we can only be optimistic. In Q1 we are launching our Unified Comms providing voice service to businesses, which will allow them to work seamlessly from anywhere in the country. Businesses need to continue their digital transformation journey to survive and our goal is to demystify the digital pathway and offer products that help them grow. Q2 will see the roll out of our SD-Wan product which will offer a step change in the market to multi-site businesses.”