Barclays Communications’ 15-year relationship with Tayto, one of Northern Ireland’s most recognized brands and companies, is built on seamless integration and a personal touch.
A major player in the communications sector, Britt Megahey’s Barclay Communications has forged a strong, long-term relationship with snacks giant Tayto – an organization that has grown itself into a massive £200m business with multiple locations and global reach.
“The Tayto brand is a great brand to associate with and one of the strongest in Northern Ireland,” says Britt.
“We have worked with Christopher and the leadership team for 15 years and it has been a great relationship for us. We have watched and supported each other through significant growth and change over the many years of partnership.”
Christopher Milligan is Tayto’s Group Systems and Infrastructure Manager and has worked alongside Barclay Communications for over 15 years.
He says the chips and snacks business went through acquisitions and bounced from supplier to supplier in search of a new business before approaching Barclay Communications.
“We spoke to Barclay Communications and explained what we were trying to achieve,” says Christopher.
“There was a bit of hesitation at first as we had previously dealt directly with the networks, but we realized very quickly that Barclay Communications could help us achieve our goals.”
Barclay Communications is active in a number of areas with a particular focus on mobile communications. There are also VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) products, field service software, WorkPal, and IT products and management.
And it’s the personal touch and the little things that have helped strengthen and continue this burgeoning relationship between Barclay Communications and Tayto over the years.
“We’ve always built Barclay Communications to put our customers at the forefront of every decision-making process,” says Britt.
“It’s exciting to see our customers grow over the years while using our products.”
Barclay Communications is Tayto’s dependency for its mobile needs across multiple locations and across all departments of the company.
“The transition to Barclay Communications was seamless,” says Christopher. “The account management team is fantastic at solving problems.
“By the time we moved to Barclay Communications we were much smaller and had a £23million business. It was £200m at the end of an eight-year acquisition process. There was massive growth.
“Dealing with the Barclay Communications team is a pleasant process. It was refreshing to be able to say, “Here’s my problem,” and have them respond, “We’ll fix it for you.”
Tayto’s relationship with Barclay Communications began with 100 cell phone connections. But in the 15 years since then it has grown to 500 connections across mobile, tablet and landlines.
That includes connections for employees servicing a data-only vending machine, all the way to its CFO and its shareholders, one of whom is using a 5G plan for their home broadband due to its reliability and cost-effectiveness.
Coupled with this practical and direct access, Christopher says: “In one instance, a member of the Barclay team actually drove to our offices in Tandragee to provide same-day SIM activation.
“This partnership has shown that Barclay Communications has indeed taken the time to learn about our business and needs. In Northern Ireland, a lot of business is based on the people you deal with and that is thanks to Britt and the team he has built. They want to solve their problems and do their best. As we’ve grown as a company, so have our needs and they seem to relish the challenge and thrive on every opportunity.”
According to Britt, the company remains in a growth phase in which it has expanded its office space, its reach and the markets in which it sells.
“We have just opened our London office which will mainly focus on our WorkPal product and our Glasgow office continues to deliver impressive results,” he says.
“Fixed has become a very big part of our business and will continue to be at the forefront with ISDN being phased out by 2025. Add to this the impeccable work being done by our burgeoning IT team. We have never been in a better place to fully manage our customers’ entire technical infrastructure.”
In recent years, companies have started making technology integration a priority. The importance of offering remote or hybrid work and a smarter, more flexible way of doing business is having a major impact on companies’ long-term investments.
“As a telecom and software company, we’ve seen an acceleration in people’s thinking and adoption of new types of technology. Our goal is to ensure our product suite and team are the very best,” says Britt.
“Companies are now very experienced in using software such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. It’s great to see investments being made in technology that will help move businesses five to 10 years ahead.
“Christopher’s experience is a credit to our team and how passionately they share our vision to deliver the best.”
Demand for services like WorkPal means Barclay Communications is now selling into global markets, including the US, along with the launch of new lines and products.
“We thought about expanding our offices in the USA,” says Britt. “We are also starting to sell our fixed line services to the Republic of Ireland which is another new market for us and we have many new ideas and products coming to market that combine mobile, IT and fixed line. ”
Barclay Communications continues to lead the way as a leader in business-to-business IT and telecoms, offering a variety of products to businesses and organizations across the UK and Ireland, serving prestigious clients such as the University of Cambridge, the Welsh Parliament and over 25 housing associations across the UK.
The company now operates offices in Belfast, Glasgow and London.
And Britt says deep-rooted relationships with companies like Tayto and the University of Cambridge remain key to attracting the attention of new customers.
“When people like a big brand like Tayto can put their trust in us, it gives some comfort to other customers and also helps develop trust in our brand,” says Britt.
“There are now around 6,000 connections with Cambridge. They had always dealt with networks right before they came to us. Similar to Tayto, the team continues to demonstrate the key differences in dealing with a company that cares and delivers.”
Christopher says he can pick up the phone and speak directly to his longstanding contacts at Barclay Communications. “It’s seamless,” he says. “As we’ve grown, Stewart, along with Donna and her team, have grown with us. The entire team has managed our account incredibly well over the 15 years that we have been a Barclays customer. They continue to provide a service with great attention to detail, from renewal negotiations to delivery.”
One of Barclay Communications’ other strengths is that it’s not tied to any particular network and is able to sell products to customers using the wide array of connections out there.
“You could be in a place where one cellular network is awesome and another is awful,” says Christopher. “Barclay Communications gives us the ability to combine everything depending on what we need.”
Britt says: “We invest heavily in providing the best possible customer service. This distinguishes us from other telecommunications companies. We value service above all else, and it shows again and again. On average, our customers have been with us for over nine years. That’s more than four contract terms. Referrals and word of mouth have helped us win some important business and for that we are very grateful.
“We have an industry-low churn rate. This is for a multitude of reasons, service is one of them but we also deliver what we promote and sell, the sales team continue to perform fantastically by providing holistic advice and solutions. This is coupled with continued investment in the development of the infrastructure and systems we have in place to meet the demands of our customers, of all sizes and requirements, in the public and private sectors.
“I’m very proud of the experiences that customers like Christopher have had at Tayto and it drives me and the team to keep raising the bar.”