When two former Royal Air Force pilots, Andy Offer and Chris Norton, formed an aviation services business it was Connectus they later partnered with, to provide state-of-the-art networking and communications technology.
2Excel launched in 2005, after the former Royal Air Force pilots wanted to pursue a career in providing aerobatic displays. Today, the company has expanded into a renowned and respected aviation services business, employing some 450 people, with 32 aircraft operating out of four UK airfield sites, and a turnover of around £45million.
2Excel provides a VIP Charter service which sees them helping global CEOs, politicians and premier football teams travel the world. Its Special Missions division are on call for search & rescue as well as a rapid oil spill response service, with aircraft on call 24/7. The company even recently provided organ donation flights, requiring swift transfer to specialised medical facilities with rapid flight clearance. With a significant customer base and life-saving missions, 2Excel simply could not tolerate unreliable technology.
Dave Skinner, Connectus Engineering Manager, said: “We have been working closely with 2Excel for around eight years, providing their complete network both at Doncaster Sheffield Airport and Sywell Aerodrome in Northants”.
“At Doncaster, we installed a complete network with both hardwired and Wi-Fi and more than 100 VoIP installs. We have been with them on their journey since 2013, from operating out of offices to an aviation hangar where we arranged robust communications with our partners, and a full network of both Wi-Fi and hard-wired solutions were installed. We again helped them through their most recent move to Hanger 3 at Doncaster Sheffield Airport.”
But, according to David Jackman, Facilities Manager at 2Excel Aviation, Connectus support is far more than installing and monitoring a communications network. He describes numerous occasions where the Connectus Engineering Manager and his team have shown great flexibility and responsiveness to ensure 2Excel can provide its crucial services, 24/7. For example:
“It was on Boxing Day a few years ago, when there had been a catastrophic flood which put Doncaster-Sheffield Airport out of action, and our communications network down. Recognising the criticality of 2Excel’s business, Dave and his Connectus engineers dropped everything to be on site and help us get operations back up and running as soon as possible. It’s that level of service we always receive – and it’s what we need to operate effectively.”
At 2Excel’s Hangar at Doncaster, there is a Doncaster-Sheffield Airport security scanner in use for airport security passes. “It fails every so often,” says Jackman, “but Connectus is always there within the hour to reboot it. Whilst not technically part of their remit, Connectus recognise the need to support wherever they can, because they see themselves very much part of our team.”
And what keeps 2Excel on top of its game is a commitment to providing immediate, personal responses to its VIP and government customer base. As 2Excel’s Facilities Manager states:
“Our customers need and expect an immediate response and a personal approach. We are required to ensure we have a secure, reliable global phone system – telephony provides a rapid, personal layer of response that email simply cannot cater for. Our global business means we are always available and on the end of a phone.”
This multi-lingual, fast-paced, personal response means Connectus is always on hand to ensure 2Excel’s VoIP phone network is both enduring and robust.
Taking on a hangar at Doncaster Sheffield Airport in January 2015 to allow for company expansion, 2Excel needed Connectus to swiftly modernise the existing communications infrastructure. A state-of-the-art technology architecture was quickly installed, allowing the 2Excel team to not only service its existing customers but to continue growing its business. David Jackman takes up the story:
“From then on, everything has been good. It just works. As our demands have increased, Connectus has simply met those demands. Of course, our system might be high tech, but we still need it to be simple and quick to use. Now, when we add a new phone user to our expanding interconnected phone network we can make a quick phone call to Connectus and they will be plugged into the network. It makes everyone’s life easier and enables us to concentrate on our core business”.
Its partnership with Connectus, Jackman believes, is one of the key elements which makes 2Excel the globally successful and growing company it is today. “It’s already a close-knit, professional, mature relationship, which will continue to grow as we expand. We know that whatever the issue, Connectus is always there to help – and that support is crucial – and much appreciated.”