BT head on the visibility problem in comms

7 Oct 2016

Shay Walsh, managing director, BT Ireland. Image: Connor McKenna

Shay Walsh from BT Ireland sat down with to discuss the challenges facing the Irish comms industry, including the anonymity that comes with reliability.

Comms Week

As managing director of BT Ireland, Shay Walsh presides over 600 staff, producing a turnover of about €500m.

The truth is, however, BT’s presence in Ireland can almost be rendered invisible by its effectiveness. As is the nature of the infrastructure that supports our daily grind, we often only notice it when things go awry.

“I suppose it’s one of those things where your greatest strength can be anonymity in terms of the data network being so reliable,” said Walsh.

“People actually rely on that so much that when it does have an issue there is a lot of concern. However – touch wood – our network is extremely reliable.”

Inspirefest 2017

As it happens, the majority of us likely interact with BT services unknowingly on a daily basis. If you use an ATM, call a contact centre, make a retail purchase, place an international call or even dial 999, you could well be making use of BT’s technology.

“BT would have some very strong partnerships in the tech industry. We are the largest suppliers for, for example, Cisco, Dell, EMC, Microsoft etc. So we have a very strong pedigree in IT integration and we bring that forward into our large managed services contracts as well, where we would provide all our traditional services – like data, voice, telephony, IP telephony – but also deliver networked IT services as well, something that maybe some people don’t know about BT, ” said Walsh.

The names on BT’s client list are major in the global tech ecosystem, and Ireland has a reputation to uphold when it comes to supporting the world’s top tech multinationals, putting pressure on telcos to deliver.

“BT is here to ensure that, for all the other considerations that global multinational corporations have in coming to Ireland, the availability of telecommunications and global connectivity is not going to be one of those issues that they face.”

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.