What led to you establishing
I originally setup Vaioni because I did not know what else to do, but had an interest in technology. I was young at the time and thought, how hard can it be to set up a business? Let’s do it! I soon realised how naïve I truly was. We now own and operate our own National Ethernet Network (V.E.N.) connecting over 200,000 postcodes across over 100 towns and cities, making us one of the biggest Independent Network Operators in the UK.
What services does Vaioni offer?
Vaioni is a Network Operator. We specialise in high capacity, business internet connectivity to SME and mid-market businesses and, more recently, cloud services such as Unified Communications and Cyber-Security.
What challenges have you overcome to get Vaioni where it is today?
I recently had a conversation about this with my Financial Director. It’s crazy to think this all started from a small bedroom with nothing, to what we have built today. You never truly appreciate the progress made. Building a business is like nothing else I have ever experienced. You are literally “managing the unknown”, and your physical, emotional and mental states are tested to the max. I think like in any business, cash and customer acquisition were my biggest challenges. Why would a business believe in a one-man band? And I was no great sales person either!
What are you investing in to grow the business?
As a Network Operator, we are overhead-heavy, especially if we do it properly. Too many technology businesses let themselves down because they do things half-assed. So a significant amount of the funding will go towards technology, enhancing V.E.N., and building one of the most intelligent networks in the UK. Automation is key to our business and customer’s success, especially when you see the rate of adoption today, and will continue to see over the next 5-10yrs. The reliance on speed, agility and reliability that our customers (and businesses in general) demand from us is significant, and crucial to their success. We want to continue helping our customers on the digital transformation journey, improving their agility and ability to compete at a world class level. This is what makes us, and our customers, extraordinary.
What are the key opportunities and threats in the network operator industry?
It comes back to “managing the unknown” but we are in a pretty good market and are always on the lookout for threats. We will experience all the same threats as any industry. Competition is probably our biggest, and regulation changes with BT Openreach, but these threats also bring us opportunities.
What are your ambitions looking towards the future?
It is pretty simple really. In short, it is to be a market leader in connectivity and cloud automation, and of course to hit our plan. We have got to pay our investors back at some point!
What advice would you offer to other companies seeking investment?
You have to have a good solid business firstly, then you need to have a plan – a realistic plan which needs to be torn apart from someone outside of your business. Once you have these two, you need a team who believe in your plan. Finally, you need to believe in the plan and be ready for discomfort, and hopefully growth!