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The Independent UK
The Independent UK

Network solutions that adapt to your needs, not the other way around


Zyxel is a Business Reporter client.

Over time, the digital networks that keep us connected have become both more sophisticated and more complex. The ability of smart devices to perform tasks that humans once did has transformed how we work and where we direct our creative energy, but it has also led to a loss of basic technical skills.

Businesses understand that having networks that optimise their processes is key to staying competitive – but employees are finding themselves less able to operate them.

This is especially the case for small and medium-sized businesses. SMBs have fewer resources than larger organisations and often lack a dedicated IT services team. Their go-to option for digital transformation and networking solutions has typically been IT specialists or managed service providers. Yet to keep their competitive edge, they need to be able to continuously adapt and modernise their systems – and for that to happen, those systems need to be built with the skillsets of their employees in mind.

Tailor-made for changing demands

Network solutions providers have long been in abundance, and until recently, the approach taken by most had been to develop networks that businesses then had to adapt their working processes to.

That meant those businesses would set about training their employees to work within the new system – and they needed to continually train them as that system evolved over time. Few providers offered solutions designed around the existing setup in any given workplace, or with the technical limitations of clients in mind.

But that has begun to change. An often-overlooked evolution in the design of digital networks has been the ability to tailor them to specific operational needs. Zyxel, a Taiwanese company founded in the early 1990s, just as digital networks were beginning to revolutionise business operations, has built large R&D teams spread across the globe that specialise in creating dynamic software and hardware that responds to clients’ unique demands.

“We try to understand how people are using our products, what they need, and even in some cases what they don’t need,” says Kevin Drinkall, Director of Marketing EMEA at Zyxel. “And that means we can gain a better understanding on how to improve and evolve the products for our customers, understand and help streamline the complexity and improve the user experience.”

Zyxel’s products are designed to deliver every aspect of connectivity that an SMB needs. They range across frontline protection with state-of-the-art cyber-security solutions to wireless and even 5G connectivity – and it’s all manageable in a single cloud management solution, reducing complexity while delivering reliability, scalability and ultimately the flexibility customers are looking for.

The company now serves more than 150 markets worldwide and has connected some 100 million devices. Its customer-centric approach has been a vital part of its success. It engages businesses from all parts of the globe, giving it access to region-specific data that it can use to refine its offerings.

The fact that Zyxel has a presence in so many countries is unusual for a tech company that specialises in SMBs, and it makes Zyxel much better placed to deliver localised solutions. At a time when many businesses have scaled back, Zyxel has not only expanded its customer engagement teams, but made it perhaps the single most important part of its service and relationship.

In doing so, Zyxel has grown to become a market leader, with more than a million businesses around the world using its products and services. Even in the UK, which has become ground zero for the design of smart networking solutions in Europe, Zyxel is increasingly seen as a go-to option for SMBs looking for bespoke solutions that can transform the way employees work, yet that come at affordable prices.

“We build partnerships with our customers,” says Drinkall. “And in doing so, we build an understanding not only of their technical needs but also their business model, and help them grow by providing tools and support coupled with a good understanding of the market.”

Synergy of products

Back in 2016, just as the understanding that digital devices could “talk” with one another was gaining ground, Zyxel began exploring how connected smart technologies might enhance the network solutions space.

A key goal was to create synergy between all products in its ecosystem, and to be able to do so on a single platform – this it considered essential for the successful digital transformation of any business.

Other network solutions companies were slower to recognise the power of connected devices, and it meant that they continued to see their role as one of closely managing products rather than letting those products effectively manage themselves. But once it came into being, Zyxel’s single platform solution, whereby devices could talk to one another and solve problems without need for human intervention, meant that, in Drinkall’s words, businesses suddenly had “what felt like another member of staff present”.

“Our goal was always to take enterprise tech and bring it to the level of SMBs, to make it accessible to businesses that were previously unable to both afford and operate it,” he says.

“Digital transformation requires this technology – and we’ve built platforms and tools to help our customers grow and reach their potential.”

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