Laura Barnes spends a day at London’s Charterhouse Voice & Data to brush up on her printer terminology and find out how the company stands out in the IT reseller market.
Upon entering the building, visitors are greeted not only by Charterhouse Voice & Data’s friendly secretary, Becki, but also by a glass cabinet built into her desk showcasing an abundance of awards the reseller has won over the years.
Charterhouse Voice & Data is not shy about its achievements. In addition to the awards, the firm’s conference room has its walls covered in the logos of brands it works with, including some big household names like Avaya, Mitel, Cisco, BlackBerry, EE, Canon and Gamma.
As account manager Robert Briden takes me on a tour around the Central London office, I notice a number of other walls with motivational terms such as ‘ Commitment’, ‘Teamwork’, ‘Respect’, and ‘Excellence’ scattered across them.
“A typical day starts by speaking to existing clients and making sure they are well looked after,” Briden explains to me.
The office is filled mostly with a mix of sales and support staff, and around me I can hear a number of phone conversations with the firm's many clients. Looking after the customer is clearly a big priority for the reseller.
Established in 1993, Charterhouse is made up of 113 employees. While best-known for its unified communications and telephone systems, the firm also sells a variety of products including mobile voice and data, network connectivity, cloud services and document management solutions.
“Business really varies,” says Briden. “We have customers who have 100 or so staff all the way up to about 5,000 and everything in between.”
Dealing with such a vast and varied amount of clients inevitably leads to quite a few amusing anecdotes, with most of them involving clients forgetting to try out a few simple tests before calling up for help.
“Once we had a call from a very angry customer who said the printer had just died. They were saying it was unacceptable and they didn’t want to work with us anymore,” recalls Briden.“We sent an engineer over there straight away and it turned out that they had just forgotten to turn it on at the wall.”
As well as looking after existing customers, the key to being a successful reseller appears to be continually looking for new business.
Charterhouse Voice & Data also regularly organises executive briefings, co-hosted with its vendor partners, so its customers and new business contacts can learn about the latest IT strategies and trends and meet the team face-to-face.
As my time at Charterhouse Voice & Data draws to a close, I get a sneak peak into the main conference room, which has been constantly busy throughout the day.
The room is filled with conferencing equipment, printers and impressive cabinets displaying an array of the products offered by the reseller.
As I’m politely ushered out to make way for the next meeting, I notice another motivational message plastered on a wall that perfectly sums up what the company is all about: “Excellence in converged voice and data solutions; creating strong strategic partnerships and delivering a great client experience from a stimulating working environment.”
Year established: 1993
Number of staff: 113
Contact: 0844 2643067
Address: Charterhouse Voice & Data Plc, 5 Chapel Place, Rivington Street, London, EC2A 3SB