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Axians Show DTX 2019 Special Stuart Wallis

Axians Show DTX 2019 Special Stuart Wallis

CHRIS GILMOUR [00:00:22] Welcome back to the Axians Networks broadcast here on Disruptive at Digital Transmission live. So my last guest today is is Stuart Wallis, who is here from MLL Telecom. Welcome to the show.

STUART WALLIS [00:00:34] Thank you for inviting me and pleased to be part of this very happening event.

CHRIS GILMOUR [00:00:39] So today, we’ve talked to businesses that have been incorporated in 2007. We’ve talked to businesses incorporated in 2013 MLL was 1991, I believe. I mean, you’re almost like the kind of the granddaddy of kind of service providers who are here. I mean, obviously it means MLL Telecom are a millenial. So we’re hip on that side. Where do you think your kind of lasting power has come from? What do you think?

STUART WALLIS [00:01:11] I guess when you look at it, that’s close to three decades worth of industry experience. But I think, you know, from what MLL really focuses on is around actually, how do we always become and keep ourselves agile, make sure we reinvent ourselves. We’re listening to the customers and listening to the market. And I think that’s really what’s allowed us to pivot multiple times and ride the waves of technology.

CHRIS GILMOUR [00:01:38] So if people haven’t heard about MLL Telecom, what would you say is what kind of a not a strap line but a kind of elevator pitch or short and punchy?

STUART WALLIS [00:01:49] Yeah, I think, you know, obviously we’re we’re an SME. We are twenty eight years old. We really coin ourselves as an integrator across the industry. We work in both the mobile sector and the public sector, which gives us great depth and breadth. But we work very hard bringing that together. That’s where we’re seeing technology moving.

CHRIS GILMOUR [00:02:11] OK. And then, you know, there’s a number of markets seem to be transforming at the moment with all markets transforming. What major trends have you seen that have particularly impacted your business?

STUART WALLIS [00:02:23] So I think, as I said, we’ve got two main business units within MLL service provider solely focuses around the mobile space. That’s where we’re born born out of 28 years ago, we really started cut our teeth around that end to end service for customers. We made sure that we build our design and technical capability. We are an engineering business. But what we really see from a trend perspective based on the investment that’s going on in the market at the moment is just phenomenal. You just see there’s 10 plus billion investment in fibre you see roll over the next few years. There’s three to five billion being invested in the 5G wave. This week we saw two billion invested in tower infrastructure. Who knew the industry was worth that much. So, you know, it’s just a really exciting place to be at the moment and understand what those trends look like.

DANIEL THOMAS [00:03:14] We joked earlier about being across three decades now, but you’re doing something right. So what is that secret sauce, as it were? You mentioned yourselves. Is anything is there’s any secrets to all of that?

STUART WALLIS [00:03:26] Yeah. I think it’s been mindful that we do sit over two industries, which really helps because you have the mobile waves that go through. You know, some of us old enough to remember 1G 2G. You know, we’re now and we’re at the 5G. You know, that’s the next era it’s really exciting. But that takes, you know, seven, eight years to sort of really start to build up and move forward, whereas the public sector slightly different. And it moves not just in technology, but almost moves in the way that they can computer the service so all of our real focus is how do we enable our customer base to buy services from us. That’s mostly around government frameworks.

CHRIS GILMOUR [00:04:05] So I suppose your more famous for your mobile infrastructure but you have been spectacularly successful in public sector, it must be a very busy time to be an MLL Telecom.

STUART WALLIS [00:04:16] It is it is. So nine years I’ve been at MLL, I can’t think of a busy year than in the last 12 months we’ve been gone strength from strength. From the moment we was on the new public sector framework about four years ago. We’ve had fantastic opportunities to work with some really forward thinking customer base within the local government, particularly a lot of councils, so we’ve really driven that home. And we’ve honed our skills and making sure the customer gets what they want. We make sure we stay relevant for them in the technology base. We’re really looking forward to the next five to six years to see what happens now that we’ve opened our capability in the framework. We’ve got 10 lots. We can service all our customers and new services.

CHRIS GILMOUR [00:04:58] Busy times ahead then.

STUART WALLIS [00:04:59] Absolutely. I think the grey hairs will keep coming.

CHRIS GILMOUR [00:05:02] I think it’s testament to the kind of standards that you’ve you’ve you’ve kind of built up that. I understand you’ve been nominated to short. You’ve been shortlisted for a Gold Award. That must be quite, quite satisfying.

STUART WALLIS [00:05:13] It is nice to get the award. We also got partner of the year as well. So again, just shows you what not just the industry saying but our customer base and competitors customer base are saying about MLL. So, you know, it’s a great opportunity to be. But I think what we can’t forget is that blood, sweat and tears from our staff and our partners. And so, again, you know, that’s absolutely what we’re key on making sure as a business we drive forward on, giving the opportunity for our staff to work and benefit themselves that’s core of our business we’re a people company.

DANIEL THOMAS [00:05:47] So we’re coming to the end of this segment now. And you mentioned a couple of times how busy you are at the moment. Could you give us any sort of insight on some of the exciting opportunities you’re working on at the moment?

STUART WALLIS [00:05:56] Yeah, sure. I’ll probably have to avoid a couple of the bigger deals we’re working on at the moment. But we’re really been gearing up on is around making sure that our systems and our core network is ready for the next five years. So we’ve spent about 12 months investing for an SME a significant amount of money, which obviously we’ve been working with yourselves. Axians as part of that. So we’re ready to take on the next wave. Be it SD-Wan network slicing whatever it needs to be before we’re ready and waiting.

DANIEL THOMAS [00:06:24] Brilliant.

CHRIS GILMOUR [00:06:25] Sounds brilliant. So we mentioned earlier you’re a millennial, apparently the main trends for a millennial are that you are tech savvy, team focussed and results oriented. So it’s obviosuly fitting then that we end this segment with MLL telecom and in fact you can actually find more about MLL Telecom from their website, which is And I would like to thank our guests today, Matt Shanahan, Neil Sperring and also Stuart. And we’ll be back in a minute when Dan and I will be having a little discussion around some of the other events we’ve been to, this event in particular as well and some of the trends we’ve been seeing. Thank you for watching so far.