Tech for tech

Datel proves the perfect partner for forward-looking technology company

6th May 2021

As the UK’s leading business telecoms and cloud communications provider, Onecom appreciates the power of good quality, up-to-date technology. Investing in their systems has been top priority for the business in recent months, so we spoke to Chris James, Head of Business Change, about how he came to choose Datel as their partner for delivering their Sage X3 upgrade.  

Risk aversion with upgrades 

Onecom is the largest independent communications provider in the UK, delivering fixed line, mobile, unified communicationsconnectivity, and cloud solutions. Running for over 17 years, they have offices across the UK and employ over 500 people.  

The business has got to where it is today by not only embracing change, but actively seeking it. As leader of the change revolution at Onecom, Chris James is on the ball when it comes to the latest business tech and realised that although they were managing well, the company could make efficiency gains by upgrading from version 9 of their Sage X3 ERP system. 
After researching, Chris set out on a mission to upgrade Sage X3 to version 12, in order to alleviate some of the workarounds they had been doing due to the older system’s limitations.  

“Such a vital system of ours can't be unsupported. And having your ERP system on an unsupported platform is not really a risk that we're willing to accept, Chris said.  

 Choosing the right partner 

Chris sought a new Sage business partner to deliver the system upgrade and had a strong idea what he wanted to get from the relationship. When making their selection, Chris met with a few potential partners before choosing two to meet the CFO.  

Datel was selected as part of the pitching process based on Chris’s experience using our sister company, Datel Advansys, for the hosting and infrastructure of Onecom’s current Sage X3 system. Chris has been impressed with the level of service provided by Datel Advansys and hoped the same would be true for the computing arm of the business, although wasn’t going to make any assumptions. “Datel Advansys enabled access to our system to the partners shortlisted, and what was excellent was that Datel were treated exactly the same as the others – complete separation through the process. 

With access granted to Onecom’s current system, our team at Datel took a deep dive analysis of the set up before proposing appropriate support to manage and maintain the successful upgrade. This thorough approach is what swung it for Chris; “what it really came down to was the reassurances around the level of support and the approach in which that support was taken.”    

This promise around high levels of support had been what Chris had hoped for bearing in mind his positive experience working with Datel Advansys, and has so far been delighted to see that our team at Datel have stayed true to their word. But looking back on his decision to choose Datel as his Sage partner, Chris admits he didn’t make his selection based on promises or prices, he’d thoroughly examined the value they’d receive for their contract. Chris explained, “I'm not saying Datel is exactly the cheapest. However, what we saw from the benefits, as well as what will be provided for that value, it stacked up. So far the relationship has been exemplary.” 

What’s next for Onecom 

Chris is expecting the integration to Sage X3 version 12 will be complete by the middle of 2021, and will complement their continuing technology advancements. Currently Onecom are looking toward automated EDI with their suppliers, removing the need for storing physical stock. Virtual warehousing such as this saves money and time, but also increases customer satisfaction as goods can be sent out much faster.  

This customer first mentality is what we have come to expect from Onecom and could well be one of the reasons why we work so well together as businesses. At Datel we put our customers first above all else, and Onecom clearly recognise and appreciate this trait. We’re really enjoying how our relationship has started and look forward to supporting Onecom in their adventures to come.