Making the benefits of investing available to all was the founding principle behind investment and wealth management firm Killik and Co when it first started in 1989, opening for business in a modest expharmacy and chemist shop in Chelsea. 30 years later it has grown to eight London branches and one flagship residence which it uses for client meetings and presentations.
If this sounds unusual in a time of centralisation, consolidation and home working, then it is deliberately so. For Killik and Co and its clients still believe very strongly that matters of personal investment and wealth are best discussed in person, face to face. That’s not to say the firm is not anything but go-ahead and innovative, especially in the way it approaches markets and runs its business. Just one example is the way Killik & Co became the very first firm to offer postal share-selling as a service to readers of the Today and Sun newspapers for the Abbey National demutualisation and subsequent privatisation.
Recognising the many benefits of IP telephony, Killik & Co first migrated to the technology in 2010 through a third-party reseller. Even then Gamma was involved behind the scenes, providing all the underlying telephony and network infrastructure. But when that reseller was acquired by a larger firm, the manner of customer relationships changed and Killik & Co no longer felt it was receiving the level of service or the added value it had originally enjoyed.
By this time the IT team at the firm had built enough knowledge and experience with SIP technology to become self-sufficient. In 2014 the decision was taken to go direct to Gamma for SIP trunks, ISDN circuits and the cloud-based Inbound call management and routing platform. All of this works with Killik & Co’s in-house Cisco Call Manager PBX to deliver a highly resilient telephony solution. Later the firm moved its analogue fax lines over to Gamma, and then added two Gamma Ethernet circuits.
Bringing Killik & Co’s SIP trunking, ISDN2 lines and Inbound service over from its former provider onto our direct provision was a relatively straightforward operation achieved mostly through administrative and billing changes. Our SIP trunks connect directly with the company’s Cisco Call Manager switch which was chosen for its proven resilience and reliability. In an environment increasingly deploying hosted services, Killik & Co prefers to keep its hardware on site, with management and control functions performed locally.
Since the initial implementation we have been able to supply Killik & Co with two Ethernet circuits over which the company’s SIP trunks are now delivered, as well as taking over the supply of its analogue lines. Prior to installing Ethernet Killik & Co had used its wide area network for SIP, but this sometimes proved problematic with voice traffic. Killik & Co also uses Gamma’s Inbound platform for flexibility and control of numbering together with IVR facilities.
With the move to Gamma Ethernet connections for the delivery of SIP, the reliability of telephony has now become a given. “We regard it as a utility that should just work and, apart from one problem in four years, it has,” says Dan Young. “The billing aspect is much clearer too. Through Gamma’s online portal we get full transparency of billing information, management statistics, everything.”
Killik & Co also appreciates the peace of mind that working with Gamma can bring. While many of Killik & Co’s clients prefer face to face contact, the telephone still remains an important tool, not least in running its own business. “There’s a phone on every desk and in every meeting room, and as a business it lets us work more flexibly. Telephony for us is still our key IT system,” says Dan Young. “With Gamma’s very good customer service and their ready availability 24×7, telephony is one less thing we have to worry about.”