Pragma, Partnerships, and The Road to Disruption
Pragma discuss their journey to success
Founded in 2012, Pragma is a channel-focused distribution company designed specifically to support both Ericsson-LG and their resellers in delivering UC solutions to the UK market. Founded by Tim Brooks, David George, and Will Morey, Pragma has evolved over the years to become a truly disruptive brand, thanks to its focus on exceptional go-to-market strategies, and unbeatable customer experience.
To learn more about the growth and success of Pragma and its channel model, we spoke to both Will Morey, Sales and Marketing Director, and Tim Brooks, Managing Director, about their time with the organisation, and what they’ve learned throughout the years.
Before they began their journey with Pragma, both Tim and Will worked alongside David George at a tech company called “Crane Telecom”. When the brand was purchased by Westcon in 2007, Tim stayed on for around five years, though he missed the days spent working in an independent business. “When the opportunity arose to create a new business in 2012 with David, we all jumped at it.”
Pragma was formed with an Ericsson-LG distribution contract for the UK – something that both Tim and Will considered to be a huge benefit for their growing brand. They were excited to work with a company that had so much potential to bring into the UK market, but they also felt that Ericsson-LG offered the perfect opportunity to introduce a smaller, independent business to the space.
“As an independent distribution business, we felt that we could work well with resellers to deliver a more personal relationship with each partner – offering support they wouldn’t get from a larger distributor.”
For Pragma, the key to differentiation is amazing customer experiences. As Tim told me: “A lot of our competitors have a great deal more scale than us, but what they struggle to bring to the table is the relationships and personal approach that makes them a truly meaningful partner. We’re proud to say that many of our resellers attribute their success to how they’ve worked with us in recent years.”
What Has the Company Learned Along the Way?
The UC market has changed significantly since 2012, and I was interested to find out what Pragma learned along the path to success. The first thing that Tim told me was that in 2012, while they were aware of the potential of cloud, they didn’t have a plan for how to address this market. That’s why it was so important for them to make sure that Ericsson-LG had a cloud strategy from the beginning.
“We now have a phenomenal cloud service and it’s growing at a pace faster than we expected. The really exciting thing is that our on-premises business is still growing too.”
Will noted that Pragma’s partnership with Ericsson-LG has allowed them to play in every corner of the UC market. They’ve made incredible strides in the mid-market and enterprise space in recent years, and today they can offer everything from cloud to hybrid, and on-premise solutions.
How Do You Compete in Industry Verticals?
Pragma aren’t just successful for their versatile and scalable UC solution – they’ve also done very well in a range of industry verticals too.
They believe that a part of this success has to do with the way they take products to market with both a channel and end user proposition. They have a strong proposition for each vertical, designed with its own sales support, social media content, and even guides for customers. What’s more, Pragma believes that their product has a lot of potential too.
“While we’re an industry leader in the hospitality sector, we perform in a lot of different verticals very well, and part of the reason for that is that we have the right partners in the right spaces. For the education sector, for instance, it’s about connecting with resellers who are willing to go the extra mile to know what makes a school tick.”
What Do You Think It Will Take to Be Successful in 2018?
As the market continues to evolve in 2018, Pragma believes that they need to continue on the path they’re on, accelerating their “cupboard to cloud” solution for companies across the UK. Tim noted that Pragma makes it easier for companies to find the strategy they need for digital transformation, and that’s been very appealing to channel partners.
“There are a lot of people looking to polarise the market, saying you have to be totally on-premise, or totally in the cloud. But there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. We believe if you can really engage with what matters to a user at a feature level, then you can truly become competitive.”
It’s this approach to business that’s helped Pragma to continue increasing the number of partners they bring into their organisation, and the size of those partners too. Notably, because Pragma is the only Ericsson-LG distributor in the UK, they can “choose” which partners they want to deal with.
What Have You Achieved Recently?
Pragma has just been through an office move to ensure that they have enough scope and space for growth in the years ahead – but that’s not the only thing they’ve achieved in recent years.
Tim noted that over the last few years, the company has been accomplishing amazing things.
“For the last four years now, we’ve won awards that recognise our marketing skills. Last year, we won the best “SME” telephony platform and the best Enterprise telephony platform of the year at the same time.”
In 2017, Pragma closed their fifth year of trading, and they’ve grown in both profit and revenue every year for the past five years. They also won the Ericsson-LG global partner of the year award for the third time.
“We also made it into the Deloitte Fast 500 Technology companies for Europe.”
According to Will and Tim, the only way is up for Pragma. “The plan for 2018 and beyond is continued growth.”