Interviews with Ocean Telecom: Robert Gammon, Solutions Specialist
January 24, 2022
Want to have a closer look at the Ocean Telecom team? We wanted to introduce something a bit more personal this year, so our customers can gain some insight into our team’s thoughts about our industry – as well as connect on a more personal level too.
Although we deal with communication technology and devices, there are humans behind the screen!
Robert Gammon’s Bio
First up is Rob who was born in the UK, but he moved to Spain at an early age and was brought up in Girona, to the east of Barcelona. He later graduated with a degree in Business Studies from Barcelona and returned to the UK in 2018. Rob was looking for a career in technology and started working as a Business Development Manager for a local IT company before joining Ocean Telecom as a Solutions Specialist in 2019.
2019 was an exciting and challenging time to join, especially with the pandemic, as this prompted a major push towards Hosted and Cloud technology. This time also coincided with the UK network infrastructure moving to Cloud-based technologies.
Interview with Our Solutions Specialist
1. A few work-related questions first, then we’d like to get to know you a bit. So, when starting your career in Telecoms in 2019, as someone relatively new to the industry, what were the first things you noticed?
I had never thought about it before starting in Telecoms, but it is obvious now. Basically, every business in the UK has at least one phone to communicate and it is a critical part of every company, large or small! I have met customers from every walk of life, no matter how different they may be, or in how they run their business, they all use phones.
Anecdotally, it really hit home when I was watching Downton Abbey (set in the 1910’s) and there is an episode in which a BT Salesman arrives at the house to survey the house for its first phones, something which all the characters find very exciting. The importance of Telecoms has become exponentially evident since we all carry around a smartphone in our pockets with capabilities that 20 years ago would seem outlandish.
2. All the talk of “Cloud” and “VoIP” can be confusing for customers, what advice would you give to businesses still using a traditional phone system?
Drawing from the countless conversations I’ve had with customers in the same position, I’d say that the move to “Cloud” and “VoIP” is nowhere near as overwhelming as it may seem. It’s very easy to upgrade and brings lots of new features and modern ways of working. It makes home and flexible working easy and usually saves customers money compared to their old phone systems and set up.
3. How has the pandemic affected Telecoms and where do you see the industry going in the future?
For many businesses, the pandemic has accelerated the need to work from home. Since the start of the pandemic, we have helped countless businesses move from traditional systems to Cloud Telecoms. This allows them to operate their business remotely, with no disruption to calls. These new systems are entirely based in the Cloud (internet basically). Each user can be logged in to 10 devices (laptop, mobile, tablet) on which they can make and receive their calls. Many of our customers have moved entirely away from desk phones and run their business from the mobile app now.
4. I notice that Ocean have diversified into selling Electronic Vehicle Chargers too, how did that come about and why?
We initially set out to help our local church with their Telecoms requirements and during our conversations they mentioned they wanted to have some EV chargers installed. We’d recently worked alongside an electrical installer on another project and learnt of their proficiency with EV charger installs – This started a partnership and meant we could move into the EV charging market. Once we started to mention to some of our customers that we could offer EV chargers, the demand picked up rapidly.
5. Now let’s find out about who Rob is – Outside of Telecoms, what are your interests and hobbies?
I’m a fan of anything that involves machines with engines going fast; I was hooked from the second I had my first ride in a very fast sports car when I was about 16. Since then, I’ve closely followed F1 and MotoGP – I’ve also always wanted to go for a ride in one of those 3,000 HP Hydroplane racing boats. Aside from that, I’m a massive music fan and I’ve played the guitar since I was about 9 years old. Before the pandemic, I used to go to all the concerts I could and I’ve currently got tickets to go and see The Eagles in Hyde Park this summer which I’m very much looking forward to.
6. What’s your most annoying habit?
I’m sure I have a few, but the one that annoys me the most is my inability to find anything! I could be looking right at it and still not be able to find it. Coupled with my life-long “system” of leaving things in places that “make sense, I’ll remember that when the time comes”, which naturally I never do, has led to quite a lot of wasted time I should imagine.
7. What’s your closest brush with death?
The one that comes to mind as a certified near-death experience, is the time I was shot at with a spear gun. I was 10ish years old and playing around in my friend’s garden, next thing I knew he had got hold of his dad’s spear gun which was lying around as he was cleaning his scuba fishing gear. It must have had a sensitive trigger because before I could react, the thing shot straight towards me. I was standing about 20m away from my friend and just as well, because it stopped dead half an arm’s length from my chest.
8. Which animal do you think would you be, and why?
With a diving speed of 390km/h, I’d be a Peregrine Falcon. It would be amazing to be able to not only fly around free as a bird, but also dive back down to the ground faster than a F1 Car.
9. What’s your favourite band or song?
My favourite band has to be The Eagles; their catalogue goes far beyond Hotel California and there’s a reason they have the 2nd bestselling album of all time. (One of) My favourite song of all time is Werewolves of London by the late great Warren Zevon.
10. What’s the craziest thing you have ever done? (That you can tell us!)
One of the craziest things I’ve ever done (that I’m happy to put in writing) happened when I was on a school trip visiting a farmers’ market. Someone bought a couple of the hottest chilis there and after eating minute bites claimed they were in dire pain. So, naturally, I felt compelled to one-up them and popped a whole one in my mouth. I was committed to the act one-upmanship and chewed and swallowed the whole thing. I broke out in a bright red rash, profusely sweating, was gasping for air and was in such a state that I got a free ice cream from an onlooking vendor. I suffered dearly for the rest of the trip and was reminded by a teacher that I was lucky I didn’t have some sort of allergic reaction.
11. What was your first mobile phone and what phone do you have now?
My first mobile phone was an Alcatel OT-E257 (I had to do a deep dive on google to find that!) and I had a PAYG contract on it; it was strictly for calling my parents when I was ready for pick-up from my guitar lessons. It also had the original snake game which was a brag at the time! My first smartphone was a Pre-Android HTC Desire which, at the time, I thought was the peak of mobile technology.
I currently have an iPhone 13 which I must admit is brilliant. The battery life is so good that no matter how much I use it during the day, if I don’t plug it in before going to sleep, it will still be on in the morning. I also find the 0.5x camera very useful for taking pictures of data cabinets when at customer sites which are usually in cramped spaces.
12. What are the best things about working in Telecoms?
Aside from meeting businesses from all sectors and people from all walks of life, it’s an industry that is constantly moving forwards in all the aspects that affect it. It may be 5G – or even 6G which I was reading about in an industry article just the other day – the way calls are routed, the solutions for providing an internet service to a building (broadband, Starlink, P2P, etc), mobile handsets, international data roaming laws, etc. We must keep our finger on the pulse of all the advances being made so we can solve any outstanding pain points our customers may have as soon as possible.
If you have any questions for our team or would like to discuss your Telecoms needs with our experts, please get in touch with us directly.