Daisy Group’s Neil Muller tells us how his company is on a mission
The Daisy Group is an independent and unified communications provider for broadband, VoIP, telephone, IT systems and solutions.
When the company was formed in 2001, it had a simple business model of providing alternative telephone lines for the UK’s small and medium sized enterprises.
In February 2015, The Daisy Group brought in CEO Neil Muller to help the business reach its ambition of becoming a £1 billion turnover business.
Muller had spent the previous 21 years at IT infrastructure provider, Computacenter, where his last position was the UK Managing Director. He moved to Daisy Group to help continue its organic growth and maintain its spot as the UK’s largest independent provider of converged business communications.
How does the company plan to achieve this?
Muller explains in more detail: “We position ourselves now as a converged services aggregator of IP, business communications, connectivity and cloud. In old money, people would view that as ICT. However, I am rather cynical about ICT because organisations tend to do the ‘IT’ and not the ‘C’.
“You either come from communications or IT. For me that is the key differentiator at Daisy Group. We are genuinely an organisation that delivers that converged offering of IT, business communications, connectivity and cloud.”
Muller continues: “We are currently a £725 million business. We have around 560,000 customers across the UK and many are small and medium sized businesses. We serve them in diverse ways because customers have different buying behaviours.”
On the acquisition trail
With around 3,800 colleagues and 30 locations nationwide across the whole of the UK, Daisy are planning on reaching the £1 billion landmark through organic growth.
But the group has also been on the acquisition trail, having acquired many companies within its sectors to reach a wider customer base and differentiate itself from the competition.
At the end of 2016, it acquired its 50th company but Muller says there are no more current plans for acquisitions.
Muller comments: “We don’t have plans to acquire another organisation. We believe we have everything that we need within our business to deliver in this converged world of ICT.”
To ensure the group doesn’t just become the biggest but also the best, Muller says it has put customer service at the heart of everything it does.
Over the last two years Daisy has seen a return to organic growth and to maintain this, Muller hopes to keep providing the latest and most relevant services.
Muller explains: “The reason for our growth is because our products are relevant. With relevant products and local, personal customer service through direct and indirect routes, we have provided a huge recipe for success.”
His management style
Having been given the role over two years ago to help drive the company towards £1 billion turnover, Muller’s style will be key to achieving this.
He explains his leadership style: “Communication is utterly critical. My style is one of authenticity and communicating face-to-face.
“We work in an open-plan environment, approachability is really important too– we are all in this together.
“I also don’t like hierarchy. I don’t like arrogant behaviour. I like being in the trenches and leading from the front and supporting the team where they need me. I spent some time at Sandhurst Military Centre in my early years. One thing they taught me was to have a plan and stick to it.”
Future of converged business communications
As the established name within the IT sector, the Daisy Group is in prime position to prepare for the future of the industry.
Muller believes we are heading towards a more cloud-based future.
He explains: “It’s hard to get away from the cloud and every organisation is looking to digitise their business and for many, the concerns of how things are delivered through the cloud have gone. That is partly because providers like Microsoft, have the highest levels of security within their businesses and people feel 100% protected.”
Muller also believes that the Daisy Group will be a key asset to its customers as people are looking to merge all of their hardware into one, mobile device.
He said: “Agile workforces and mobility services are absolutely critical to business. I can see a world, in the not too distant future where smart-phones carry everything your current laptop has with all your data held in the cloud. It is a very simple world that we are moving to and we are extremely well positioned.”
Muller’s ‘to do’ list
Despite success to date, Muller still has his own personal goals for the company regarding its organic growth and status within their sector.
He said: “I have to keep true to the plan and earn the hearts and minds of our partners and colleagues, and execute the plan better than anyone else by working harder and working smarter. Business is simple – you just need to stick to your original plan.
“The dream for myself is to turn Daisy from being a noun to a verb. Google is the perfect example of this. I am trying to transform our customers environment through ICT, with the aim of them saying – ‘we might as well Daisy it’.
“That’s nirvana, that is the big dream for me. How do we get there? One step at a time.”