You’ll probably already have met Claire at one of our member meetings. She’s a regular face at the C2S leader boardrooms and other events and her bright, bubbly personality is hard to miss. But what goes on behind the networking face of Claire? We caught up with her for a leader interview to find out a bit more about her…
Eurolink Connect is an integrated communication specialist, supporting businesses with all things technology, phones and computing. The business was established in 1999 and has grown steadily to be the multimillion pound business that it is today. Claire is at the helm of the company, where she has been since 2006, and which she manages with her business partner (and husband!) Derek Maddox.
Claire comments “Initially, I was introduced to Eurolink as a client, interacting regularly with the Eurolink team for over two years before becoming an employee. I was struck by how much I liked the company’s values and how much they aligned with my own values in business. When a position arose as Operations Manager, it was at a point in my career where my then employer was changing, and when I was looking for something new. Even with shared values, a new job is daunting, but Eurolink exceeded every expectation I had. The business is continually evolving, but so too is the industry that we are working in, and that’s make it such a fascinating business to be part of!
Twelve years on and Claire has seen the business through a number of major progressions, including the purchase of the Old Police Station in Stonehouse, it’s upgrade to be an eco-friendly office with room for expansion, and the company’s ultimate move from Bonds Mill. She also helped the business to pursue its status as an Internet Service Provider (ISP) in its own right, to give the business better supply chain control and provide access to major international brands. She comments “Being an ISP was pivotal to the success of our business, as it has allowed us greater control over the supply chain, the ability to select suppliers that align specifically with our values, and has also enabled us to be uber responsive to market changes, developing products and services in direct response to client demand. For example, one of our core suppliers is Gamma, who we selected for their outstanding products and customer support, but equally importantly for their environmental commitment and zero carbon service. Similarly, in the last two years, we have been able to launch our CloudCase ‘WiFi in a box’, which can provide internet access in rural locations, emergency access when there is a fault with main lines, and occasion internet for things such as festivals; it has been eminently well-received, with a lot of clients keeping one on site just in case.”
The business now employs 15 people. Claire leads the team and is at the forefront of ensuring that they are happy, productive and achieving client objectives. She comments “People management can be a challenge in business, but not when you have the right people like we do. Our team is superb (even if I do say so myself) and instead of having to consider how to overcome challenges, much of my role is actually spent facilitating employees to take their next steps, reach their goals, and fulfil their ambitions. That’s a very rewarding position to be in, particularly given that in the last few years we’ve recruited, progressed and retained a number of apprentices, who are now in their first qualified roles.”
According to Claire, the best thing about the business is how fast it’s evolving and the opportunities it offers. “It’s not often you’re in an industry that evolves as fast as the world of tech does. The entire company is always learning, but there is something hugely satisfying about training in something new, then finding it provides the perfect solution to one client challenge or another. We carry huge responsibility for our customer’s communications in what is a very serious industry, with every day solutions improving all the time. We support the development of modern offices for our clients, helping them to progress their businesses too. How brilliant is that?”
She continues “At the start of my career, I never in a million years thought I’d be working in telecoms. I didn’t start life with a definite career path, but instead got to where I am today by grasping opportunities and making the most of them. Early on, I thought I’d end up in HR as I love working with people, but it turned out I loved working in ops more. Now, years later I am working in a business I love, with enthusiastic and skilled people, feeling like I genuinely make a difference and I can’t imagine anything better!”
Next on the agenda for Eurolink Connect is to promote our ISPB integrated communication solutions across multiple dwelling units, as well as ensuring that the business is at the forefront of cyber security. Protecting client businesses from unnecessary cyber threats is essential and this is one area of the industry where the business is investing heavily. Claire comments “Three years ago Eurolink undertook the ISO27001 Information Security Standard, which has helped to ensure that security is in the business’ DNA and which also helped massively as a basis for the GDPR changes back in May. In addition, we put ourselves through annual penetration tests to ensure no complacency in the team or business, and as part of our commitment to client security. So far, we’ve passed with flying colours every time and not been breached which is fantastic.”
Visitors to the office are often greeted by our office dogs Louis and Molly, who help to keep everyone calm in what can sometimes be a pressurised environment.