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ISP Zen Internet Hope to Become £100m UK Business Within 3 Years

Monday, January 29th, 2018 (4:38 pm) - Score 2,621

Rochdale-based broadband provider Zen Internet, which over the years has built itself a strong reputation in the UK ISP and telecoms industry, has set itself a new target of becoming a £100 million business within just 3 years and a £250 million business within 10 years.

The ISP’s most recent financial report to September 2016 (here) revealed an annual turnover of £57.2m (up from £54.2m in 2015), net assets of £10.4m (up from £9m) and an operating profit of £2.5 million (down from £3.5m). The weaker profit position was blamed on aggressive pricing by competitors and the increasing bandwidth demands of users.

Since then Zen has completed its transition to become a “full service connectivity and networking provider, with a portfolio that goes way beyond broadband and into voice, cloud, IP VPN and Ethernet services.” On top of that the provider intends to support their growth aspirations by creating a new board of directors, which is headed up by former Sage executive Paul Stobart as Chairman.

Richard Tang, Zen’s CEO, said:

“Zen has a huge opportunity over the next few years and if we are to maximise that opportunity and really scale Zen up to be a major contender in the UK market, we need a leadership structure that is even stronger and the ability to tap into even more experience and capability.

Our current senior management team have done a brilliant job. The separate board, chaired by Paul, will work closely with the SMT to unlock new and exciting opportunities for growth.”

Paul Stobart would seem to be a good fit for the new strategy, not least since he helped to grow Sage from a turnover of £120m to £1.3bn and may now seek to do the same with Zen. Mind you Zen is a very different business from accountancy and business management firm SAGE. Hopefully in the race for growth they don’t neglect their reputation for service quality.

Leave a Comment
10 Responses
  1. Avatar Bill

    Here are some ideas for Zen…

    1) Sort out your systemic single thread issues
    2) Start offering FOD asap

    • 1) Sort out your systemic single thread issues –

      There is a single thread download issue at a small number of exchanges. We’re extremely sorry for the inconvenience and problems this has caused. I can assure you it is being taken extremely seriously. However, the problem isn’t systemic. We’ve identified the cause of the problem and are working with the supplier in question to apply a long-term resolution. In the short term, we have a fix we can apply to any customer that has been affected. If you’ve been affected contact our support team. The team will confirm the issue and arrange for the fix to be applied.

      2) Start offering FOD asap –

      The problem with FTTP on Demand is the prohibitively high upfront build costs. The build costs, even with the recent Openreach changes, will run into the thousands for most customers.

      As a relatively small provider, we have to carefully select which products we develop first. As much as we’d love to develop and launch G.Fast, FTTPoD, SOGEA & SOGFAST all at the same time it’s not possible. I’ve prioritised developing G.Fast as I believe this will offer the biggest benefit for more of our customers.

    • Avatar Bill

      @Andrew Thank you for your reply, it is appreciated.

      I hope you will eventually reconsider the FTTPoD stance. FoD generally will appeal to the enthusiast customer base or those that are desperate. Traditionally I have seen Zen offer products and service levels that are appealing to enthusiasts. Going the mass market route tends to put off the enthusiasts and you will end up like the rest.

      FOD may result in high costs for some, why not give them that option? As you already offer FTTP, it is just an extra bit that has to be done at the start of the contract.

    • @Bill just to be clear I’m not saying we will not offer FTTP on Demand just that we’re working on G.Fast first.

  2. Avatar IanK

    Hope is not a strategy Richard but I wish you well. You’ve quite a bit to fix before you hit your target.

    1 Customer support, once best in class, is now not much better than the Tier 1, low cost providers.Return this to the highly skilled, customer focussed team it used to be.

    2. Fix the long running network issues which your support team seen to be in denial of despite the mountain of evidence that exists.

    3. Mr Stobart is an interesting appointment. Do we sense an IPO?

    • Hi, We aim to always provide a 1st class service. Generally, customer feedback says we’re providing great personal and knowledgeable support. Obviously, in your case, we’ve not met our own high standards so I’d love to hear more about where we went wrong and how you think we could do better. Please feel free to contact me @ andrew.sayle@zeninternet.co.uk

      Thanks
      Andrew

      P.S. with regards an IPO, The answer is NO. Richard has been very clear that he has absolutely no intention of ever selling Zen and intends to keep 100% of his shares.

    • Avatar Vince

      I agree with IanK – Zen Support is just not that great.

      It USED to be, and there are moments it’s good, but I’ve had multiple poor experiences – and this started some years back and is a major reason we don’t partner with Zen where I work.

      Zen has sadly but predictably become too big.

    • @Vince As I mentioned to IanK I’d love to hear more about where we went wrong and how you think we could do better. Please feel free to contact me @ andrew.sayle@zeninternet.co.uk

  3. Avatar Jono

    I switched from Sky to Zen around 3 months ago.

    I also had the single thread download issue but a quick online support chat issue was identified and a fix applied.

    I’m paying slightly more thank sky but the connection so far is loads better. I’m lucky to live very close to cab and sync and full 80/20. Speeds are always over 72mbit and the most impressive part is the pings are very low.

    Sometimes paying a little more is well worth it.

  4. Avatar Andrew Allcock

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrew-sayle-88a450a

    Sayle should know about declining cs standards at zen. he worked there for 3 years in cs… though he seems to have omitted it from his cv. perhaps he could return and manage the cs product?

    Zen are just a re-seller. They are polishing a BT turd…and you can’t polish a turd.

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